- Massachusetts Department of Transportation
BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is announcing the award of $3,053,464.41 in the second round of funding from the Baker-Polito Administration’s Shared Winter Streets and Spaces Program. The program, a new phase of the Shared Streets and Spaces Program which launched in June and provided a total of $10.2 million to municipalities, provides technical and funding assistance to help Massachusetts cities and towns during the winter months conceive, design, and implement tactical changes to curbs, streets, and parking areas in support of public health, safe mobility, and renewed commerce.
The awards announced today will support 17 projects in 15 municipalities, of which 62 percent are designated Environmental Justice communities and 80 percent are considered high-risk for COVID-19 infections. The first round of funding in the Shared Winter Streets and Spaces program was announced December 10 and was awarded to projects in 11 municipalities, of which 55 percent had been designated Environmental Justice Communities and 54 percent considered high-risk for COVID-19 infections.
“City and town officials have worked hard during the pandemic to support small businesses and provide sufficient space for safe outdoor activities, including walking and biking,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “The Baker-Polito Administration has made a total of $10 million available in this new phase of Shared Streets because the challenges of getting around and of keeping businesses open are different and more complex in the winter. I am proud of the mix of projects and municipalities represented in this round of awards and look forward to receiving more applications over the next few months. This funding will help communities keep vibrant until next year when a vaccine is more widely available and when there comes a time when physical-distancing restrictions can be loosened.”
The Shared Winter Streets and Spaces program provide grants as small as $5,000 and as large as $500,000 for municipalities to quickly launch changes for safer walking, biking, public transit, recreation, commerce, and civic activities. These improvements can be intentionally temporary or can be pilots of potentially permanent changes. MassDOT is particularly focused on projects that respond to the public health crisis and provide safe mobility for children, for elders, to public transportation, and to open space and parks.
The list of cities and towns awarded Shared Winter Streets and Spaces grants in this funding round are:
- Amesbury received $38,316.50 to redesign and reprogram existing public spaces, including adjacent walkable and bikeable routes, for outdoor recreation, dining, and civic events.
- The Brockton Area Transit Authority received $150,000 to install 10 new bus shelters and make improvements to the Intermodal Centre bus platform including the purchase and installation of permanent heating elements for waiting passengers.
- The MBTA, in partnership with the Department of Conservation and Recreation, received $170,000 to construct a new crosswalk, median, curb ramps, flashing safety beacon, signage, and pavement markings on Park Drive in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston to provide safe and accessible connections between MBTA bus service and the MBTA Green Line.
- Dracut received $290,000 to install new six-foot-wide sidewalks, to include ADA-compliant ramps and asphalt sidewalks, for general pedestrian safety and to provide safer walking conditions to a local school.
- Framingham received $249,052.65 to create new and better sidewalks, including ADA-compliant curbing and crosswalks, in the area of Leland, Irving, and Universal Streets.
- Holland received $37,760 to implement new traffic calming measures, repaint existing crosswalks, and install benches, tables, and bike parking in the vicinity of Holland Elementary School and across the street from Hitchcock Field. This project will support Holland’s efforts to become a Safe Routes to School community.
- Leominster received $21,000 to support local restaurants and encourage outdoor dining with expanded outdoor seating space and new propane heaters.
- The MBTA, in partnership with the City of Boston, received $468,630.80 to enhance existing bus/bike lanes in the Roslindale neighborhood with new bus shelters, two curb-extended bus stops, and all-day bus lanes on South Street, Corinth Street, and Washington Street.
- The MBTA, in partnership with the City of Boston, received $123,200 to install a dedicated bus lane on the northbound side of Cross Street/North Washington in the North End neighborhood, from Sudbury Street to Causeway Street. The bus stop at Thatcher Street will move to a safer, improved location, closer to crosswalks and away from vehicles. The existing dedicated bicycle lanes will be maintained.
- The MBTA, in partnership with the City of Lynn, received $318,450 to install bidirectional, curb-running shared bus/bike lanes and two transit signal priority treatments on the MassDOT-owned portion of Western Avenue, between the Belden Bly Bridge and Ida Street.
