Getting Around Somerville
Somerville is a great place to live, work, play, and raise a family. One reason why is that there are a lot of ways to experience the city: walk around a favorite square, conquer the seven hills by bike, traverse thoroughfares by bus, zip about by train, or drive in a car. Find out the best ways to get around (and how to do so safely) using the tabs below.
For emergency situations, call 911. For reporting non-emergency problems with streets, call 311. You can call 311 24/7 (617-666-3311 from outside the City) to report an issue or ask a non-emergency question. You can also email [email protected].
Take a Walk
Go for a Bike Ride
Hop on a Train or Bus
Go for a Drive
Safe Routes to School
Take a Walk
There are plenty of fun ways to go for a stroll in Somerville. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Nibble Tours
- Historic & Neighborhood Tours
- Open Studios
- Mayor’s Parks Pass Challenge
Short on time? Check out the Somerville Walks map to get some ideas for quick, 5-minute walks near key transportation hubs.
Tips for Walkers
Since there are so many ways to get around Somerville, a lot of families choose to go car-free – even with kids! Here are some ideas from our neighbors in Cambridge.
If you regularly walk to work, you should register for MassDOT’s Emergency Ride Home program. They’ll help you get home for free if you ever experience an emergency during your commute.
If you’ve noticed that cars are driving too fast on your street, you can join or start a traffic calming intervention petition here. If you have a different safety concern, report it on the City’s Vision Zero website.
Important Safety Info for Walkers
The number one safety tip for pedestrians is to be seen! We know to “stop, look, and listen before we cross the street,” but we also need to be careful about where we cross: use designated crosswalks for better visibility and predictability. Be aware: avoid keeping your head down while looking at your phone or being otherwise distracted before stepping into a roadway, even if you have the walk signal.
Walking in a Winter Wonderland
Prompt snow shoveling is critical to pedestrian safety. Did you know? Property owners are responsible for clearing snow and ice from sidewalks abutting their property. If you’re a renter, check with your landlord about winter procedures. If you’re a renter and you’re able to do so, consider assisting with shoveling to help make our community safer for all, particularly those with mobility impairments as well as parents with small children. You can find more snow information here.
The City has a snow shoveling program that matches seniors with teens to shovel the sidewalk on their behalf. Sign up today and be ready when the snow comes! To sign up, contact Community Services Manager Chris Hosman at [email protected], or 617-625-6600 ext 2406.
Go for a Bike Ride
We work to ensure that everyone who bikes in or through Somerville stays safe on the road. Check out our bike facilities guide if you need help understanding what all the new road markings mean. Then, use this bike routes map to plan your next trip!
Tips for Cyclists
Somerville is one of several Boston-area communities that has a bike share partnership with Blue Bikes. If you’re interested in riding more but don't own a bike, you might want to sign up for a Blue Bikes membership. With Blue Bikes, you can easily get around Somerville, as well as to and from neighboring communities. Check out the station map to see if it will work for you. You may even be eligible for a discounted income-based membership!
Visit the Somerville Bicycle Advisory Committee (SBAC) site for more information on biking in Somerville. You can find things like:
- A list of fun bike-related events and activities
- Bike route maps
- Tips for riding safely
- Information on registering your bike with the Somerville police, locking your bike, and requesting a bike rack installation.
If you regularly bike to work, you should register for MassDOT’s Emergency Ride Home program. They’ll help you get home for free if you ever experience an emergency during your commute.
Important Safety Info for Cyclists
Staying safe as a bicyclist means being predictable! Make sure you follow the rules of the road. When riding in the street (either in line with cars or in a painted bike lane), ride with the flow of traffic in a straight line as much as possible: for example, don’t swerve in and out of open parking spaces. If you need to avoid road hazards like debris or potholes, use hand signals. When making turns, use a hand signal so cars know you are turning.
In addition to following the rules of the road, you should also be aware of traffic laws for bicyclists.
Vision Zero is a project that aims to end traffic fatalities and injuries in Somerville. Visit the dashboard to learn more about the project and see stats on bike and transit safety.
Click here for a video demonstrating how to fit your helmet properly.
Hop on a Train or Bus
MBTA buses and trains run within and through Somerville. Plan your trip and view maps on their website. Be sure to check if you qualify for a reduced fare! The MBTA also offers paratransit service with The Ride.
