- Massachusetts Department of Transportation
BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is announcing the award of $858,502 in the latest rounds of funding from 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 these new rounds of funding, the program will have given out a total of $8.5 million to fund 99 projects in 85 municipalities across the Commonwealth, of which 60% are Environmental Justice communities. This new round will provide $868,301.35 to projects in seven municipalities, of which 71% are Environmental Justice communities.
This 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 awarded Shared Streets & Spaces grants in the most recent funding rounds are as follows:
- Arlington received $57,673.95 over two grants to fund the expansion of outdoor dining, bicycle racks, and the installation of traffic calming measures and new signage.
- Boston received $160,392 to install four new bike share stations in East Boston as part of the BlueBikes program.
- Charlton received $9,600 to make the safety and livability improvements along North Main Street, with an emphasis on creating new public space by the Charlton Public Library.
- Haverhill received $48,735.50 to provide safe outdoor dining in downtown Haverhill and improve safety in school dropoff zones.
- Malden received $211,714.80 to create a dedicated bus lane to Malden Station, closing gaps between bicycle lanes and providing spaces along downtown streets to support additional outdoor dining and commerce.
- Pittsfield received $238,826.50 to support new dedicated cycling facilities, curb extensions, one-way streets, outdoor seating areas for restaurants, and improvements to intersections in order to make them more welcoming.
- West Stockbridge received $141,358.60 to convert several downtown public and private spaces for safe outdoor gathering and dining, establish expanded walking and bicycling routes, install new traffic calming measures, mount new wayfinding and integrate public art.
Types of projects funded by the Shared Streets & Spaces program 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.