The best ideas for moving our city forward come from Cantabridgians like you. On this page, you can share your suggestions and provide feedback on previous suggestions. Together, we hope to crowd-source planning ideas and proposals for our community as we work to promote a comprehensive, citywide Master Plan.
How to use this tool: The "Add your suggestion" box accepts up to 150 characters, so use that for your headline. After you click to enter your headline, a second text box will appear to accept the full body of your suggestion.
To submit your suggestion, you can "Create an account" (if you don't already have an account) or "sign-in with email" (if you do have an account). Users of Twitter and Facebook are able to login automatically using the associated buttons. Also, if you have multiple suggestions, consider making a separate entry for each idea. Thank you!
Zero waste is an ambitious, long-term goal, but we can start by banning key non-recyclable materials such as styrofoam, improve education about recycling, and increase opportunities for urban composting (or at least public compost collection).
As part of our national and worldwide efforts to minimize the impact of our growing human population on planetary resources, and to minimize our production of greenhouse gasses, we need to capitalize on the energy and resource efficiencies of relatively densely inhabited already built-up areas. These kinds of places are more walkable, have greater public amenities, more variety, are better served by public transportation, and have more efficient infrastructure than more diffusely populated areas. Every new retail, office, small scale manufacturing, research, and particularly residential building that is constructed in already built-up areas, such as the City of Cambridge, is is a building that is not built in outlying suburbs, with their dependency on automotive transportation and more extravagant per capita use of material resources. Density can be our friend. When coupled with design strategies that strengthen a sense of place by promoting the spatial definition and quality of public open space - the city's streets, parks, and squares - density improves the quality of life for residents and other users of the city. Few people would choose to live in Cheyenne Wyoming or the suburbs of El Paso if they could instead live in Paris or Rome or Venice (or even the Italian hilltown I know best, Aidone). Cambridge can and should serve as an example of high quality urban design that is energy and resource efficient and improves residents' quality of life. The City's Master Plan should be directed toward this goal. Three initial steps that come to mind: Map all the underutilized sites in Cambridge: parking lots and one floor retail buildings on our major streets, and view them as siting opportunities for substantial and well designed buildings. Review existing zoning regulations: heights, setbacks, build-to-lines, etc., and adjust them if necessary so as to promote the construction of buildings that contribute to a dense environment of high spatial and aesthetic quality. Preserve Cambridge's best buildings - the ones that not only have high quality facades, but also contribute to the quality of public space by their massing and siting. (eg: the Odd Fellow's Hall in Central Square and the (ex) Globe Corner Books Building on Mt Auburn Street), and encourage designers of new buildings to emulate their positive characteristics.
Cambridge is at a special, opportune crossroads: more residents than ever are cycling as incoming development applies ever more pressure to our auto infrastructure. The Grand Junction Path is a long-proposed and studied shared-use path and open space that will stretch from the Charles River to the Somerville Community Path, allowing safe passage for cyclists, walkers, and runners. The Grand Junction Path will encourage people to bike. It will make cycling, walking, and running safer. Most importantly, it will link the Somerville Community Path with the Charles River, creating a completely connected non-auto transit system, and setting a precedent for future green transit development in Cambridge, Boston, and beyond. At the same time, we will take cars off the road: alleviate traffic pressures, reduce auto carbon emissions and pollutions, free up parking spaces, and connect Somerville, East Cambridge, Kendall Square, Cambridgeport, and Allston-Brighton. Furthermore, we'll be showing our children - with action - that we value green transit, healthy physical/mental behavior, safe open spaces, and responsible neighborhood building. This path is a righteous no-brainer!
echoing the support for the grand junction path project - not only will it be an exceptional resource for the Cambridge community, but it is also important to the city's identity as environmentally friendly, active, innovative, and reactive to community needs and processes. As other cities build more and more public infrastructure for pedestrians, cyclists, and other non-car movers, Cambridge needs to keep working to maintain our role at the forefront of community-based, sustainable urban planning. We need to kick this project into high gear! it will be a great addition to our quality of life and travel safety.
What do we want our city to look like? Where do we want to build what? How much green space do we want, and where? How do we prepare for climate change and contribute to preventing it from getting much worse?
Full attention is needed for this very important project. As one who relies on a bicycle for transportation, bike lanes and bike sharrows are not enough to make biking feel "safe" in Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville. The Grand Junction Path is exactly what these communities need not only to create a safe way for bicyclists and pedestrians, but to also motivate and engage people to be active and healthy. We need this project to happen in order to pave way for future generations and to foster alternative, safe, and healthy modes of transportation.
Thanks for your work regarding lowered speed limit in Cambridge. I live on Fresh Pond Parkway where the State Police do not enforce any traffic laws. The result is terrifying. Traffic is aggressive and moves at dangerously high speed. Despite a ban on trucks and buses, there is a lot of such heavy weight traffic in this residential,stretch generating vibration, noise and pollution. Your proposed speed reduction, with enforcement, would be a welcome first step in the right direction.
It would be interesting to ask the Community Development Department to put out an RFP (or EOI) for three municipal roofs to have community shared solar projects.
Also, on the topic of bringing more solar into our community, it's worth nothing that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a great new school and community "solarizing" program called Community Solar NY, which will help New York's 5,000 public schools finance and install solar power systems on their roofs, reducing energy costs and creating a healthier environment. This new state initiative dovetails nicely with NRDC's Solar Schools platform.
I also echo support for Grand Junction Path. Not only will it be a huge asset to our community - make our street safer, our city more efficient and beautiful, I believe it keeps Cambridge "moving" in its aspiration to be innovative, progressive and green.
I second the support already voiced below for the Grand Junction Path. For that matter, I encourage Cambridge to build a robust connected network of bicycle facilities that are so safe that we will see grandmothers riding bikes and we will be confident in their safety that we will let all our school children ride their bikes tp and from school every day.
With the forthcoming extension of the Somerville community path along the green line route Cambridge needs to step up to make the Grand Junction pathway a reality. There seems to be more attention paid to E-W travel in the city that leaves some neighborhoods disconnected from their N-S neighbors. This path could really help unite the eastern quarter of Cambridge and provide a safe alternative route in the process. If this project progresses I think the Charles River crossing needs to be stressed. The BU bridge is not a safe crossing for bicyclists and does not provide access to the path on the Boston side of the river.
The grand junction bike path makes sense to me on many levels: It connects to already built bike infrastructure along the river in Cambridge, and the Somerville community path at the other end. It cuts through a dense, high traffic area part of the city. It encourages less car ownership which results in a more livable city and has many obvious benefits. Please look into building this path. Thanks!
Why is it that I can safely ride my bike out of the city towards Lexington on a dedicated path, but not into the city where a safe avenue should be a higher priority? This is especially concerning when there's already a pathway laid out for us, and a feasibility report for the Grand Junction Path was written in 2006. Eight years later, cyclists' safety and the green means of travel that the Grand Junction Path will provide should, without a doubt, be considered when writing the city's Master Plan. Please call the Transportation & Public Utilities committee to meet immediately and plan for the Grand Junction Path.