Skip to main content

Somerville Reinforces Commitment to Safer Streets

Somerville Passes “Safe Streets” Ordinance to Accelerate Efforts to Create Safer, More Accessible, Sustainable Streets for All

The City of Somerville is accelerating its ongoing efforts to make city streets safer by ensuring forward-looking design and safety practices are embedded throughout all street improvement projects citywide. This includes reemphasizing the City’s commitment to complete the Somerville Bicycle Network plan’s 40-mile priority network by 2030. 

Following a vote by the City Council on June 13 supported by the Ballantyne administration, Mayor Katjana Ballantyne announced that the City of Somerville has adopted a “Safe Streets” Ordinance that advances pursuit of the City’s Vision Zero goals. In 2017, the City committed to and began working toward Vision Zero goals, which aim to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries from our transportation system by making our streets safer and more accessible for people of all ages and abilities. This work has greatly accelerated in recent years, and the new ordinance codifies this community priority. 

“Building safe streets is urgent, life-saving work. And while we’ve made great progress, there is still much more to be done. Our ‘Safe Streets” ordinance commits us to continue accelerating the pace of change. I want to thank our resident-advocates, members of Council, and City staff for their partnership in continuing to chart a bold path forward.” said Mayor Ballantyne. 

The “Safe Streets” Ordinance furthers the City’s efforts to accelerate street safety and accessibility improvements by reaffirming Somerville’s Complete Streets approach to street improvement projects, formally incorporating the goals of the City’s Bicycle Network Plan into street design processes, and ensuring work to increase the number of accessible parking spaces continues. The ordinance also includes an easily accessible annual reporting process to document progress toward Vision Zero, accessibility, and Bicycle Network Plan goals. 

"A few years from now, we are going to look back at this moment as a major turning point in the safety of our streets. No one should have to risk their life to travel around Somerville, and no matter how you get around - walking, biking, wheelchair, car, whatever - this Ordinance is going to make it safer to do so,” said Somerville City Council President Ben Ewen-Campen. 

"After years of advocacy, the Safe Streets Ordinance has enshrined a generational commitment to the safety and accessibility of all road users,” said Councilor Willie Burnley Jr. “By transforming the structure of our streets, the City of Somerville will redouble its efforts to ensure that every neighbor and family can enjoy the city that they love without fear of an accident." 

Among the ongoing commitments codified by the ordinance are:  

  • The incorporation of complete street elements (including but not limited to pedestrian-focused design features, transit-focused elements such as improved bus stops, and traffic calming installations) to all street improvement projects
  • The execution of goals for accessible pedestrian and transit infrastructure detailed in the City’s Vision Zero Action Plan and the ADA Title II Transition Plan 
  • Completion of the Somerville Bicycle Network Plan’s 40-mile priority network by 2030 
  • Annual reporting outlining progress toward safer streets including progress and expenditure on protected bicycle facilities 

More About Somerville’s Commitment to Vision Zero 

In 2017, Somerville formally adopted Vision Zero as part of the city’s strategy and planning process. Vision Zero is a worldwide advocacy campaign focused on reducing and eliminating transportation injuries and fatalities. 

The City’s Vision Zero Action Plan outlines a strategy for eliminating deaths and serious injuries from our transportation system and details the actions the City will take. It was developed by a team of City staff and dedicated resident volunteers on the Vision Zero Task Force, including representatives from advisory and advocacy committees from Somerville and the Greater Boston region. The objectives, strategies, and actions set forth are intended to be ambitious, specific, actionable, and measurable. 

To learn more about Vision Zero in Somerville visit

More About Somerville’s Bicycle Network Plan

The City of Somerville developed a citywide bicycle network plan so that people of all ages and abilities can ride a bicycle to anywhere in the City safely and comfortably. The Somerville Bicycle Network Plan, completed in 2023, was developed through a one-and-a-half-year public engagement, research, and analysis process.  

The Plan maps out steps to expand and upgrade the current 30-mile network of bicycle facilities to a total of 88 miles that will create safe and connected routes to better protect bike riders of all ages. A total of 40 miles of bicycle improvements are designated on high-priority routes to be installed or upgraded by 2030, with the remaining miles to be completed over the full 20 years of the plan. The network includes a mix of protected bike facilities, off-street paths, and traffic-calmed backstreet “Neighborways” routes. As part of implementation, the City will hold public engagement processes before installing any facilities identified in the Plan.

To learn more about the City’s Bicycle Network Plan visit



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  

Interpretation into any language is available upon advance request (at least seven days in advance) by contacting the SomerViva Office of Immigrant Affairs at or calling 311 at 617-666-3311.   

Please submit website feedback using this form. Be sure to include:

A description of the issue (if any)
A link to the affected pages

Thank you for your feedback!