- Massachusetts Department of Transportation
BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is announcing the award of $689,167 for the fifth round of funding in the Baker-Polito Administration’s Shared Streets & Spaces program. The program, which was launched on June 10, provides technical and funding assistance to help Massachusetts cities and towns conceive, design, and implement tactical changes to curbs, streets, on-street parking spaces and off-street parking lots in support of public health, safe mobility, and renewed commerce. With the award of this new round of funding, the program will have given out a total of $3.8 million to fund 50 projects in 44 municipalities across the Commonwealth, of which 68% are Environmental Justice communities.
This new round will provide $689,167 million to projects in nine municipalities, of which 62% are Environmental Justice communities.
The quick-build grant program provides grants as small as $5,000 and as large as $300,000 for municipalities to quickly launch changes to sidewalks, curbs, streets, on-street parking spaces and off-street parking lots in support of public health, safe mobility – including safe walking and biking to schools – and renewed commerce. These improvements can be intentionally temporary, in the style of tactical urbanism, or can be pilots of potentially permanent changes to streets and sidewalks.
The list of cities and towns receiving Shared Streets & Spaces program funding in the fifth round are as follows:
- Belchertown received $45,500 to create a safe, child-friendly neighborhood walking and biking trail that provides safe routes to schools and other facilities for children and youth and connects to essential destinations and workplaces, all while allowing for greater social distancing. Improvements include flashing safety beacons, ADA-compliant pushbuttons, crosswalk markings, and sidewalk ramps.
- Brookline received $60,385 to create extended sidewalks on roads of local and regional significance, including Beacon Street, Brookline Avenue, Harvard Street, Longwood Avenue, Pleasant Street, and Washington Street. These expanded sidewalks will provide safer and better access for pedestrians, cyclists, and micro-mobility device users and will improve connections to commercial districts, civic buildings, medical facilities, recreational facilities, and schools, with a focus on local Environmental Justice communities. This work will complement earlier Shared Streets efforts that Brookline implemented on its own.
- Cambridge received $52,185 to support safe pedestrian access to Starlight Square, a temporary outdoor performance and community space.
- Dighton received $168,242 to extend an existing sidewalk, allowing for better and safer connections among residential neighborhoods, a playground, the Post Office, a child-care center, the Dighton Public Library, a local church, and a main commercial area.
- Lynn received $81,132 to repurpose areas of the public way devoted to vehicle travel or on-street parking in order to provide additional space and capacity to support outdoor dining opportunities and provide a safer environment for pedestrians and other non-motorized modes of transportation. The project will establish two designated ‘streatery’ zones to serve both restaurant and retail and a communal seating area within an extended sidewalk. Local partners are being engaged to produce art and painted crosswalks. The project focuses on empowering and supporting minority-owned and small businesses.
- Salem received $56,000 to support the installation of protected bicycle lanes, improved delineation of vehicular lanes, and the addition of pedestrian, speed limit, and safe-routes-to-school signage, all on important crosstown corridors and serving Environmental Justice communities.
- Stoneham received $41,250 to create safe crossings for students walking to Central Middle School, as well as for patrons visiting new outdoor dining locations throughout downtown Stoneham. The project will also include pedestrian safety upgrades on the Tri-Community Greenway, including ADA-related improvements and flashing safety beacons.
- Westborough received $79,500 to create safe and ADA-compliant sidewalk ramps at two intersections that provide important connections to multiple schools, public tennis courts and playing fields, three churches, Town Hall, the public library, and stores.
- Winthrop received $105,000 to install parklets in local commercial districts and design and install signage for a town wide bicycle network.
The Baker-Polito Administration’s Shared Streets & Spaces program will continue to make awards on a rolling basis for projects that can be implemented and used this summer and fall. MassDOT has allocated a total of $5 million for this 100-day program. Applications are being accepted through September 29 and projects must be mostly or completely implemented by October 9. Preference will be given to projects that can be operational within 15-30 days of award, projects in designated Environmental Justice areas, and projects that show potential to be made permanent.
Types of projects may include:
- Shared Streets and Spaces: supporting increased rates of walking and/or biking by increasing safety and enabling social distancing.
- Outdoor Dining and Commerce: calming roadways, modifying sidewalks and streets, and/or repurposing on- or off-street parking to better support curbside/sidewalk/street retail and dining.
- Better Buses: supporting safer and more reliable bus transit, including expanded bus stops and lanes dedicated for bus travel, (extra scoring credit will be granted for dedicated bus lanes).
- Safe Routes to School: creating safe routes to schools and other programs for children and youth, including safer walking and biking networks with lowered vehicle speeds.
The Baker-Polito Administration launched the Shared Streets & Spaces program to support quick-build projects that can bring meaningful benefits to cities and towns. The program is modeled after the Administration’s Complete Streets Funding Program, created in February 2016, which, as of January 2020, has awarded a total $46 million to cities and towns for municipal projects improving infrastructure to improve safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and public transportation customers. The Administration included $20 million for the Complete Streets Program as part of the Administration’s $18 billion transportation bond bill which was filed in July 2019.