Tremont Street Design Project
Through the Go Boston 2030 process, you identified Tremont Street as a priority project. We're designing changes to make Tremont Street safer for everyone with an emphasis on pedestrian safety at intersections. We are working on Tremont Street between Massachusetts Avenue and Herald Street in the South End.
November 2022 Update
Construction on the Tremont Street Design Project started this past spring. Our contractor started building changes to improve safety and accessibility at every crosswalk along and across Tremont Street between Massachusetts Avenue and Arlington Street. We appreciate your patience with temporary inconveniences as this work continues.
We expect construction to pause for the winter in mid-November. Before pausing for the winter, work crews will be:
- Completing crosswalks and ramps
- Finishing the bus stops
- Installing temporary pavement markings to guide drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians
Our contractor will resume work in mid-April 2023 with anticipated completion by the end of 2023. We will send updates as construction advances.
We started planning a safer Tremont Street with you in early 2018 following two fatal pedestrian crashes on the corridor. We hope you are as excited as we are to see these changes take shape. View the virtual open house to read in-depth about the changes underway to Tremont Street.
What to expect
Talking with you
We are mailing 11,470 postcards to addresses on Tremont Street and intersecting streets in the South End. They should begin arriving in late November 2022.
2020 Virtual Open House
As we continue to take precautions around public gatherings, we have created a Virtual Open House for you to learn more about the final proposed design for Tremont Street.
You can visit our Virtual Open House at any time, for however long you like. We are also working on non-digital tools to help more people learn about our design.
The Virtual Open House is available in English, Spanish, and Traditional Chinese. Our Virtual Open House provides the same information as we planned to share at our in-person open houses, previously planned for late March 2020.
You will learn about:
- Design elements to improve safety at every crosswalk along and across Tremont Street, between Massachusetts Avenue and Arlington Street
- Improved bus stops to help the MBTA 43 bus and its passengers move along the corridor
- Changes to parking regulations along Tremont Street to better accommodate the many commercial and short-term parking needs throughout the day
A full design plan is available in the Virtual Open House:
ADDRESSING SAFETY ON TREMONT STreet
Tremont Street is in the top 3% for pedestrian crashes on City-owned streets. In recent years, two people lost their lives while attempting to cross Tremont Street at one of the many four-lane crosswalks. Our data show that 53 crashes resulted in an EMS response in the last three years. This includes 19 that involved people walking.
We heard from community members about how stressful it can be to cross Tremont Street, especially for kids walking to school. They also expressed a desire to:
- slow drivers down
- provide for bike lanes
- improve visibility at intersections, and
- better manage curb space.
We are building a new design on Tremont Street that includes the following features:
- One travel lane in either direction at most unsignalized crosswalks
- More lanes at the busiest signalized intersections
- Automatic pedestrian signals
- Head starts for pedestrians at signalized intersections where possible
- Raised crosswalks at all unsignalized intersections parallel to Tremont Street
- In-lane bus stops with boarding islands
- Parking-protected bike lanes along most of the corridor
- Maximized curb space for deliveries, pickup and drop-off activities, and parking
Project Materials and Past UpdatesMaterials & Updates
The City of Boston's Public Works Department has contract with D'Allessandro Corporation to build changes on Tremont Street. We are working now to finalize details of the construction period. This season, you should expect to see minor activity on Tremont Street as we prepare for construction.
As work begins, we will provide updates as often as we are able. The contractor is aware that coordination with local businesses and residents is necessary. We will also work with the MBTA and Boston Public Schools transportation. We want to ensure everyone on buses can still travel safely during construction. We hope to minimize disruption as much as possible.
- Accessible ramps at all intersections
- Raised crosswalks at unsignalized intersections along Tremont Street, including new drainage where needed
- Replaced brick sidewalks in the area of work
- Pedestrian protection islands at crosswalks over Tremont Street
- New curb regulations that provide more commercial and short-term access during the day
- Parking-protected bike lanes
- Complete repaving of the street
We mailed 11,470 postcards to addresses on Tremont Street and intersecting streets in the South End. The postcards began arriving in September 2021.
Since our last update, we have been working out the final engineering details.
- We worked with the South End Landmark District on sidewalk materials. We will replace more brick sidewalks and add bricks to most of the pedestrian islands.
- We worked with our Street Lighting Division to prepare the corridor for improved street lights. The street lights will be replaced on a different schedule.
