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River Street Reconstruction


City of Cambridge



New England




  • Christine Apicella, AICP

  • Traffic & Parking

  • Community Transportation

  • Transit

  • Community engagement

  • Traffic analysis and modeling

  • Traffic design

  • Transit operations/planning

  • Traffic data collection

The River Street Reconstruction Project will improve River Street to make it an inclusive and enjoyable space for everyone. The project was initiated due to old infrastructure and utilities such as sewers in need of rehabilitation and increased capacity to prevent flooding. As part of the project, street improvements will be made for all users to refresh the corridor, including wider sidewalks, more usable public spaces, bicycle facilities, and better bus circulation. The project will also enhance connections between River Street and activity in Central Square and at the Charles River, while celebrating its unique and diverse character.


As part of a multidisciplinary team, McMahon assisted the City of Cambridge staff by developing and leading public engagement activities, as well as leading the multimodal transportation analysis. Public engagement included the creation of a robust Public Engagement Plan, organization of visually compelling presentations for the City Manager-appointed Working Group and the broader community, as well as interactive exercises and a multi-day design charrette for Carl Barron Plaza.


Multimodal analysis was completed for existing conditions and future alternatives using Synchro and VISSIM for traffic analysis and simulation with detailed pedestrian and bicycle interactions included in the model. Using VISSIM provides the unique opportunity for understanding how each mode and friction along the corridor may influence operations for each mode within the study area. Transit analysis was a major component of the Carl Barron Plaza redesign, which currently serves as a bus terminal and layover space for seven MBTA bus routes and provides a connection to the MBTA Red Line. The alternatives developed for River Street will align with the City’s mode share goals for reducing single occupancy vehicle trips and increasing the safety and comfort for all users.

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