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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Learn About PB and Submit Your Ideas!

What the video below to learn what Participatory Budgeting in Cambridge is all about.  When you're done, head over to our online idea map and tell us how you would spend $800,000 on capital projects to improve the community!  The City will be collecting project ideas from June 1 - July 31, 2017.

PB4 Kickoff and Winning Project Updates

Participatory Budgeting is back!

Cambridge's fourth PB process is about to begin. This time, we will collect ideas in June and July about how YOU would spend $800,000 on one-time capital projects to improve the community. Winning projects from past PB cycles include kinetic energy tiles, solar panels for the Main Library roof, bike repair stations, a freezer van for prepared food rescue, water bottle fill stations, and many others. 

Winning Project Updates

You can follow the progress of winning PB projects on our website. All 100 trees from the first cycle were planted last fall, 7 of the 8 bike repair stations have been installed, and Public Works has identified a preferred location for the Central Square public toilet and is working to mitigate underground conflicts.


PB bike repair station in front of the Central Square post office

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Read the PB3 Evaluation

Marcia Mundt, a public policy doctoral student and research assistant at UMass Boston, completed an independent evaluation of the City's third PB process in January 2017 to try to gage the impact of PB in the community thus far and to identify strengths and challenges in the current PB process.


Many thanks to Marcia for her meticulous work putting this report together and for helping us to improve future PB cycles!