About the Mobility Division

The goal of OSPCD's Mobility Division is to provide the guidance to make mobility within the City as safe, convenient, and pleasant as possible. The division undertakes strategic planning, project development, and management of the transportation network, and works to link transportation projects with new development.


Throughout the City of Somerville, the Mobility Division is implementing various plans and projects to create a safe, walkable, healthy, and user-friendly network of multi-modal transportation options. This involves conducting various studies and analyzing the resulting information to make policy recommendations to the City. To view information on neighborhood-specific activities and projects, please see the Squares and Neighborhoods page for complete descriptions.

Bicycles and Pedestrians

Under Mayor Curtatone's leadership, the City of Somerville has placed a great emphasis on the importance of infrastructure that supports and encourages bicycle and pedestrian mobility. Programs such as Shape Up Somerville and Safe-START, as well as numerous bicycle lane additions and streetscape improvement projects are a few of the steps Somerville is taking toward promoting safe, healthy, and sustainable transportation.

Community Path

The City of Somerville has been advocating for the development of the Somerville Community Path, which would connect Belmont, Arlington, Somerville, Cambridge and Boston, for the past decade. The path now extends from Grove Street to Cedar Street in Somerville, complementing the Alewife Linear Park stretching from Davis Square to Alewife MBTA Station in Cambridge. The next planned phases in Somerville include extensions from Cedar Street to Central Street and eventually from Central Street to Northpoint in Cambridge (the planning process for this work proceeds in conjunction with the Green Line Extension).


In addition to increasing access and circulation for pedestrian and bicycle traffic, the Mobility Division also seeks to increase vehicular flow and traffic efficiency. In regards to roadways, the division evaluates current situations, conducts studies, and provides recommendations for policy development to prepare for growth before it happens.


Somerville is currently serviced by two rapid transit stops -- Davis Square on the Red Line and Assembly on the Orange Line -- and 15 bus lines. The planned Green Line Extension will include up to six stops within Somerville.

The Department of Public Works conducts ongoing street maintenance, approves new curb cuts, and provides engineering assistance for OSPCD-generated infrastructure projects across the city.

Traffic and Parking is responsible for parking policy and enforcement.

  • SomerVision: Community-Driven Planning

  • Neighborhood Plans

  • Projects

  • State Highways in Somerville

Shared Values Shape Somerville's Future

In 2009, Somerville residents and City planning staff started a lively community planning process with the goal of creating Somerville's first comprehensive plan. A 60-member steering committee, supported by the staff of the Mayor's Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development, put every idea on the table. After more than fifty meetings, visioning sessions and public workshops, SomerVision: Somerville's Comprehensive Plan 2010-2030 was born.

In April of 2012, the Board of Aldermen endosed SomerVision. SomerVision sets out a vision to make Somerville an even more exceptional place to live, work, play, and raise a family. SomerVision is an easy to use guide for future growth and development in the City. The plan establishes shared values, creates measurable goals for job creation, open space, housing development, and transportation, and illustrates the areas of the city to conserve, enhance, and transform. SomerVision is a plan for neighborhood protection and a plan for growth. The plan is focused on creating significant new job opportunities and meeting our portion of the regional need for new housing while conserving our traditional neighborhoods of two and three family housing.

The steering committee organized the SomerVision goals according to the following themes: neighborhoods; commercial corridors, squares, and growth districts; resources; transportation and infrastructure; and housing. The plan identifies policies and actions to help the community reach these goals. SomerVision also includes an implementation plan, which identified six priorities: station area planning, quality of life strategies, housing activities, sustainability programs, infrastructure and transportation improvements, and a zoning code overhaul. OSPCD, in collaboration with other departments, is working on implementing the actions and policies of SomerVision to reach the stated goals. One of biggest implementation strategies is neighborhood planning. For more information, check out Somerville by Design.

Somerville’s neighborhoods are divided by several state and federal highway facilities, including Interstate 93, State Route 28 (McGrath Highway / Fellsway), State Route 38 (Mystic Avenue) and State Route 16 (Mystic Valley Parkway / Alewife Brook Parkway).  Although these roadways are intended to serve regional functions, their local impacts are often negative for an urban community like Somerville.  Motor vehicle speeds are typically high enough to produce severe consequences when crashes occur.  Multiple vehicular lanes in the same direction create long crossing distances for people walking.  Highway ramps, retaining walls and tunnels create physical barriers between our neighborhoods.  The City of Somerville works collaboratively with state agency partners including the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation to improve safety and accessibility for all users of these roads, placing special emphasis on planning for people walking, people on bikes, and people riding MBTA buses.