Despite being Somerville’s oldest commercial district, over the last decades Union Square lost its identity of public space and became a sequence of congested intersections to the expenses of urban quality.
Not all the traffic in Union Square is created by people headed there, a significant share consists of through traffic heading to the big attractors of the area, such as Harvard, MIT and Boston. Nevertheless, its strategic position attracted here the investments of real estate developers which in the coming years will bring to the area thousands of new jobs and residents.
MIC, along with the Audi team and the municipality, is planning ahead to alleviate the current traffic congestion and contain the future traffic that the area will attract. Audi technologies, such as the Traffic Light Information Online and, more in general, car-to-ex technologies will help decrease congestion by allowing smoother traffic flow thanks to the communication between smart infrastructure and cars. The upgrade of traffic light technologies will allow smoother circulation, reduced congestion, lower emissions and, as a consequence, a possible optimization of the road space in terms of lanes and junctions’ geometries.
Additionally, with the introduction of piloted parking facilities, it will be possible to move garages in strategic locations, which will also bring to a significant reduction in search traffic.
Audi, Union square, Urban future