- The MBTA, in partnership with the City of Somerville, received $222,200 to install bus queue-jumps and transit signal priority treatments – to benefit bicyclists and pedestrian safety, in particular – on Washington Street in Somerville at the McGrath Highway underpass area and the eastbound approach to Inner Belt Road.
- Orleans received $251,143.61 to construct 900 feet of new sidewalk and safer crossings along Old Colony Way in order to provide a safe walking route to the Orleans Farmer's Market, which has become a key destination during the Covid-19 public health crisis.
- Springfield received $215,603.60 to create better and safer areas for outdoor dining and walking by expanding a sidewalk to form a plaza, narrowing a vehicular lane, and adding new pedestrian-oriented lighting.
- Sutton received $299,900 to construct a new and safer pedestrian network with a new sidewalk, curbing, and crossings in the vicinity of the Hough Road Fields and connecting to the local Council on Aging.
- Tewksbury received $15,000 to install two new bus shelters along a Lowell Regional Transit Authority bus route. The shelters will be installed at the East Street and Chandler Street intersection, which is the location of the Tewksbury Senior Center and Tewksbury State Hospital.
- Uxbridge received $146,907.25 to replace and upgrade an unsafe crosswalk through Wesgan Square, to include new signage and a new flashing pedestrian safety beacon. This new safer crossing will serve a retirement community, recreation fields, and an elementary school.
- Webster received $36,300 to upgrade the lighting in the downtown area to be safer and more appealing for pedestrians, install lighting in alleyway spaces to support outdoor dining, install three flashing pedestrian safety beacons, and improve landscaping to make the downtown area feel more attractive for outdoor activities.
Types of eligible projects under the Shared Winter Streets and Spaces grant program include:
- Main Streets: Investments in local downtowns and villages that repurpose streets, plazas, sidewalks, curbs, and parking areas to facilitate outdoor activities and winter programming, including but not limited to facilities for eating, shopping, play, and community events and spaces for all ages. Grant Limit: up to $300,000
- Reimagined Streets: Creation of safe spaces for people walking and biking by implementing low-speed streets, ‘shared streets,’ new sidewalks, new protected bike lanes, new off-road trails, new bicycle parking, new crosswalks, new traffic-calming measures, and new ADA-compliant ramps. Grant Limit: Up to $300,000
- Better Buses: Establishment of new facilities for public buses, including but not limited to dedicated bus lanes, traffic-signal priority equipment, and bus shelters. Grant Limit: Up to $500,000
- Shared Mobility: Support for the capital costs of equipment for new bikeshare and micromobility programs.
- Grant Limit: Up to $200,000
- Making Pilots Permanent: Conversion of temporary Shared Streets and Spaces projects to permanent facilities.
- Grant Limit: Up to $300,000
Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis, and decisions will be made in four rounds.
Applications need to be submitted by:
- January 5th for consideration and award by February 2nd
- January 29th for consideration and award by February 26th
- February 26th for consideration and award by March 26th
The project completion and spending deadline for all four rounds is May 31, 2021.
Applications will be given preference if they include elements for children and youth, for seniors, for accessing public transit, and for accessing public parks and other open spaces. Applications from municipalities that are identified as Environmental Justice communities will also be given preference, as will municipalities in which the median income of all residents is lower than the statewide median income. Lastly, communities identified as at high risk for COVID-19 transmission will also be given preference.
Applicant municipalities are encouraged to engage the public in the development of Shared Streets and Spaces project ideas.
The Shared Streets and Spaces Program was established in June 2020 and were immediately popular with Massachusetts cities and towns. Through the program, the Baker-Polito Administration provided grants from $5,000 to $300,000 for quick-build improvements to sidewalks, curbs, streets, on-street parking spaces, and off-street parking lots in support of public health, safe mobility, and renewed commerce during the COVID-19 period.
Over 100 days, $10.2 million was allocated to 103 municipalities to implement 123 projects, from pop-up bike lanes to safe ‘parklets’ for outdoor dining to improved crosswalks to dedicated bus lanes, as well as a range of traffic calming measures.
$10 million has been allocated for this phase of the program, which focuses on the particular challenges of winter.