SOMERVILLE – This week, as City crews begin preparatory work for the City’s annual roadway improvement program and repaving schedule, Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone announced Somerville’s commitment to an additional $1.38 million in the City’s Capital Investment Plan, more than doubling the existing $1.13 million already allocated through Chapter 90 funds in fiscal year 2014. The additional funding will supplement existing roadway improvement and repaving work, and increase preventive maintenance measures to protect and maintain the life of the City’s roadways. An additional $500,000 has been allocated for the installation of ADA ramps citywide. Locations will be determined after receiving public input at a public meeting on May 15. The City has renovated or reconstructed more than 35 miles of roadway since 2004.
“Making the City’s streets and sidewalks safe and accessible to everyone is our top priority,” said Mayor Curtatone. “For decades, roadway improvement programs focused solely on making streets more accessible for vehicles. Reinforced by the community’s goals and visions set forth in SomerVision, our goals are to create safe and accessible access for bikes, pedestrians, rapid transit, and vehicles alike. We are committed to safe and dynamic urban streetscapes that adequately provide for all users, and we keep that in mind when making decisions about how to allocate capital resources. We plan our streets today with an eye on tomorrow.”
According to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, every $1 spent to keep a road in good condition avoids $6 to $14 needed later to rebuild the same road once it has deteriorated significantly. Utilizing a combination of DPW review and data analysis, City officials rank necessary street improvements by accessibility, safety, preservation, and quality of life factors, and separate projects into two categories: Maintenance Projects, and Reconstruction Projects. For those projects meeting the criteria for investment beyond basic maintenance, improvements will also include upgrades to existing infrastructure as well as the latest tools in traffic calming and safety measures.
“In the past several years, Somerville has increasingly been lauded for our commitment to walking and biking, and for our use of data to inform policies and procedures. Our goal of being the most walkable and bikeable community in the nation starts with a focus on basic and preventive maintenance that will increase accessibility and safety for all community members, as well as providing the best return on investment for taxpayers, said Mayor Curtatone.”
The Mayor laid out plans for even greater investments in the streets and sidewalks in the next four years in the Capital Investment Plan.
The City’s 2014 street improvement program begins this week, and will include upgrades to:
• Boston Ave. (Prichard Ave. to Medford town line)
• Calvin St.
• Cedar St (Broadway to Highland Ave.)
• Central St. (Summer St. to Broadway)
• Dimick Ct.
• Dover St.
• Elm St. (Somerville Ave. to Russell St.)
• Eustis St. (Cambridge town line to Beacon St.)
• Franklin St. (Pearl St. to Washington St.)
• Harrison St.
• Holts Ave.
• Kidder Ave. (Willow Ave. to Boston Ave.)
• Linden Ave.
• Medford St. (Highland Ave. to School St., and South St. to the Cambridge town line)
• Morrison Ave.
• New Hampshire Ave. (Pennsylvania Ave. to Vermont Ave.)
• Newton St.
• Prospect St.
• Summer St.
• Sycamore St. (Pembroke St. to Evergreen Ave.)
• Vinal Ave.
• Walnut St. (Medford St. to Pearl St.)
• Washington St. (Boston town line to Medford St., and Medford St. to Prospect St.)