Middlesex Avenue: Part 1 of 2 Reply

Middlesex Avenue where East Somerville streets are “deadended” by I-93

Keep walking along Middlesex Avenue. You will notice several dead end streets on your left that used to connect to the East Somerville street grid. These streets were primarily industrial and commercial, with a number of truck- and auto- related businesses, even before the highway went through. Kensington Avenue still does provide a link for pedestrians, with crosswalks over I-93 entrance and exit ramps. The broader dead end is a piece of McGrath Highway, an arterial route that was cut through the city in 1925. A 1993 traffic study called for reconnecting this remaining stub to the main highway as a way to make the approach to Assembly Square more visually comprehensible and to improve pedestrian access, but it is unclear if this will happen.

The last dead end is Cummings Street, recently renamed Memory Lane in honor of a popular restaurant and bar that opened in 1936 and continued in operation until it was destroyed by fire in 1992. At the time of the fire, the Somerville Journal described it as “… a Somerville landmark that could boast of serving presidents, congressmen, gangsters and sports hall of famers.” A piece of Cummings Street has been purchased from the city by a developer who is beginning work on a project that calls for the construction of a seven-story hotel and a separate restaurant.

Next: Middlesex Avenue: Part 2 of 2

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