Friday, May 24, 2024

Maria L. Baldwin School students board a city-contracted bus in December in the Agassiz neighborhood. (Photo: Marc Levy)

Trio of shining bond ratings likely to take some time at a meeting with transportation, housing concerns

bullet-gray-small City Council, 5:30 p.m. Monday. A less controversial council agenda than some, especially when leading off with annual positive news out of the City Manager’s Office that Cambridge has yet again pulled off three AAA ratings from its three credit rating agencies. (Also: a Planning Board opinion about in-law apartments that it “is conceptually in favor [but] has many concerns about the petition as it is currently written.”) Councillors, meanwhile, have transportation issues to deal with, including a transmittal of “doubt over whether [MBTA ‘Better Bus Project’ proposals] truly represent an improvement in bus service” and of support for a state bill to reduce traffic fatalities, considering “67 percent of all cyclist fatalities that have occurred in the region over the past seven years have been caused by large trucks”; and a letter from taxi drivers expressing unhappiness with the idea of letting Lyft and Uber drivers use their official pickup spots. Councillors seek assessor information on their way to considering condo conversion fees, and they want Gore Street residents to know a timeline for the construction tearing up their street (and killing a tree or two) for the benefit of the developing Cambridge Crossing neighborhood. 

The council meets at City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square.


It’s out-of-school partners and student equity day

bullet-gray-small School Committee, 6 p.m. Tuesday. Out-of-school time with school partner organizations and creating a more standardized experience for students are a theme at this meeting; one motion looks to create a more formal network of those elementary school partners “to ensure equitable access to enrichment opportunities,” while another wonders if that goal is more achievable if the school’s varied elementary and upper schools shared a closing time. Another seeks a subcommittee hearing looking at transportation for students with disabilities, who are served by a different bus company than most students; and yet another order figures that, with a high school homework policy recently passed, it’s time to look at best practices for K-8 homework too. There’s also an update presentation from Superintendent Kenneth Salim on “Improving School Schedules to Advance Equity.” 

The  committee meets in the Dr. Henrietta S. Attles Meeting Room at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, 459 Broadway, Mid-Cambridge.


A transit benefits ordinance might be a benefit

bullet-gray-small Transportation and Public Utilities Committee, 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesday. This committee run by vice mayor Jan Devereux will look at how laws about transit benefits are used by other cities to advance sustainable transportation goals, and whether Cambridge could benefit from implementing one.

The committee meets at City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square.


Is that self-driving car accelerating right at us?

bullet-gray-small Autonomous Vehicles Educational Forum, 5:30 to 8 p.m., Thursday. City staff has begun work on a “Future of Mobility Implementation Blueprint” that includes self-driving cars. This discussion, hosted with the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission, brings together Joseph Barr, director of the city’s Traffic, Parking & Transportation Department; Susanne Rasmussen, director of environmental and transportation planning for its Community Development Department; Alison Felix, senior transportation planner and emerging technologies specialist for MAPC; Bryan Reimer, a research scientist at the MIT AgeLab; and Ryan Jacobs, director of Boston Operations for nuTonomy. It’s free, but you can register to attend.

The forum will be held in the lecture hall of the Cambridge Main Library, 449 Broadway, Mid-Cambridge.

Urban forest task force homes in on a plan

bullet-gray-small Urban Forest Master Plan Task Force, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday. This public update – the second of three – is a chance to catch up with the task force’s work to evaluate, maintain and expand the city’s urban forest canopy and keep Cambridge resilient as climate change arrives: reducing the urban heat island effect, mitigating stormwater runoff, reducing runoff and generally maintaining community well-being (because trees are nice).

The task force meets in the auditorium of the Morse School, 40 Granite St., Cambridgeport.