Somerville’s New Bus Lanes Projected to Shorten More Than 8,000 Bus Trips per Day

Winter Hill in Motion Project Also Features Separated Bike Lanes for Cyclist Safety

As part of the City of Somerville’s Winter Hill in Motion project, new dedicated bus lanes, separated bike lanes, and more mobility upgrades are coming to Broadway. Work has already begun to install bright red “Bus Only” lanes along both sides of Broadway between McGrath Highway and Main Street, one of the city’s most congested commuting corridors. These dedicated travel lanes will enable the MBTA to provide more efficient, reliable bus service on routes 89 and 101, which support approximately 8,000 boardings per day. Passengers could save up to 5 minutes per ride and see more buses coming on schedule.

Somerville already has one dedicated bus lane running northbound on Prospect Street, but the lanes on Broadway will be the first in the City to serve both directions of traffic on the same road.

In addition to bus lanes, the Winter Hill in Motion plan will install dedicated bike facilities, including a parking-protected lane, retimed traffic signals to better meet the needs of motorists and pedestrians, transit signal priority technology to move buses through intersections more efficiently, and new signage and pavement markings.

Broadway figures prominently in the daily lives of many in Somerville: In the heart of the Winter Hill neighborhood, it’s the second-most traveled street in the city and home to many local businesses and civic spaces. With the diverse needs of all users in mind, this project will improve safety and ease travel along the corridor between Magoun Square and McGrath Highway. These changes to Broadway will also expand and improve equitable low-carbon transit options for Somerville residents, advancing the City’s SomerVision, Climate Forward, and Vision Zero goals.

"If we're serious about shifting mobility away from car trips, it's our responsibility to make taking transit, biking, or walking the convenient and safe choice,” said Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. “Improvements like dedicated bus lanes, bike lanes, and pedestrian-friendly signal timing will help make Broadway – which is a very car-centric corridor – more welcoming to other modes of transportation."

The new pavement markings, additional signage, and retimed traffic signals will be installed over the course of the coming weeks. The red bus lanes, in particular, involve a time-consuming application process to create a durable surface, and installation will proceed over three to four weeks along the corridor.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is expected to be held later this year. For more information about the project, please visit SomervilleMA.gov/WinterHillMotion.