- We redesigned the curb ramps at two intersections: Dartmouth Street at West Dedham Street and Berkeley Street at East Berkeley Street
April 23, 2021, Update:
We are working to complete a contract with a construction company to build this project. There are irregularities with the responses that still need to be resolved. We do not know when construction will start, but we will update this web page when we know more.
We postponed our series of Open Houses. The postponed Open Houses were as follows:
- Open House #1: Monday, March 16, from 6 - 8 p.m. at the Revolution Hotel, located at 40 Berkeley Street
- Open House #2: Saturday, March 21, from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the South End Branch Library, located at 785 Tremont Street
We visited businesses along Tremont Street on November 22 and December 5, 2019, and on February 13, 2020, to gather feedback on proposed changes to curb regulations. We had interpreters for Spanish and Vietnamese. We also offered individual appointments with the businesses we were not able to reach during the times we visited.
The comment period for this round of feedback is now closed. You can view our updated proposal and in our Virtual Open House.
We gathered your feedback about parking regulations on Tremont Street through an online survey, and at our June 26, 2019 public meeting. Thank you for your thoughtful feedback. The online survey is now closed. You will have another chance to share feedback at our upcoming open houses.
During fall 2019, we studied how commercial vehicles use Tremont Street and side streets to load and unload goods.
We held a series of office hours about the Tremont Street Design Project at the South End Library. We invited folks to drop by to ask us questions, give feedback, and review project materials.
- Tuesday, August 13, 4:30 - 7 p.m.
- Wednesday, August 21, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
- Monday, August 26, 3 - 6 p.m.
- Thursday, September 5, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
- Thursday, September 12, 3 - 6 p.m.
- Tuesday, September 17, 4:30 - 7 p.m.
- Friday, September 27, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
- Tuesday, October 8, 4:30 - 7 p.m.
We hosted a public meeting on June 26, 2019, at the Blackstone Innovation School. We discussed Tremont St between Massachusetts Ave and Herald St, focusing on traffic signals, curb regulations, and design trade-offs. Over the next few months, we will continue to meet with community members and stakeholders. We will also refine the preferred design to share at a future public meeting.
The Transportation Department developed three concepts for Tremont Street. Each concept provides safety benefits for people walking. The most pressing safety concerns are the many four-lane, un-signalized crosswalks. A driver may stop for a pedestrian in one lane. But, in the adjacent lane, another driver does not know the pedestrian is crossing and does not stop. In Concept 1 and Concept 2, we propose reducing the number of travel lanes along most blocks. As a result, pedestrians have a safer and easier way to cross the street.
Your feedback informed the next step in the design process. Comments about the three concepts were collected through May. We will continue to solicit ideas, preferences, and needs via in-person meetings, emails, letters, and phone calls. New comment forms will be developed as conversations continue.
Concept 1 proposes reducing the number of general travel lanes on most blocks. This will eliminate the "double threat" crash, where one driver stops for a pedestrian but the driver in the adjacent lane does not. Turning lanes are present at most signalized intersections.
We propose raised crosswalks along Tremont Street. Pedestrian signals will give people walking a head start and reduce their delay. A parking-protected bike lane is proposed with "floating" bus stops — the bike lane continues behind a generous waiting area. Buses stop in the travel lane to pick up or drop off passengers.
If the plan is put in place as proposed, total parking loss along the corridor is four spaces.
Concept 2 proposes reducing the number of general travel lanes on most blocks. This will eliminate the "double threat" crash, where one driver stops for a pedestrian but the driver in the adjacent lane does not. Turning lanes are present at most signalized intersections.
We propose raised crosswalks along Tremont Street. Pedestrian signals will give people walking a head start and reduce their delay. Crossing Tremont Street, pedestrians will have a constructed refuge island. We propose a flush median between the travel lanes.
A bike lane with a two-foot buffer is proposed, and parking remains curbside. In this option, we propose "bus bulbs," with extended sidewalks at bus stops. Buses stop in the bike lane and part of the travel lane to pick up or drop off passengers.
If the plan is put in place as proposed, total parking loss along the corridor is two spaces.
Concept 3 retains the number and type of travel lanes that exist today.
We propose raised crosswalks along Tremont Street. Pedestrian signals will give people walking a head start and reduce their delay. Crossing Tremont Street, pedestrians will have a constructed refuge island.
In this option, we elongate bus stops to meet MBTA guidelines. Buses will continue to pull to the curb to pick up or drop off passengers.
If this plan is put in place as proposed, total parking loss along the corridor is 29 spaces.