PB Cycle 3

Many thanks to the PB Cambridge Outreach Committee, Budget Delegates, City staff, the Stanford Crowdsourced Democracy Team, and all of the volunteers and participants who helped make the City's third PB cycle a success!

Status of Winning PB3 Projects

The $706,000 in FY18 capital funds for the seven winning projects from the third PB cycle became available on July 1, 2017. The Budget Office will continue to update this information as more work is completed.

Additional notes about some of the projects:

  • Safer crosswalks for busy roads: Flashing light signs were installed at five locations- Massachusetts Ave @Davenport Street, Massachusetts @Dudley Street, Massachusetts Ave @Washburn Avenue, Prospect Street @St Mary Road, Huron Avenue @West Cambridge Youth Center.
  • Hydration Stations funded through PB have been installed in: 
    • Charles Park (1), Corcoran (Raymond) (1), Donnelly Field (1), Front (1), Green Rose (1), Hastings (1), High School Extensions (Old Longfellow School) (1), Hoyt (1), Joan Lorentz Library (1), Lafayette (1), Lee and West (1), Lopez St. Park (1), Market Street Park (1), McElroy (1), MLK School (1), Pine St. Park (1), Riverside Press (1), Russell (1), Squirrel Brand (1), Waverly Path (1), Yerxa Underpass (1). Total = 21 
  • Solar-powered real-time bus tracker displays: The Community Development Department (CDD) are working to find a vendor to complete this project.  There seems to be issues of the MBTA wanting certain safety and protection of their bus arrival data that goes to these signs, and these guidelines are getter stricter, making it harder to get a vendor to make them. These new restrictions resulted in the removal of initial pilot signs since the technology became outdated. CDD continues to look at options and are trying to encourage the MBTA to deploy their signs more widely and make them available for purchase.

PB Cycle 3 Timeline

  • Planning, and recruitment of OUTREACH COMMITTEE (May 2016)
  • Community members brainstorm and submit IDEAS (June 1-July 31, 2016)
  • Volunteer Budget Delegates turn ideas into concrete project PROPOSALS (August-November 2016)
  • City staff vet proposals for FEASIBILITY and COST (November 2016)
  • Residents VOTE on which projects they’d like the City to fund (December 3-9, 2016)
  • RESULTS are announced and winning projects are included in the City’s FY18 Capital Budget (December 2016)
  • The City's third PB process is EVALUATED (December 2016-February 2017)
  • Projects are IMPLEMENTED (July, 1 2017 onward)

Idea Collection

To read about all 549 ideas that were submitted during the third PB cycle, please visit the City of Cambridge's Open Data Portal here.


Proposal Development

From August-November, 55-60 Budget Delegates worked in five committees to research, assess, prioritize, and develop the submitted ideas into the following 20 final proposals for the PB ballot.  

1. Universal Design: Playgrounds for Everyone! ($100,000)
2. Danehy Park: Fitness, Signs, Dog Park & Scoreboards ($140,000)
3. Shade and Wet Weather Canopies for Playgrounds ($146,000)
4. Learn about Nature in the Port ($10,000)
5. Cambridge Street Art Trail ($25,000)
6. All-In-One Mobile Performance Stage & Art Space ($98,000)
7. Lighting Landmarks: CHLS Gate & Sumner Statue ($45,000)
8. Little Free Libraries for Children ($37,000)
9. Bicycle Desks for Cambridge Students ($113,000)
10. Wireless Speakers For Youth Centers ($25,000)
11. Upgrade the Moore Youth Center ($80,000)
12. Free Public WiFi in Columbia Park ($32,000)
13. Kinetic Energy Tiles ($50,000)
14. Solar-Powered Real-Time Bus Tracker Displays ($150,000)
15. Building a Strong and Safe Bike Community ($114,000)
16. Safer Crosswalks for Busy Roads ($104,000)
17. Solar Power Shines! ($260,000)
18. Hydration Stations in Four Locations! ($37,000)
19. Safe Naps for Cambridge Preschoolers! ($4,000)
20. (2-3) Level 2 Electric Vehicle Charging Stations ($30,000)

To read about each of them in greater detail, please click here.



From December 3-9, 2016, 4,730 Cambridge residents age 12 and older - regardless of immigration status - voted for up to 5 of their favorite PB projects on the ballot. The following 7 projects won a total of $706,000 in funding:

1. Solar Power Shines! ($260,000)
2. Safer Crosswalks for Busy Roads ($104,000)
3. Solar-Powered Real-Time Bus Tracker Displays ($150,000)
4. Kinetic Energy Tiles ($50,000)
5. Hydration Stations in Four Locations ($37,000)
6. Upgrade the Moore Youth Center ($80,000)
7. Cambridge Street Art Trail ($25,000)


For a complete breakdown of the PB3 voting results, please click here.

Winning projects will be included in the City's FY18 Capital Budget.

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 gauge 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.