Joseph Barr is the Director of Traffic, Parking, and Transportation for the City of Cambridge, where he is responsible for overseeing the operation of Cambridge’s streets, including traffic signals, signs and markings, street design, parking enforcement, and the city’s resident permit parking program. He took over leadership of the department in March 2015 and has led the development and implementation of a number of new technology, customer service, and safety programs. Significant initiatives underway include Cambridge’s commitment to Vision Zero, transit priority improvements, pay-by-phone parking payment, and enhancing the City’s use of technology in transportation. While working for the New York City Department of Transportation, Joe was the first Director of Transit Development and led implementation of the New York City’s first two Select Bus Service bus rapid transit corridors. As a planning and engineering consultant, Joe has led a number of study and design efforts aimed at creating streets that prioritize pedestrians, cyclists, and transit users, as well as leading development of the transportation element of New York City’s post-Superstorm Sandy resiliency plan.
With the highest combined bike/walk mode split of any city in the United States, Cambridge has long been considered a leader in promoting sustainable transportation, whether in terms of policy, design, or implementation. Cambridge implemented one of the first cycle tracks in the United States on Vassar Street and continues to lead the way with the recently installed Western Avenue cycle track—named the best new cycle track in the United States in 2015.
Joe grew up in Montreal, Canada and holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering (Northwestern University) and a Master of Science in Transportation (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).