Eligible seniors can schedule rides with Door2Door for grocery shopping, doctor’s appointments, and more.
If you regularly take the train to work, you should register for MassDOT’s Emergency Ride Home program. They’ll help you get home for free if you ever experience an emergency during your commute.
Important Safety Info for Transit Riders
If you’re taking public transit, be sure to stay mindful and be careful! Taking the bus? Once you get off, don’t walk in front of the bus to cross the street. Wait until it has pulled away and cross behind. Taking the train? Never get on the tracks if you’ve dropped something—the tracks are hazardous, and even if you think you can jump back up, the platform is higher than it looks. An MBTA employee can assist you with the proper equipment.
Go for a Drive
Drive safely with tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Visit ParkSomerville for all your parking and permit needs.
Looking for ridesharing for children and families? Zemcar can get you there.
Need to drive occasionally but don’t want to own a car in the city? Carsharing opportunities like Zipcar may be the right option for you.
If you regularly carpool or carshare to work, you should register for MassDOT’s Emergency Ride Home program. They’ll help you get home for free if you ever experience an emergency during your commute.
Important Safety Info for Drivers
The most important safety rule for drivers is to be aware! Check for cyclists and oncoming traffic before opening car doors, both as a driver and a passenger—using the Dutch Reach is a great way to check! Also, use your directional! This helps drivers, walkers, and cyclists know how to position themselves in relation to your car because they know your next move. Stay at least 3 feet away when passing bicycles. Especially for large vehicles, check out the new educational video from the Somerville Bicycle Advisory Committee and other local partners on trucking in the city.
Safe Routes to School
View maps of where all the crossing guards are posted around Somerville to plan the safest route to and from school or afterschool programming.
The Somerville Public Schools conducts annual Safe Routes to School lessons for all students: pedestrian safety training in 2nd grade and bicycle riding, safety, and rules of the road lessons for 5th graders.
Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone, the Health and Human Services Department and the Somerville Public Schools announce the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration event, to be held on Monday, January 21, 2019.
Fourth Quarterly Public Meeting to Discuss Updates to Parking Changes on Central Hill Campus Scheduled for Wednesday, December 12
Join City staff on Wednesday, December 12, at 6 p.m. at the Central Library, 79 Highland Ave. for the fourth in a series of public quarterly meetings where updates about parking changes, new data collection, and strategies for impact mitigation will be discussed.
For Winter 2018/19, It’s a Park EVEN Snow Season; Also, Parking Will No Longer be Allowed in School Lots During Snow Emergencies
As snow season approaches, the City of Somerville reminds all residents that for the winter season 2018-2019, the side of the street where snow emergency parking is allowed is the even side.
Mayor Joseph Curtatone, Superintendent of Schools Mary Skipper, and Director of Parks & Recreation Jill Lathan announced this month that, following approval by the Somerville School Committee of a draft Memorandum of Understanding, the Somerville Parks and Recreation Department will take over
The City of Somerville is developing a campus plan for Central Hill, home to City Hall, Somerville High School, the Central Library, and Central Playground. Please join us on Thursday, November 1, at 6 p.m. for a meeting in the High School cafeteria to help shape the plan.
School Cafeteria Compost And Expanded Recycling Pilot Program Launching At Four Somerville Public Schools
City and school staff recently teamed up to launch a pilot program to overcome some cafeteria recycling challenges and also add composting to the mix.
Somerville Cares About Prevention (SCAP) announced today the results of the program’s annual “Shoulder Tap Surveys,” designed to discourage adults from purchasing alcohol for people under twenty-one.
Somerville Cares About Prevention (SCAP) is currently hiring Middle School and High School Youth Leaders for our Somerville Positive Forces (SPFJr and SPF100) Programs to work as part of a team to promote student wellness through fun campaigns and positive peer m
The City of Somerville is developing a campus plan for Central Hill, home to City Hall, Somerville High School, the Central Library, and Central Playground. Please join us on Tuesday, September 25, at 6 p.m. for a meeting in the High School cafeteria to help shape the plan.
Join Mayor Joseph Curtatone, Ward 4 Alderman Jesse Clingan, and Superintendent of Schools Mary Skipper on Monday, September 10, at 10 a.m. for a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Winter Hill Community Innovation School.