The City of Cambridge is committed to reducing the adverse impacts of truck noise and vibrations on residents while ensuring the continued delivery of goods and services to businesses and residences in the City. The City works toward these goals through a number of efforts, including:
- Management of construction truck activity and routing in the City through the coordinated efforts of the Traffic Department and the Public Works Department;
- Restricting the operation of through-trucks from sensitive residential streets through coordination between the Traffic Department and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation;
- Controlling deliveries to new development through the coordinated efforts of the Traffic Department, the Community Development Department, and the Inspectional Services Department; and
- Enforcing truck safety and operations on restricted streets through the Truck Enforcement Unit of the Cambridge Police Department.
Authority to restrict trucks lie in Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 85 and the 2006 Massachusetts Amendment to the 2003 Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) Section 11A-9. Key criteria for a truck exclusion from a municipal way include, a suitable alternative route is available and one or more of the following: A.) There is at least 5% heavy commercial vehicles, B.) Heavy wheel loads will result in severe deterioration of the roadway, and C.) Land use is primarily residential and the municipality has requested exclusion only during hours of darkness.
While trucks are permitted on any street in Cambridge if they have a destination on that street or a nearby street, all trucks are encouraged to use the system of Posted Truck Routes for the majority of every trip. The Posted Truck Routes in Cambridge are:
- Main Street, Galileo Galilei Way, Binney Street, First Street, & Land Boulevard
- JFK Street between Harvard Square and North Harvard Street in Brighton
- Broadway east of Galileo Galilei Way & Vassar Street north of Rt. 2A (Mass. Ave.)
State Numbered Routes (except where prohibited by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation on Memorial Drive and Fresh Pond Parkway), are open to trucks at all times, including:
- Route 2A (Massachusetts Avenue)
- Route 28 (O'Brien/McGrath Highway)
- Route 16 / 2 / 3 (Alewife Brook Parkway & parts of Fresh Pond Parkway, Huron Avenue, Aberdeen Avenue & Mount Auburn Street)
HAZARDOUS MATERIAL CARRIER (HAZMAT) ROUTE
Hazardous material carriers have not been able to travel through the Prudential Tunnel on I-90 in Boston since 1968. The signed HAZMAT routes in Cambridge are as follows:
- The Posted Truck Routes
- Massachusetts Avenue (Rt. 2A) in Central Square
- River Street & Western Avenue (between Central Square and Mass Pike Exit 18)
The City has received permission to ban trucks on a number of streets to all commercially-plated trucks over 2.5 tons gross vehicle weight 24-hours a day (unless they have a delivery on that street or a nearby street). For a full list, click Truck Restrictions.