In an effort to provide more walking and biking routes that allow for more social distance, the City’s Mobility Team has been developing a shared streets plan based on international best practices and customized to Somerville’s public health needs. (Note: the accompanying picture is from before the COVID-19 crisis, but it demonstrates a local street opened up for walking and biking.}
By the end of May, the first shared route will be set up and more will follow citywide over the summer. For Shared Streets, low-volume or residential side-streets are opened up to pedestrians, cyclists, and other users while still allowing vehicles but limiting those vehicles to abutters, first responders, and delivery. Shared Streets provide new options for residents to safely make essential trips for food, healthcare, or other needs, while also offering the wellness benefit of new routes outdoors.
Signage and flexible barriers alert all users to the shared use to help keep everyone safe. Somerville’s program will use temporary materials that can be modified based on our experience with the pilot. More info to come.