Transportation Planning

Watertown's Transportation Network

Watertown is a densely populated community with approximately 35,000 people within 4.1 square miles. Watertown takes a “Complete Streets” approach to its network of approximately 80 miles of roadway. The City prioritizes safety and mobility for all residents whether walking, driving, biking, rolling, or accessing transit, while considering its part in the regional network.


Transportation Demand Management (TDM)
Watertown requires developers to provide a plan that reduces car trips, in order to reduce congestion and carbon emissions(PDF). All new developments and additions over 10,000 square feet or 10 residential units must provide strategies to encourage their tenants to shift to alternative modes of travel-transit, walking, biking and carpooling. The goal is to aid in the Town-wide reduction of Single Occupancy Vehicle (SOV) trips by 20%. Methods (PDF) might include charging separately for parking to discourage car ownership, improving access to transit, improving walking and biking conditions, and participating in the Watertown Transportation Management Association.
Parking MetersWatertown has launched Passport’s mobile payment for parking.

Drivers can now use their smart phones to pay for and manage parking sessions, as an alternative to coins and credit cards. After downloading the free Passport parking application, users create an account with license plate number and credit card, then enter the zone number marked on the meter and nearby signage. Once drivers enter the duration of their stay, they can add time to their sessions remotely. The neighboring cities of Boston, Cambridge and Newton also use Passport to manage their parking operations from the Passport App. Credit card and mobile payment transactions have a $1.00 minimum fee plus a $.40 service fee, regardless of length of session.
Bike ShareWatertown joined with 8 contiguous communities to host the Bluebikes Bike Sharing System (PDF). Go here for information on how to join and use the system (PDF), a system map (PDF), and recent ridership statistics (PDF).Ongoing
Complete StreetsThe City Council adopted a Complete Streets Policy (PDF), and approved a Complete Streets Prioritization Plan (PDF), submitted and accepted by MassDOT. A Complete Street is one that accommodates all users-Pedestrians, Drivers, Bicyclists, and Transit Riders.
Community PathA multi-use path connecting DCR's Watertown/Cambridge Greenway through Watertown Square to the Pleasant St corridor and the Charles River is partially constructed with new segments in the planning stage. Currently the segment from Arsenal at Irving Street to Mt. Auburn Street via Taylor Street, is in the planning and engineering phase. View current plans (PDF) and a presentation (PDF) to the Council Committees on Public Works and Economic Development and Planning.Ongoing
Mt Auburn Street CorridorThis study considers options for road improvements (bike lanes, etc.) for Mt Auburn Street from Mt Auburn Cemetery to Summer Street
Active Design
Watertown/Cambridge DCR GreenwayDCR Greenway Phase 2, connecting Fresh Pond Parkway to Nichols Avenue/Arlington Street, is under construction and anticipated to be complete in spring, 2022. This project will connect Watertown to the larger Greenway system.
Phase I complete, Phase II under construction
Bus PriorityBus improvements for the Number 71 and Number 73, include a dedicated bus lane on Mt. Auburn Street, starting at Cottage Street and going through Cambridge to Fresh Pond Parkway, to take the buses out of the traffic congestion during peak hours. It also includes a right turn/queue jump lane on Mt. Auburn Street at School Street and at Walnut Street. This will improve the speed and reliability of bus travel through Watertown.Completed
Transportation Management AssociationWatertown Transportation Management Association (WTMA) is a member-based, public/private partnership that provides and encourages sustainable transportation options to reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions. The City is a member along with many of Watertown's large residential and commercial developments, including Arsenal on the Charles, Arsenal Yards, The Linx, The Marriott, The Gables, Elan Union Market, and Watertown Mews. Current efforts include providing shuttle service along Arsenal Street and along Pleasant Street, connecting to the Red Line in Harvard Square. They also work to promote biking, walking, carpooling, and transit commuting options.