Broadway in Somerville, Massachusetts had been identified as Somerville’s “least complete street.” Wide expanses of asphalt with lane markings worn away over several harsh winters left a traffic-dominated thoroughfare with high speed traffic and safety concerns for all users. Broadway is a key connection between Winter Hill and East Somerville to the MBTA Orange Line at Sullivan Square, but buses are frequently clogged in traffic.
Kittelson worked with the City to capitalize on a unique opportunity to restripe the street. Since the existing lane markings had worn away, Kittelson and Somerville staff created a plan to redesign the street’s function using pavement marking and signs alone. The design repurposed excess travel lanes to create exclusive bus lanes enabling buses to glide past traffic queues. The Kittelson team also helped Somerville retime traffic signals along the corridor and introduce transit signal priority at two key signals along Broadway.
The design also improves conditions for people on bicycles with a combination of separated bike lanes and shared bus/bike lanes.
Transforming Somerville's Least Complete Street
The new design for Broadway significantly improves the experience of all street users. Simplified and organized traffic lanes calm traffic and make it easier for pedestrians to walk along and across the street. Buses along Broadway are experiencing reduced travel time and improved reliability for passengers. And bicycle riders have dedicated space to move between Somerville’s Magoun Square, Winter Hill, and East Somerville.