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Somerville Announcing Winning Ideas for City’s First-Ever Participatory Budgeting Cycle

Mayor Katjana Ballantyne is announcing the five winning city improvement projects selected by residents from Somerville’s first-ever Participatory Budgeting process. Over 3,500 votes were by the community cast to select which ideas they most wanted to see in-action in their neighborhoods. 

“I am thrilled to share the winning ideas from our first-ever Participatory Budgeting cycle. The people of Somerville have made their voices heard, and their creativity and community spirit have shone through,” said Mayor Ballantyne. “The winning ideas reflect the compassion and ingenuity that is so unique to our city, and I want to thank everyone who submitted an idea, voted, or helped get the word out to make this happen. I’d especially like to thank the budget delegate volunteers, who devoted their time this summer to collaborating with City staff to present a thoughtful and impactful final ballot.”

The selected city improvement projects were chosen from the more than 900 ideas submitted by Somerville residents for consideration. The ideas were then evaluated by budget delegate volunteers who collaborated closely with City staff to evaluate each idea’s need, impact, feasibility, and cost to determine the final ballot proposals. Somerville residents ages 12 and up were able to vote on the final ballot of 20 ideas from September 13-October 13. 

Somerville Participatory Budgeting 2023 Funded Proposals 
For more information go to 





Support Direct Community Food Access 

Contract with a nonprofit to strengthen direct community food access programs in Somerville. These initiatives redirect excess food to those in need and/or reduce the barriers for residents to access free or subsidized food using tools like Community Fridges.




Bike Lane Acceleration 

Accelerate the implementation of the Somerville Bicycle Network Plan. This funding will be used to pay for 1-2 miles of Quick-Build bike lanes divided by flexible delineators. This is additional funding, not replacement funding.




Bus Stop Improvement

Improve access and condition of areas around bus stops in most heavily used corridors in Somerville (Broadway, Washington, Somerville Ave.). Options include real time signage, seating, landscaping, or innovative shade structures.




Faster BigBelly Trash Can Adoption for Rat Abatement 

Place additional BigBelly trash can units through the city to improve cleanliness and decrease the rat population. Part of this funding would also go towards promotional materials explaining measures that all residents can take to reduce the rat population.




Keep it Cool in the ‘Ville

Install shade structures for parks and public squares. Create cooler, sun-safe areas for pedestrians and park-goers to reduce effects of urban heat.




The total project cost of the funded ideas is $955,000. The City will begin implementing these projects this fall. More complicated projects will take longer to realize, but the work to deliver on these community priorities will begin right away. News and updates on the projects’ implementations will be shared via all City communications channels and


Persons with disabilities who need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication (i.e., CART, ASL), written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures in order to access the programs, activities, and meetings of the City of Somerville should please contact Adrienne Pomeroy in advance at 617-625-6600 x 2059 or

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