Massachusetts Avenue


With a commitment to Vision Zero, Boston is dedicating more resources towards eliminating traffic crashes, including a redesign of Massachusetts Avenue (Mass Ave). In Fall 2016 Boston Transportation Department implemented changes to Mass Ave from Beacon Street to Melnea Cass. These included repaving, re-striping, and the addition of several blocks of separated and sidewalk level bike lanes. Read more about Mass Ave updates on the City's Vision Zero website here.

why_mass_ave.jpgWhy Mass Ave?
  • Mass Ave is a major thoroughfare in the Metro Boston area, running 16 miles from Dorchester to the northwestern suburb of Lexington. The street is shared by people who ride the bus, bike, walk and drive.
  • Many sections of Mass Ave are over-designed for the number of motorists at rush hour and lack safe accommodation for other road users. A recent study showed that between 4 and 6pm, people riding the bus, walking, and biking make up nearly 45% of the traffic on Mass Ave (Source: Boston Transportation Department, MBTA, Toole Design Group).

“We've got to find a way to coexist and share our roadways...ensuring the safety of all, pedestrians, motor vehicle drivers, and cyclists. It's simply a matter of life and death.”

- Ayanna Pressley, City Councilor | WBUR

Why_now_(mass_ave).jpgWhy Now?
  • Mass Ave has long been known in Boston as a crash "hot spot". Multiple fatal crashes in recent years have had advocates pushing for rapid safety improvements and long-term change to make the street safer for everyone.
  • With the adoption of Vision Zero in 2015, the City of Boston made a commitment to focus resources on proven strategies to eliminate fatal and serious traffic crashes by 2030. The Action Plan identified Mass Ave (Charles River to Melnea Cass Blvd) as a priority corridor.

“We wanted to focus on the area of Massachusetts Avenue that had the most collisions because that's the focus of the current effort to address safety.”

- Vineet Gupta, Senior Planner, BTD | Boston Globe

What's Happening?


November 2016
The Road Forward

Boston Transportation Department implements changes to Mass Ave from Beacon Street to Melnea Cass. These included repaving, restriping, and the addition of several blocks of separated and sidewalk level bike lanes.

June 2016
Protect Mass Ave

Over 200 advocates attend the Mass Ave meeting, applauding the City's progress and calling for more substantial change.

June 2016
Inside Game

The MA Vision Zero Coalition provides feedback on the City's proposed redesign for Mass Ave prior to the first public meeting.

December 2015
Get to Zero

The City releases its Vision Zero Action Plan, identifying Mass Ave as a priority corridor for 2016.

August 2015
Crash Course

A fatal bicycle crash at Mass Ave and Beacon St spurs the City's first rapid implementation plan.

December 2011
Safe to Travel

The City eliminates over 60 parking spaces to install painted bike lanes along Mass Ave in Boston.

mass_ave_paint.jpgWhat's Next?
  • In Winter 2016 Boston Transportation Department released a 2016 Vision Zero Review, which includes the work done on Mass Ave. from Charles River to Harrison Ave. Download the review and future action plan here.
  • The Go Boston 2030 Vision and Action Plan was released in March 2017. The plan prioritizes implementation of better bike corridors by rebuilding streets with protected, low-stress bicycling facilities.
    You can view the full report here.
  • The City has said that they will focus on improvements to the southern end of Mass Ave (Melnea Cass Blvd to Columbia Rd) in 2017.

mass_ave_biker.jpgWhat You Can Do

Join the conversation: Attend a LivableStreets Advocacy Committee meeting.

Volunteer: Join us in spreading the word about the importance of safe and livable streets. Our volunteers are actively involved in all of our events and programming, including our Street Ambassadors program.

Stand up and be counted: Attend a public meeting. See the LivableStreets calendar — it's updated daily!

Become a member: Join the growing community of people invested in creating safe streets and livable communities. Become a member of LivableStreets today!

How would you like to be able to use Mass Ave?