February 2020 project updates
Work on the River Street Reconstruction and Carl Barron Plaza project continues in many areas. To keep you up to date, the River Street Reconstruction project team is sharing information in this e-mail update. Note, new meeting dates are described below. Below is a summary of what has been going on with the River Street Reconstruction project since the year-end holidays.
Working group meeting postponed to March
Given that many of the project work items are still in progress, the project team has postponed the next working group meeting to March 24. This will allow the project team to make substantial progress on design work. The information for this meeting is as follows:

Tuesday, March 24, 2020
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Doors open 5:45 PM

Manning Apartments
1st Floor Community Room
237 Franklin Street, Cambridge, MA
Public meeting planned for April
The project team is also working toward a public meeting in April to show the latest designs. This meeting will include corridor designs, traffic analysis, bus routings, and a few concepts for a redesigned Carl Barron Plaza. Stay tuned for updates on the topics and a save the date for this meeting.
Design updates
Carl Barron Plaza
Carl Barron Plaza is the public plaza space in front of Cambridge Savings Bank, Amazon, and the Holmes Building entrance. At the last meeting of the River Street Working Group in December, the working group came to consensus for looking at expanded plaza space. The main way to create a larger plaza is by changing bus routes and stop locations at the busway. The project team calls this new configuration the “Butterfly” design because of its butterfly shape. This design allows for more plaza space while keeping two well-used bus stops on the edges of an expanded plaza.

At the current time, the project team is creating a few distinct conceptual designs to bring to the public for comments. A specific design for the plaza is not yet selected.

To see some of the conceptual designs, view the slideshow from the last working group meeting.
River Street corridor
Work to improve the design on the corridor continues. The project team is reviewing the River Street design at places where the street is narrow, evaluating daily use and maintenance. Some minor curb adjustments are expected. 

At the same time, the project team is continuing to conduct detailed traffic analysis and modeling. This analysis and modeling will help the project team make sure that the new River Street will work for everybody no matter how they get around and will function to move people safely and efficiently.

The project team is also reviewing curbside access (loading, parking, etc.) along River Street. This review is to make sure that the River Street design meets curb access needs for people going to local businesses, residents, and visitors. 
Other updates
Exploring changes to bus routes and stop locations
We are discussing with the community and the MBTA shifting MBTA Route 64 from Magazine Street to River Street. Using River Street is a more direct route to Central Square. We are also discussing shifting Route 47 from Massachusetts Avenue to Green and Franklin Streets. Using Green and Franklin streets would allow for more plaza space at Carl Barron Plaza and make Route 47 more reliable.

The project team will share more information about these changes at upcoming project meetings. We are also planning to engage riders and the public in additional outreach efforts.
Work continues on public art on River Street
Ritsuko Taho is the artist for the River Street project. She is the original artist who created the “Multicultural Manifestos” artwork in Carl Barron Plaza. This artwork includes the "dream towers" and "dream wheels" in the plaza. The "Multicultural Manifestos" artwork will be removed from the plaza during the reconstruction process. The artist will then take elements of that work and create a new work that will be located in several places along the corridor. We hope to preview the new work at the next working group and public meeting.  
Tell us how River Street works today on our questionnaire
The River Street Reconstruction project will renew infrastructure on and under River Street. This questionnaire’s goal is to hear what you feel and think about River Street today. By taking this questionnaire, you will help the project team think about how to design the street. We will also use your answers to compare what people think and feel before and after our reconstruction project.

This survey takes between 5 to 10 minutes.
Stay in touch
We regularly update the 'Documents' tab on the project web page with meeting materials and other useful information.

For more information on this project or to be added to the project email list, please visit: cambridgema.gov/riverstreet .

If you have any questions about this project or upcoming meetings, contact the River Street Reconstruction team by e-mail at riverstreet@cambridgema.gov . You may also contact Bill Deignan at wdeignan@cambridgema.gov or 617.349.4632.