Thursday, June 20, 2024

Garden Street in West Cambridge in November, after traffic changes. (Photo: Marc Levy)

Answers about Garden Street

City Council, 5:30 p.m. Monday. Debate is back about Garden Street, a major thoroughfare in West Cambridge where traffic patterns changed after it got bike lanes in each direction (but one-way car traffic) in October. Supporters of returning a section to two-way traffic and other changes are bound to be disappointed by a Traffic, Parking and Transportation recommendation “that we leave the design of Garden Street itself as-is and continue to work on solutions for traffic and speed management within the greater project area.” A two-block rezoning request called the Barrett petition also returns with changes for consideration before the proposal expires Monday. And speaking of zoning: A motion calls for clarity around zoning changes asked by a single person after a Law Department response to one filed in January left councillors confused.

A policy order calls for a three-year plan to expand and improve after-school care for kids, noting that parents citywide made 1,378 applications for fall 2022 slots from a city program, and only 710 slots were granted – and expansion plans so far fall short of a full solution. Free menstrual products are asked to be stocked in all gender bathrooms of Cambridge Public Library branches, matching an effort in public schools.

The council meets at City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square. Televised and watchable by Zoom video conferencing.


Taqueria replacing Baraka Cafe

License Commission, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. Along with discussion on how to run temporary outdoor dining areas now that the need of the pandemic have passed, board members plan to take simple votes, without public comment, on a couple of biggish changes: The Friendly Toast looks ready to open at 1230 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square, with proposed hours of 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily (a long wait since signs went up in March 2022); and Chico Taqueria plans to come to 1728 Massachusetts Ave., Neighborhood 9 between Harvard and Porter squares, replacing Baraka Cafe to be open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Owner Alia Radjeb moved the Mediterranean restaurant in 2016 after being forced out of a longtime space in Cambridgeport near Central Square. Watchable by Zoom video conferencing.

Overlapping development policy

Economic Development & University Relations Committee, 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. This committee run by city councillor Paul Toner takes the wide view to consider how various city policies, regulations and ordinances combine to affect development and construction projects. The committee meets at City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square. Televised and watchable by Zoom video conferencing.

Deciding the future of MCAS

School Committee, 6 p.m. Tuesday. Members vote on support for The Thrive Act, now before the state Legislature, which would eliminate high-stakes MCAS testing as a graduation requirement; consider approval of a long-delayed School Council Handbook; and have a motion to expand travel opportunities and field trips to outside the school year and to include students regardless of their ability to pay the costs of a trip. There’s also all-but-certain support for state-level School Meals for All legislation, and a resolution celebrating Kristen Joy Emack, a district family liaison, being named a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellow in photography. The committee meets in the Dr. Henrietta S. Attles Meeting Room at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, 459 Broadway, Mid-Cambridge. Televised and watchable by Zoom video conferencing.