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City Seeks Ideas on Improving Davis Square's Streets

The public is invited to a series of meetings this summer.

Hayes Morrison, director of transportation and infrastructure with the city of Somerville, said the city will make improvements to Davis Square's streets in the next couple of years. Just what those improvements will be are up in the air, and the process is "very much in its infancy," she said.

The city is hosting a series of public meetings this summer to discuss the matter.

Morrison said she hopes residents attend so they can discuss "What they think, what they like about the square, what doesn't work about the square."

The city will be looking at "all modes of access through and around Davis Square," she said. An announcement from the city says "the City will evaluate existing and future transportation needs in Davis Square—including public transit, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, and vehicular traffic patterns."

As part of the process, the city will also look at updating the look and feel of the square, including sidewalks, lighting, trees, benches, trash bins, signs and public art.

Here's the schedule of meetings this summer:

  • Thursday, June 21, 6 p.m.: Site tour and visit
  • Tuesday, June 26, 6 p.m.: Design discussion
  • Tuesday, July 17, 6 p.m.,: Community meeting
  • Tuesday, Aug. 7, 6 p.m.,: Public presentation

The locations of these meetings have not yet been determined. The city will post the locations at www.somervillema.gov/calendar.

Eric Fellinger June 18, 2012 at 12:56 PM
From where I sit, it seems Davis works pretty well. What about the juggernaut at Union Square and the half-baked traffic plan that was dished out in '08 or '09? That still needs lots of planning attention before it gets implemented.
Scott June 18, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Can we talk about getting rid of the super tacky sculptures on top of poles in Seven Hills Park right outside the T station? They're really awful!!
Ron Newman June 18, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Why would you want to remove these? They are the very reason it is called Seven Hills Park. Each one represents the history of a different Somerville hill. What the city does need to do is replace missing descriptive plaques below some of the sculptures.
Scott June 18, 2012 at 07:02 PM
I love the idea of preserving the story of the hills, I just think that the sculptures themselves are tacky.
Jonah Petri June 19, 2012 at 12:23 AM
A dump of a few observations and a few ideas: 1) The Community Path needs prioritized access through the square. Right now it just "disappears", and all that pedestrian and bike traffic is left to find its own way across the square. There aren't even wayfinding signs. 2) The timing of the lights and the pedestrian phases are so bad that jaywalking is simply the way of life in Davis Square. Honestly, I'd be surprised if 5% of pedestrians make it across Davs Sq following only the walk signals. 3) You'll find resistance to changing anything about the layout of the square. Between "Mr Davis" of DARBI and the Davis Square shirts on sale in Davis Squared and Diesel, there's plenty of identity and cache tied up in the square's 6-way intersection. 4) The pedestrian islands are vital to the square. You can't remove them. You could expand at least 2 of them though! 5) The nearly-always-green right arrow from Highland to College is going to get some pedestrian run over some day. Make it a turn-on-red instead. 6) There's a lot of counter-flow bike traffic on Elm. Not sure what to do about that, but perhaps drop a lane and make a counter-flow bike lane?
Rae June 19, 2012 at 06:34 PM
I agree with Eric. Somerville needs to save money and stop reconstrucing everything. It often turns out worse. The traffic lights at Highland Ave and McGrath Highway were redone with horrible outcomes. Somerville Ave at Elm is a mess now. There is no need to have a solid red light there. Trum Field was overly renovated. Union Square is really the place that needs attention. Stop raising taxes and fees to pay for unnecessary renovations please. Davis Sq is great- most people love it.
Pauline Lim July 05, 2012 at 09:06 PM
I agree with point #2 made by Jonah Petri. I specifically hate how long it takes to cross the square when entering from Highland Ave.

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