Project Eligibility - Shared Streets and Spaces Grant Program

Learn about eligibility requirements for municipalities and transit authorities.

Table of Contents

Overview

Every municipality and public transit authority in the Commonwealth is eligible to apply for funding. A municipality may submit one application and may only be awarded one grant per funding round. Applicants may also submit packages of identical improvements, such as bike share stations in different locations or multiple bus shelters. Recipients of prior Shared Streets and Spaces awards are required to demonstrate that all funds have been fully expended or programmed before applying for additional funding.

Applicants must demonstrate that proposed projects can be implemented by December 31, 2025, to be considered eligible. Projects that require considerable design work or substantive roadway reconstruction may be better suited for other programs, such as the MassDOT Complete Streets Funding Program or MassWorks

Any improvements funded through this program must be fully compliant with applicable state and federal laws related to access by persons with disabilities and may not remove or disrupt existing transit service or bicycle and pedestrian accommodations. Projects must be located on municipally owned property that is accessible to the public. Program funds may not be utilized for the acquisition of property or right of way.

This program does not fund design work related to an awarded project. Cost estimates must follow MassDOT’s standard allowances for the following items:

  • Construction contingency: not to exceed 10%
  • Traffic police: not to exceed 5%
  • Construction engineering/oversight: not to exceed 15%
  • Mobilization: not to exceed 3%

Municipalities may propose projects on MassDOT-owned roadways; however, these projects are subject to MassDOT State Highway Access permitting regulations. It is recommended that a municipality discuss a proposed project on a MassDOT roadway with their MassDOT District before submitting an application.

Projects must align with the program goals of supporting public health, safe mobility, and strengthened commerce. In general, successful projects are those that can be implemented quickly, flexibly, at relatively low cost, and that have demonstrated community support. Unlike previous rounds, project types have no set grant award limit and all project types are eligible for up to $250,000. This is a quick-build grant program focused on projects that are easily implementable. Applicants should only apply for projects that fit within the grant maximum of $250,000. Larger projects that are more likely to require more substantive design and public process may not be a good fit for this program. Eligible project elements are broad but must include elements from at least one of the project types listed below.

Project types

Bikeshare Equipment – Support the capital costs and operating expenses for new bikeshare programs around the Commonwealth. Example interventions include:

  • Purchase of bicycles
  • Docks/stations
  • Locks
  • Kiosks/terminals
  • Minor construction to install bike racks and rental kiosks including concrete pads or small changes to curbing
  • Operating costs including software, licensing, insurance, yearly maintenance not to exceed beyond 3 years or the overall grant limit

Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure – Make biking and walking a safe, comfortable, and convenient option for everyday trips. Example interventions include:

  • New or significantly widened sidewalks
  • New or improved pedestrian crossings
    • Such as new paint, shortened crossings, better ramps, or refuge islands
  • Pedestrian signal upgrades at intersections or mid-block crossings
    • Such as Leading Pedestrian Intervals, Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons, or HAWK signals. Note: Modified traffic signals require plans stamped by a registered Professional Engineer
  • Bike lanes
    • On-road or off-road, with a preference for separated or protected
    • Note: Sharrows are not considered a safe bicycle facility
  • Trails or shared use paths connections
  • At-grade rail crossing improvements for bicyclists and pedestrians
  • Bicycle parking
  • Bicycle racks
  • Bicycle repair stations o Pedestrian or bicyclist lighting
  • Pedestrian or bicyclist wayfinding
    • Including safety/directional signage for pedestrians and bicyclists (must describe where and how it will be used)
  • Bicycle-friendly drain grates
  • Snow removal equipment for pedestrian and bicyclist facilities
  • Speed feedback signs

Transit Supportive Infrastructure - Establish new facilities for public buses, including but not limited to dedicated bus lanes, traffic signal priority equipment, and bus stop improvements. Example interventions include:

  • Dedicated bus or bus/bike lanes o Transit service improvements
    • Such as traffic signal prioritization equipment
  • Transit station/stop access improvements
    • Such as shelters, lighting, signage, or repairs

Outdoor Programming – Repurposing streets, plazas, sidewalks, curbs, and parking areas to facilitate seasonal outdoor activities and programming. If enclosing an area for seasonal outdoor activities adjacent to active vehicular traffic without a raised curb or other meaningful separation, barrier materials must be appropriate to the level and speed of the vehicular traffic. Projects under this category must meet ADA/AAB requirements (for routes, tables, and seating, etc.) and be allowed under local jurisdiction. Example interventions include:

  • Repurposed and/or expanded portions of streets, curbs, and/or sidewalks to create more safe space for people to walk and bike, retail activity, dining, and community programming
  • Repurposed parking areas (on- and off-street) for walking, biking, recreation, outdoor seating, retail and/or dining
  • Heaters, tents, tables and chairs, lighting, and other equipment to support outdoor programming that is part of a larger project proposed to transform transportation infrastructure

Ineligible project types and costs

  • Projects that cannot be implemented and operational by December 31, 2025
  • Project costs incurred prior to the issuance of a Notice to Proceed from MassDOT
  • Brick or other types of decorative sidewalks or crosswalks
  • Items that are not directly related to bicycle and pedestrian improvements such as traffic signals, roadway snow plows, etc.
  • Funding to seed municipally administered grant programs
  • Projects on private property
  • Projects that detour or suspend public transit service
  • Projects that impede travel by people with disabilities or violate the Americans with Disabilities Act or the requirements of the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board, even temporarily
  • Projects that remove or impede access to existing bicycle or pedestrian facilities, even temporarily
  • Construction contingency that exceeds 10%, traffic police that exceeds 5%, construction engineering/oversight that exceeds 15%, and mobilization that exceeds 3%
  • Costs of propane for outdoor heaters, including the costs of ongoing propane contracts
  • Pavement resurfacing is not an eligible expense unless it is being done in order to provide for the striping of bicycle lanes or other meaningfully different uses of a roadway
  • Projects that cost well beyond the $250,000 grant limit and are unlikely to be implemented in a timely manner. Larger projects may be better suited for other funding sources.

Contact for Project Eligibility - Shared Streets and Spaces Grant Program

Address

10 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116

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