On October 26, 2023, the APA-MA Transportation Committee organized a tour of Cambridge Crossing (CX), a development adjacent to the new Lechmere Station on the Green Line Extension. On the site of a former rail yard, CX today is a mixed use development with residential, retail, and office with multiple green space commons. The purpose of the tour was to understand the challenges, successes, and lessons learned about creating a new transit oriented development in greater Boston.
The event began with a short presentation and overview of Cambridge Crossing at Divco West’s offices that included views of the CX skyline and a scale model of the development. The group then did a walking tour of the 43-acre, 4.5 million square foot neighborhood in East Cambridge.
The tour included discussion on how Divco West worked with the three different municipalities where the development is located – Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville, even pointing out the differences in the façade on a building that straddles Cambridge and Somerville! The developers worked with the MBTA on how the new Lechmere Station allows for a more direct street connection to Kendall Square and partnered to create a community bike path through the site that connects to regional trails. Divco West also is a member of the Charles River Transportation Management Association and works with the EZ Ride shuttles. The tour also included examples of how the developers worked with MassDOT on pedestrian and bicycle connections to the Gilmore Bridge to provide a direct link to the Community College Orange Line Station. Discussions also included the evolving parking, transit, and bicycle/pedestrian options that encourage transit, walking, and cycling (and discourage Single Occupancy Vehicle use), and commitments and monitoring on travel modes.
After the walking tour, participants rode the new GLX, with the evening ending with gathering at Lamplighter Brewery at CX.
Thanks to all who participated! A special thank you to Nicole LaBossiere, Development Director for Divco West for leading the tour and presentation, and to Transportation Committee member Adam Shulman from the City of Cambridge for helping to organize the tour and discussing the design and approval process from a municipal perspective!