Proposals for improvements to Davis Square include adding pedestrian plazas where some streets currently exist, adjusting traffic signal patterns at most intersections and re-routing the official bike path around the square.
The proposals were made at a community meeting Tuesday night—part of a seeking public opinions about how to improve the square.
Two of the proposals that would most alter the current shape of Davis Square would convert traffic lanes into pedestrian plazas.
The first of these proposals would do away with the "slip lane" traffic lane near that allows drivers coming down Highland Avenue to turn left onto Elm Street. With this proposal, the space taken over from that lane would be turned into a pedestrian area. Traffic would still be able to tune left from Highland to Elm, but there would be no dedicated lane.
The other such proposal would do away with the short Summer Street connector that runs between Elm Street and Cutter Avenue. This, too, would become a pedestrian area under one proposal.
Neither of these proposals are set in stone, and the purpose of Tuesday's meeting was to solicit opinions from people about the ideas.
Other proposals include:
- Routing the onto Morrison Avenue, Winslow Avenue, Park Avenue, Winter Street and Buena Vista Road so cyclists don't go through the heart of the square
- Adjusting the traffic light timing at intersections to improve pedestrian and car traffic flow, particularly outside the MBTA stop on College Avenue
- Adding crosswalks to various locations
- Adding a traffic table to the intersection of Highland Avenue and Grove Street
- Removing the cobble stone island at Highland Avenue and Cutter Avenue
The next meeting will be held Aug. 7, when the project team plans to discuss what materials to use in Davis Square, according to Dennen Crosby of Crosby/Schlessinger/Smallridge, LLC, one of the planning team members.
The city is asking people to take a to share their thoughts about the square and how it can be improved.