Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 8)

Head of the Charles Road Closures and Parking Restrictions

The Head of the Charles Regatta is this weekend. It is the largest two-day regatta in the world and attracts an estimated 300,000 spectators to the Charles. Please take a minute to review this press release from the Department of Conservation and Recreation for information about the road closures and parking restrictions that will be in effect:

The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will close roadways, and portions of some roadways, to accommodate the Head of the Charles Regatta this Saturday and Sunday, October 18 and October 19. Parking also will be restricted in some areas beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, October 15. All parking restrictions will be strictly enforced. It is illegal at all times to park vehicles of any kind on parkland. All illegally parked vehicles will be towed.  Commuters should also expect delays on Soldiers Field Road on Friday, October 17, between 6:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. as crew teams load in equipment for the event.          

WHERE and WHEN:

Lane Closures: Saturday and Sunday, October 18 and 19, 2014

Soldiers Field Road westbound

Right lane closed (Drop off only)
Western Avenue to North Harvard Street ramp
Saturday & Sunday: 8 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Soldiers Field Road westbound
Right lane closed
Herter Lot No. 2: Drop off only
Saturday & Sunday: 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.

North Harvard Street Ramp
Soldiers Field Road westbound – Shuttle Bus Access only
Saturday & Sunday: 9:00 a.m. (TBD by State Police – 4:30 pm)

Memorial Drive CLOSED
Between Western Ave and Fresh Pond Parkway
Saturday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m./Cleanup finished
Sunday: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m./Cleanup finished

Parking Restrictions: Wednesday, October 15 through Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014

Soldiers Field Road
Lots 1-4
Wednesday, Oct. 15 – Sunday, Oct. 19
10 p.m. Wednesday – 8 p.m. Sunday

Memorial Drive westbound
#940 Memorial Drive to Mt. Auburn Street
Saturday, October 18 – Sunday, October 19
8 a.m. Saturday – 9 p.m. Sunday

Cambridge Boat Club (Gerry’s Landing Road at Memorial Drive)
Wednesday, October 15 – Sunday, October 19
10 p.m. Wednesday – 8 p.m. Sunday

Riverside Boat Club
Thursday, October 16, 6:00 p.m. – Sunday, October 19, 8:00 p.m.

Magazine Pool Driveway
Thursday, October 16, 6:00 p.m. – Sunday, October 19, 8:00 p.m.
(Drop off Only)

MWRA Cottage Farm Pump Station Lot
Thursday, October 16, 6:00 p.m. – Sunday, October 19, 8:00 p.m.

Parking is available on Greenough Boulevard on the westbound side, from Buckingham Brown and Nichols (as posted) to Grove Street. Greenough Boulevard eastbound side parking from Arsenal Street to the Marsh Post is as posted. Parking is not allowed along the guardrail or anywhere else on Greenough Boulevard.

Image credit: Fcb981, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

TRAFFIC ADVISORY: MBTA Red Line weekend diversion – October 11

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) will close the Longfellow Bridge this Saturday (October 11) to all motor vehicle travel, except MBTA buses as part of the Longfellow Bridge Rehabilitation Project. The closure is necessary to implement an MBTA Red Line diversion which will allow MassDOT’s design/build contractor, White-Skanska-Consigli JV, to perform work in close proximity to the Red Line tracks that is not possible during MBTA service hours. Buses will replace Red Line trains for service between Kendall/MIT Station and Park Street Station, with a stop at Charles/MGH Station. The bus route and stops are shown on the map below. All shuttle bus stops are accessible for people with disabilities. Bus service will be in place for Boston and Cambridge-bound Red Line customers during service on Saturday, October 11. Red Line trains will resume service on Sunday morning, October 12.

BusRoute-Red Line Diversion

MBTA buses will be the only motor vehicles permitted on the bridge. All other motor vehicles, including passenger vehicles, trucks and all other buses, will need to use one of two routes to reach Boston. One route uses Memorial Drive westbound to make a U-turn at Ames Street for access to Memorial Drive eastbound to Land Boulevard and Charles River Dam Road (Monsignor O’Brien Highway/Route 28) to reach Leverett Circle. A second route uses 3rd Street and Binney Street to reach Land Boulevard. Truck restrictions are in place for Memorial Drive.

BostonBound_wknd-Red line diversion

The Cambridge-bound detour remains in place using a signed route from Charles Circle following Charles Street to Leverett Circle, Monsignor O’Brien Highway/Charles River Dam Road and Edwin H. Land Boulevard.

DetourRoute_CB_rev-red line diversion

Emergency response, bicycle and pedestrian access will be maintained across the bridge during this weekend diversion. Please note: Bicyclists must walk their bikes on the sidewalk across the Longfellow Bridge to ensure the safety of all bridge users. The Massachusetts Avenue Bridge and Dr. Paul Dudley White Bike Path across the Craigie Dam Bridge can be used as an alternate route to ride bicycles across the Charles River.

The Longfellow Bridge, which connects Boston and Cambridge over the Charles River, is being rehabilitated as part of a three and a half year, $255.5 million effort funded through Governor Patrick’s Accelerated Bridge Program. Rehabilitation of the iconic “salt and pepper” Longfellow Bridge will improve structural integrity and capacity, meet modern codes, including ADA accessibility, and create a safer configuration for more modes of travel.

Click this link for more information on the project and traffic management plans. For questions, to report issues and concerns related to construction or to be added to the project email distribution list, please call the project hotline at 617-519-9892 or email longfellowbridge@state.ma.us.

