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    Harvard Square Improvement Project!

    Since 2002, the 15-member Harvard Square Design Committee has worked to develop a master plan of improvements for Harvard Square. The Committee represents a broad range of interests, including business and property owners, residents, and Harvard University. They have worked with staff from the City of Cambridge, consultants, and the local community, to help develop a plan that preserves and enhances that features that make Harvard Square so vibrant and unique, and at the same time addresses complicated problems such as traffic management, pedestrian and bicycle safety, ADA compliance, historic preservation, and overall aesthetics.

    The master plan of improvements that has resulted from the Committee’s work includes reconstructed roadways and sidewalks, curb extensions, new crosswalks, wider sidewalks, bicycle facilities, new street trees, improved plazas, new signage for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists, and lighting improvements. By carefully coordinating and prioritizing improvements at various locations, the Committee has developed an overall vision for improving the Square.

    The Committee process, design details, and contact information are described on the Community Development Department website at: More detailed information about plans for Palmer Street—which is being done as part of the City’s Public Art Program—is posted on the Cambridge Arts Council website at:

    During the past year, the City of Cambridge has acted on two of the Committee’s recommendations through recent construction projects, which include curb extensions and a crossing island at Mason and Brattle Street, and improvements to Eliot Plaza.

    Construction at the following high-priority locations is expected to begin during Fall 2005 as part of the 2-year Harvard Square Improvement Project: Church Street and Johnson Gate, JFK Street Between Memorial Drive and Eliot Street, Lampoon (Mt. Auburn and Bow streets between Holyoke and Plympton streets), Palmer Street, “Super Crosswalk” Between Out-of-Town News and the Coop, and Winthrop Street.

    The City of Cambridge recognizes that any construction can be disruptive to the local community, and that a project of such a large scale in a densely populated, multi-use district is likely be particularly disruptive. Therefore, the City is committed to informing residents and businesses about what to expect during construction, managing this construction in a professional manner, and being as responsive as possible when contacted about a concern.

    As construction draws closer, residents and businesses will receive detailed notices about work that most directly affects them. For general information about this or any other public construction project in the City of Cambridge, please contact Rebecca Fuentes, Community Relations Manager for the Department of Public Works at (617) 349-6948/

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