Memorial Drive (Cambridge)

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Memorial Drive
US 3.svgMA Route 2.svgMA Route 3.svg
Maintained by DCR
Length 3.9 mi[1][2] (6.3 km)
West end US 3 / Route 2] (continues as Gerry's Landing Road, leading to Fresh Pond Parkway)
Route 2A / Massachusetts Avenue
East end Route 3 (continues as Main Street to Longfellow Bridge)

Memorial Drive runs along the north bank of the Charles River in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is designated as U.S. Route 3 or Massachusetts Route 3 for its entire length, and Massachusetts Route 2 over the portion west of the Boston University Bridge.

Formerly Charles River Road, it was renamed in 1923,[3] when Charles River Park was taken over by the Metropolitan District Commission. It is named in honor of those who died in World War I.[4]

Memorial Drive along the Charles River at the Longfellow Bridge facing Boston's John Hancock Tower

Memorial Drive, like the parkways along the opposite (Boston) side of the river, is maintained by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (the successor to the Metropolitan District Commission). In keeping with the recreational mission, the section of Memorial Drive from Western Avenue to the split by Mount Auburn Hospital, at Gerry's Landing Road, is closed to motor vehicles on Sundays in the summer to allow for pedestrian and non-motorized users. The closure is in effect from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm starting the last Sunday of April until the second Sunday of November.[5]

A median near Massachusetts Avenue requires executing a so-called Michigan left for certain turns.

In 2003 a two-mile section of Memorial Drive was reconstructed as part of the DCR's Historic Parkways Initiative.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Michael Trust (2010-08-30). "Executive Office of Transportation - Office of Transportation Planning Roads - June 2008". Retrieved 2011-08-31. 
  2. ^ Distance corrected per Google Earth, 2013-05-12, to exclude Gerry's Landing Road leg, not part of Memorial Drive.
  3. ^ 1923 per bottom left of page 2 of the Cambridge Chronicle[1] (dedication June 10, 1923:[2]) The Cambridge Historical Commission gives 1922 as year of renaming.
  4. ^ Cambridge Street Names, compiled by the Cambridge Historical Commission, updated June 30, 2009
  5. ^ "Memorial Drive Closed Sundays". Retrieved 2011-08-31. 

Coordinates: 42°21′47.20″N 71°06′57.77″W / 42.3631111°N 71.1160472°W / 42.3631111; -71.1160472