BOSTON (Mass.gov) – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is announcing the award of almost $1.2 million in the final round of funding from the Baker-Polito Administration’s Shared Streets & Spaces program. The program, which was launched on June 10, provided 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 final round of funding, the program will have given out a total of $10.2 million to fund 124 projects in 103 municipalities across the Commonwealth, of which 60% are Environmental Justice communities.
Today, Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Secretary Stephanie Pollack visited Essex Street in Salem to highlight the implementation of two grant awards through the Shared Streets and Spaces Program. Salem has implemented expanded sidewalks and safety measures on Essex Street and shared streets and safe routes to school including the addition of protected bicycle lanes and new shared street signage.
“Many communities have demonstrated their creativity to create safe spaces for outdoor dining, safe connections to businesses and workplaces and expanded space for all transit options—from buses to bikes through the Shared Streets and Spaces grant program,” said Governor Baker. “We are pleased that these grants can provide safe and responsible improvements while helping to stimulate our businesses and help people feel more comfortable moving about safely.”
This new round will provide $1.18 million to projects in 17 municipalities, of which 65% are Environmental Justice communities.
“Now more than ever, it’s important to continue to support small businesses and restaurants which make up the fabric of our communities by shopping and dining locally,” said Lieutenant Governor Polito. “We will continue to work with our partners at the local level and support the needs of all 351 of Massachusetts cities and towns.”
304 applications were submitted by 279 municipalities, for a total of $34 million requested.
“The Baker-Polito Administration’s Shared Streets and Spaces Emergency Grant Program has held an overwhelming response from cities and towns,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “This program has really stretched our thinking about how all of us can work together to make our streets, sidewalks, and parking areas serve as many diverse purposes as possible for as many different kinds of needs as possible.”
The list of cities and towns awarded Shared Streets & Spaces grants in the final round of funding rounds are as follows:
- Amherst was awarded $129,472.20 to support outdoor dining options that permit social distancing, as well as enhance pedestrian facilities and bus stops.
- Barnstable was awarded $58,300 to enhance pedestrian spaces along a new walkway in downtown Hyannis.
- Berlin was awarded $39,288.99 to provide better and safer space for pedestrians and cyclists along Central/Carter Streets and Woodward Avenue, thereby improving access to local businesses, cultural facilities, the Town’s library, and First Parish Church. New benches will also be added.
- Chelsea was awarded $81,406.25 to continue dedicated bike lane and sharrow markings from 3rd Street and Broadway up to Chelsea Waterfront, in conjunction with an MBTA-supposed bus lane project.
- Everett was awarded $20,000 to implement shared/slow streets and mobility hubs along Broadway and intersecting side streets. Also includes a road diet on Ferry Street via a lane reduction and repurposing of road space to outdoor dining/gathering spaces.
- Gill was awarded $20,022.56 to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety by re-configuring an intersection, marking crosswalks, and alerting motorists that they are entering the center of town and thus need to reduce speeds.
- Lowell was awarded $70,100 to support an existing outdoor dining program of 20 restaurants by deploying propane heaters, landscaping, and temporary light installations prepared by local artists, while also reclaiming a downtown street for winter markets.
- Lynn was awarded $125,000 to fund the costs of street marking/painting – in standard safety red – for a new bus lane.
- Methuen was awarded $178,858 to install bicycle lanes, pedestrian yield and warning signs, crosswalks, flashing safety beacons, and a narrowed traffic lane on Riverside Drive.
- Milton was awarded $18,557.33 to purchase, install, and operate 11 patio heaters to extend the season for outdoor dining in a repurposed parking lot.
- Nantucket was awarded to $84,909 to allow businesses to operate outside safely through the holiday season with safety signage, heaters, lighting, and tents, as well as complete a municipal Bike Park that would not otherwise be completed until FY22.
- North Attleborough was awarded $28,984.04 to create outdoor parklets, reduce vehicle speeds from 25mph to 10mph, and install street furniture, all with easy access by low-income, senior, and affordable housing populations.
- Peabody was awarded to $210,571.00 to create a safe and bicycle-friendly connection between surrounding neighborhoods and Peabody High School.
- Somerset was awarded $12,100 to support dedicated bike lanes along Brayton Avenue and Read Street in order to promote outdoor activity and provide additional transportation options.
- Walpole was awarded $15,100 to allow nine restaurants to extend outdoor dining into the fall and winter months with street furniture, hand sanitizing stations, outdoor heaters, planters, and attractive lighting. Materials purchased will support street closures for public art walks in the fall.
- Worcester was awarded $35,500 to install tactical pilot measures to demonstrate various traffic calming and speed reduction approaches in order to provide safer routes to school for children as well as overall support for increased rates of walking and bicycling in residential neighborhoods.
- Wrentham was awarded $72,903.60 to support outdoor dining and commerce within Wrentham Center, calm traffic, and improve connections to and between key local parks.
Types of projects funded by the Shared Streets & Spaces program have 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.
Additional information about the Shared Streets & Spaces program can be found at: https://www.mass.gov/shared-streets-and-spaces-grant-program.