Wednesday, April 24, 2024



Five streets in East Cambridge switch to one-way traffic only Thursday as a result of the winter’s overwhelming snowfall and are expected to stay that way until April 1, city officials said.

The affected streets, which have two-directions traffic in more normal weather when snow hasn’t narrowed the lanes, are Otis and Hurley streets (now running only west, away from Lechmere) and Thorndike Streets (now running only east, toward Lechmere); and their cross streets Fifth Street (now running only south, toward Kendall Square) and Sciarappa Street (running only north, away from Kendall Square).

The one-way lanes could expand to other parts of the city, officials have said. At the “special regular” City Council meeting that followed on Friday, Owen O’Riordan, commissioner of the Department of Public Works identified streets in Cambridgeport “and maybe North Cambridge” as being in consideration. Mayor David Maher gave a litany of streets in West Cambridge that could also be considered.

Boston has taken similar steps in the past days as snowfall of some 90 inches has overwhelmed the ability of nature or city government to clear it away.

“East Cambridge has been particularly impacted by these conditions, and the city is taking steps to improve public safety during current snow conditions,” said O’Riordan and Monica Lamboy, interim director of the city’s Traffic and Parking Department, in a Wednesday email.

Crews will begin posting “Do Not Enter” signs throughout the neighborhood on Thursday, they said, asking drivers to look for those signs and follow the new directional plan “as it will reduce conflicts and improve access for public safety vehicles.”

“We understand that some parked vehicles will be facing the wrong way. These vehicles will not be ticketed, but please park in the new direction when you return,” the officials asked.

Others were urged to be careful navigating the city on foot, bike or vehicle, because piles or walls of snow were reducing sightlines at corners as well as narrowing streets throughout the city.

“We appreciate your continued patience and efforts as we manage historic amounts of snow in our city,” the officials said, suggesting that residents with questions about the traffic changes could call Public Works at (617) 349-4800 or the Traffic Department at (617) 349-4700, as well as looking at the city’s main website or following city Twitter accounts @CambridgeDPW and @CambMA and searching for #CambMASnow.

This post took significant amounts of material from a press release.