DCAMM Ordered to Release Courthouse Records

This summer, I filed a public records request with the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) for documents related to the sale of the Sullivan Courthouse in East Cambridge.  With this request, my goal was to obtain more information about the bid selection process and criteria that were used by DCAMM in selecting Leggat McCall Properties as the developer for the courthouse, and to obtain information about the sale price in order to help inform the public conversation about the site’s redevelopment.

DCAMM has been tight-lipped about this information for years now, and has refused all informal requests for this information, as well as an invitation to participate in a working group I organized this Spring.  Predictably, DCAMM denied my initial public records request. I appealed their denial with the Secretary of the Commonwealth on grounds that the information I sought was no longer exempt from Massachusetts Public records law and should be made available for public review.  I received notice today (posted below) that the Supervisor of Public Records has made the determination that the records I requested can no longer be withheld, and DCAMM has been ordered to provide the requested records within ten days. I will be sure to post an update here if and when I receive the records from DCAMM.

Public Records Appeal Decision

Image credit: Pingswept, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Assembly Station one day diversion on Sept 14-15 weekend

There will be a one day diversion on the September 14-15 weekend for remaining items related to the Assembly Station Project. It’s the last of the eighteen (18) weekend diversions, and will not affect the Riverfest at Assembly Row on Saturday Sept 13. The diversion will begin at approximately 4:30 am on Sunday morning, September 14 and will continue until approximately 4:30 am Monday morning ,September 15. Service will be restored on Monday morning. Please see bus info below.

The work included in this weekend’s diversion is as follows:

• Installation of miscellaneous metal panels and curtain wall glass at the stations north head house

• Signal testing on the test track

• Installation of an expansion gap on the 3rd rail of the southbound track and installation of third rail heat on the north and south bound tracks.

Bus Information:

Patrons will be bussed between Oak Grove and Sullivan Stations:

From Sullivan Square Station
Left Main Street
Right Grand Union Boulevard
Stop at Grand Union Boulevard and Foley Street bus stop cutout for Assembly Square Station
Left Foley Street
Right Middlesex Avenue
Right Fellsway West
Regular route to Wellington Station

From Wellington Station
Regular route to Wellington Circle
Left Fellsway West
Left Middlesex Avenue (2nd cutout on left after crossing Mystic River)
Left Foley Street
Right Grand Union Boulevard
Stop at Grand Union Boulevard and Foley Street bus stop cutout for Assembly Square Station
Grand Union Boulevard to Lombardi Way
Left Broadway
To Maffa Way
Right Sullivan Station

Feds Take Step Toward Volpe Center Redevelopment

Yesterday, the federal Government Services Administration (GSA) announced that it was seeking ideas from developers for the redevelopment of the Volpe Center site in Kendall Square.  GSA, which is responsible for managing the federal government’s real estate, intends to transfer a portion of the Volpe Center property to a private developer in exchange for the developer picking up the tab for construction of a new DOT research facility on the existing site.

Redevelopment of the site has been discussed for a long time within the Cambridge community, but this is the most significant step toward redevelopment that we have seen the federal government take so far. I am looking forward to a robust public process that will gather input from residents and the Kendall Square business community. There is immense potential for the under-utilized space at the Volpe Center to be put to positive use.

Homelessness prevention program now accepting applications

Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership (MBHP) is now accepting applications for the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program. Through RAFT, eligible families can apply for funds that can be used to help retain their housing, obtain new housing, or otherwise avoid becoming homeless. For more information on the program, including eligibility requirements and how to apply, visit the MBHP website.

Mayor Maher’s Allston Street Fire Relief Fund

The City of  Cambridge and Mayor David Maher have created a Fire Relief Fund for the nine families that were displaced by the devastating fire that ripped through three homes on Allston Street during the early morning hours of Sunday, July 27th. Thankfully, no injuries were reported, but the majority of the residents displaced were renters that do not have insurance to recover their loss.

Please visit this page if you wish to contribute to the relief fund set up to help these displaced families get back on their feet. Donations can also be made by check to “The City of Cambridge Mayor’s Fire Relief Fund”. Checks can be mailed to or dropped off at:

Cambridge City Hall
c/o Finance Department
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139

East End House Receives Re-Accreditation

Congratulations to the East End House for receiving re-accreditation from both the Council of Accreditation (COA) as well as the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). This endorsement recognizes that East End’s practices are in full alignment with best practices for the learning, health, and development of our youth.

East End House, one of Cambridge’s oldest social service centers, supports families and individuals of every age and ability with their inventive after school programs, helping our children learn just as much outside of the class room as in one!
Congratulations to everyone at East End House, and their partners at the Cambridge Public School District—you continue to make us proud every single day.

Cambridge InsideOut: Conversation with Tim Toomey

Part 1:

Part 2:

Keeping Your Home Warm and Cozy this Winter

Stay warm this winter with help from the Fuel Assistance Program.

Stay warm this winter with help from the Fuel Assistance Program. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Winter is here, and a blast of Arctic air is on its way to New England. If you’re worried about paying your heating bills this year, there are a couple programs you should know about.

The first line of defense is the Fuel Assistance Program, which helps low-income households pay their heating bills in the winter months. In Massachusetts, families that make either 200% of the federal poverty level or 60% of the Commonwealth’s median income are eligible—click here to see if you qualify. If you’re facing an imminent “heat emergency,” your application will be fast-tracked. Please call (617)-349-6252 to make an appointment.

You may also be eligible for discounts on your utilities and/or tax credits to weatherize your home. The City of Cambridge maintains a list of other heating assistance programs here. And even if you don’t qualify for any of those programs, you still might be able to receive 100 gallons of free heating oil from Citizens Energy (they’re the folks behind those “Joe for Oil” commercials you might have seen).

The Farmer’s Almanac predicts a cold, snowy winter for southern New England. Make sure you and your family stay warm.

 

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