Community meeting

Community meeting on Memorial Drive closures scheduled for October 6

The City of Cambridge and the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) are seeking advice from Cambridge residents on weekend closures of Memorial Drive to cars.

Community members can share their thoughts at a community meeting in the auditorium of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School on Thursday, October 6, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

For nearly 40 years, DCR has closed a portion of Memorial Drive to vehicular traffic on Sundays to allow pedestrians, cyclists and others to enjoy the car-free waterfront causeway. In 1985, the Massachusetts Legislature passed a law requiring DCR to close Memorial Drive between Gerry’s Landing Road and Western Avenue from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. every Sunday from late April through mid-November. In 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic closed indoor leisure opportunities, Cambridge City Council asked the DCR to also close the area on Saturdays.

Now, Memorial Drive is closed from Gerry’s Landing Road to Western Avenue from Saturday 8 a.m. to Sunday 7 p.m. The car-free zone created by these closures is sometimes referred to as “Riverbend Park”.

The City and the DCR want to know what residents think of the current closure schedule. At this community meeting, residents will hear a brief presentation before having the opportunity to talk about their experiences with the closures.

Masks are strongly encouraged and City staff will provide masks to attendees who do not have one.

This meeting was postponed after an outdoor meeting scheduled for September 13 was canceled due to thunderstorms. The content will be the same as a virtual meeting held on September 14 via Zoom. The event builds on previous engagement opportunities around the Memorial Drive closures, including a series of meetings hosted by Councilwoman Denise Simmons and a “Riverside Transportation Conversation» open house and survey.

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