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City of Somerville Planner in Somerville, Massachusetts

Statement of Duties

The City of Somerville seeks a Planner to perform field work, technical analysis, street design, public education, project management and interdepartmental coordination around multimodal mobility planning, engineering and urban design in New England’s most densely populated city.  The candidate for this position should be highly motivated to ensure that public and private investment advance Somerville’s goal to become the most walkable, bikeable, transit-accessible city in the nation. Candidate will support program design, program management and project delivery of activities associated with implementing the mobility goals outlined in the City’s Five-Year and Annual plans under its federal Community Development Block Grant program and consistent with “SomerVision”, the City’s legally-adopted Comprehensive Plan; “Somerville Climate Forward”, the City’s official plan to eliminate carbon emissions; and the City’s Vision Zero Action Plan to eliminate crashes resulting in severe injuries and fatalities.

Candidate should be equally enthusiastic about field work with public safety and public works professionals, desk-based design development and project/financial management, and high-intensity public engagement.

Essential Functions

The essential functions or duties listed below are intended only as illustrations of the various type of work that may be performed. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the position.

  • Performs transportation planning and engineering work in one or more functional areas such as policy planning, data analysis and visualization, project development and design, financing, construction and/or traffic and parking operations.

  • Collaborates with the City’s Infrastructure & Asset Management Department, Public Works Department, Parking Department, Fire Department, Police Department and others around capital projects, construction management, operations & maintenance activities (including preparation, implementation and evaluation of Standard Operating Procedures), traffic calming interventions, bike / pedestrian facilities and signal operations.

  • Plays a support role in street design efforts, ranging from temporary, low-cost pilot projects to large-scale capital projects.

  • Supports in-house review of consultant-generated transportation analysis and reports, including traffic studies.

  • Assists interdisciplinary staff teams of community planners working on neighborhood or corridor plans.

  • Performs field work including multimodal turning movement counts, parking utilization counts, crosswalk compliance audits, and performs associated data entry and analysis tasks.

  • Supports pavement markings installation for new bike lanes, crosswalk facilities and traffic calming treatments by meeting crews in the field (often during overnight mobilizations) and ensuring installations are made according to plans.

  • Plays a support role in program administration tasks, including neighborhood traffic calming, public bike share contracts and Transportation Management Association (TMA) / Transportation Demand Management (TDM) activities.

  • Interfaces with project and program partners including the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, MBTA bus operations, neighboring municipalities, nonprofit and advocacy organizations at the local, regional and national scale.

Minimum Qualifications

Education and Experience: Bachelor’s degree in planning, engineering, or a closely related field and three (3) years’ experience in municipal government, stage agency or relevant private/nongovernmental roles; or any equivalent combination of education, training and experience which provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the essential functions of the job. Master’s Degree, Engineer in Training (E.I.T.) certification, and/or American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) certification may be considered as additional qualifications.

Knowledge, Abilities and Skill

Knowledge: Knowledge of principles and practices of multimodal transportation planning, engineering, and design; Knowledge of federal and state regulations and guidelines such as the Highway Capacity Manual, Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), NACTO guidebooks including Urban Street Design Guide, Urban Bikeway Design Guide and Transit Street Design Guide, and MassDOT Separated Bike Lane Planning & Design Guide.  Knowledge of municipal and state project development processes from visioning and scoping through design, permitting, financing and construction.

Abilities: Ability to work effectively with internal and external stakeholders.  Ability to read and understand engineering plans.  Ability to prepare conceptual street design graphics using AutoCAD, Adobe Creative Suite, ArcGIS or SketchUp.  Ability to perform field data collection and analysis to ensure accurate and up-to-date pedestrian counts, bike counts and traffic counts.   Ability to formulate findings and recommendations to interdepartmental staff, elected officials, outside agencies, contractors, engineers, advocates and the general public. 

Skill: Skilled public speaker; excellent customer service, planning and design skills. Design software skill (i.e. AutoCAD, ArcGIS, Sketch Up, Adobe Suite) is preferable; quantitative analysis skills including Microsoft Excel; strong written and oral communication with peers, consultants, contractors, and representatives of other agencies; public speaking, facilitating and public presentations are required; managing multiple tasks and deadlines.  Multilingual capacity in Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole and/or Nepali preferred.

Work Environment

The work environment involves everyday discomforts typical of offices, with occasional exposure to outside elements.  Noise or physical surroundings may be distracting, but conditions are generally not unpleasant.  Employee may be required to work beyond normal business hours in response to attend evening meetings or complete work assignments.  When in the field or attending meetings, the environment can be at construction sites and outdoors.

Physical and Mental Requirements

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the position’s essential functions.

Physical Skills

Minimal physical demands are required to perform the work. Work effort principally involves sitting to perform work tasks, with intermittent periods of stooping, walking, and standing. Work requires some agility such as moving in or about construction sites or over rough terrain. There may also be some occasional lifting of objects such as office equipment or photocopy paper (up to 30lbs.).  When in the field, more physical skill may be required to accomplish the duties required.

Motor Skills

Duties are largely mental rather than physical, but the job may occasionally require minimal motor skills for activities such as moving objects, operating a telephone, personal computer and/or most other office equipment including word processing, filing and sorting of papers.

Visual Skills

Visual demands require constantly reading documents for general understanding and analytical purposes.

Hours: Full-Time

Salary: $81,182.41 annualized, plus benefits

Union: Non-Union

FLSA: Exempt

Date Posted: March 28, 2024

City of Somerville residents are especially encouraged to apply.

The City of Somerville is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, disability or any other protected category. Women, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Auxiliary aids and services, written materials in alternative formats, and reasonable modifications in policies and procedures will be provided to qualified individuals with disabilities free of charge, upon request. Persons with disabilities who need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication (i.e., CART, ASL), written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures in order to access the programs, activities, and meetings of the City of Somerville should please contact Adrienne Pomeroy at 617-625-6600 x 2059 or

Pre-Employment Requirements for All Employees:

  • MA Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) clearance

  • Completition of Conflict-of-Interest Law Education training for municipal employees

    Overview of Total Rewards:

  • 4 weeks annual vacation (for non-union positions) union positions vary by contract

  • Medical insurance through the Group Insurance Commission (GIC) - 80% of premium costs paid by City

  • Dental coverage low and high plans through Cigna

  • Vision care through Vision Service Plan (VSP)

  • Long term disability through Sun Life

  • Group and voluntary life insurance through Boston Mutual

  • Health Care and Dependent Care flexible spending through Benefit Strategies

  • Deferred compensation plans through a choice of three vendors

  • Free, confidential services through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provided by E4Health

  • Annual cancer screening & wellness release

  • Somerville Retirement Pension System

  • Tuition reimbursement

  • MBTA pass program

  • FREE Blue Bikes membership

  • Eligible employer for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF)

Benefits listed are for benefits-eligible positions and the above information is meant to be a general overview of the benefit programs offered by the City of Somerville and not a binding contract.

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