2018 PB Vote Results

The results are in for the City of Cambridge’s fifth Participatory Budget (PB) Process. Over 6,849 Cambridge residents age 12 and older voted to decide how to spend $900,000 on capital projects to improve the community – the most votes yet in a PB process in Cambridge.

The following 6 projects won $925,000 in FY20 Capital Funding:

  1. Trees, please! ($200,000)
  2. Water Fountains in Every Park ($90,000)
  3. Protect the Health and Safety of our Firefighters ($110,000)
  4. Smoother Cycling ($250,000)
  5. Clean Up Cambridge ($125,000)
  6. Rain Gardens for Resiliency ($150,000)

Please see below for a breakdown of PB votes by project.

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Central Square Toilet Open for Business

The Central Square Public Toilet, a winning project from the City's inaugural Participatory Budgeting process, officially opened for business in January 2018.  The steel "Portland Loo" toilet is located on Western Avenue near the intersection with Massachusetts Avenue.  The toilet is free, accessible, and open 24/7 to the public. 

Check it out next time you're in Central Square!



2017 PB Vote Results

The results of the 2017 Participatory Budgeting vote are in! 

6,778 Cambridge residents age 12+ voted between December 2-8, 2017.  This is a 43% increase over the previous year!   Many thanks to our Outreach Committee, Budget Delegates, and other volunteers who worked hard to spread the word.

The following 7 projects won $867,000 in FY19 capital funding:

Please see below for a breakdown of PB votes by project.

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Central Square Public Toilet Update

The Portland Loo structure for the PB Central Square public toilet was installed on Western Avenue near the intersection with Mass. Avenue on October 25, 2017!  Public Works needs to complete utility work before the toilet becomes operational, but this is a major milestone for this $320,000 PB1 project.  See pictures below and check it out next time you're in Central Square!  





Budget Delegates "Speed Consult" With Department Staff


Last night, about 25 Budget Delegates attended a "speed consulting" session with City staff in the Sullivan Chamber at City Hall. 

Representatives from the following departments/programs met with Delegates and offered insight into City planning processes to help Delegates with their research: Commission for Persons with Disabilities, Community Development, Conservation Commission, Electrical, Human Services, Library, Open Data, Public Works, Recreation, and Traffic, Parking & Transportation.

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PB Projects Are Popping Up Around Town


The new water bottle fill station at Hoyt Field (PB2 winning project)

As our current Budget Delegates are researching the 608 ideas that were submitted during the fourth PB cycle, winning projects from past PB cycles are popping up around Cambridge.

Last month, Public Works completed installation of the five water bottle fill stations from PB2 in Donnelly Field, Greene Rose Heritage Park, Hoyt Field, Russell Field, and St. Peters Field in Danehy Park.  Final locations for the four additional bottle fill stations that won in PB3 have not yet been confirmed.

Community Development recently installed the final bike repair station from PB1. You can find the eight PB bike repair stations at Alewife Linear Park (Russell Field), Central Square (near the post office), Danehy Park, Inman Square, Harvard Square (Gen. MacArthur Square), North Point (Education Circle), Porter Square shopping center, and Riverside City Park. Click here to see these locations on a map.

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PB4 Budget Delegates Delve Into Ideas


On Tuesday, August 8, the 2017 cadre of volunteer Budget Delegates convened at the Citywide Senior Center for Budget Delegate Orientation. 

As always, we have an awesome group of volunteers! Their job over the next few months is to research all 608 ideas submitted by community members in June and July and distill and develop them into the final 20 proposals for the PB ballot in December.


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New PB Record: 608 Ideas Submitted!

Many thanks to everyone who submitted an idea for the 2017 Participatory Budgeting cycle!  We received a record 608 ideas during June and July, beating last year's total of 548.

Some of the most creative ideas included a multigenerational accessible tree house and an air-cleaning “jade chain” of moss walls with built-in benches.  You can explore all of the submitted ideas through the map below:


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PB2 Separated Bike Lanes Are Here!

In December 2015, a project to separate bike lanes from traffic won $50,000 in FY17 capital funding during the second Participatory Budgeting vote in Cambridge.  The goal of the project is to minimize conflicts between bicycles and vehicles and improve safety.

Installation of separated bicycle lanes on Brattle Street (two-way lane from Eliot Street to Mason Street) and Massachusetts Avenue (one-way lane from Trowbridge Street to Quincy Street) began on July 10, 2017 - see below!


New separated bike lane on Mass. Ave. near Remington Street

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Outreach Committee Excited and Energized at Second Meeting

By Phoebe West 


The Participatory Budgeting (PB) Outreach Committee had its second meeting at City Hall on Tuesday, June 6th. Committee members shared how important PB is to the community, noting that it is about more than just the money; it is about civic engagement and giving everyone in Cambridge the opportunity to use their voice to say how their city can be improved. 

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