CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The City of Chicopee announced Wednesday that the final phase of installing the temporary Center Loop project has started.
The project will create a bike lane in Chicopee Center to provide additional space for bicyclists and pedestrians travelling through the area. The project was made possible by a grant for $76,000 from the MassDOT’s Shared Streets and Spaces Program.
“We are grateful to MassDOT for allowing us to make our streets safer and more accessible for all users,Mayor John Vieau
increase outdoor recreation, and encourage patronage to our Chicopee Center businesses”
- What is the bike lane for?
- This new bike and expanded pedestrian lane is also called the Center Loop. It is a protected bike lane that is being entirely funded with money from MassDOT’s Shared Winter Streets and Spaces grant program. The Center Loop is for pedestrians and bikers going through the neighborhood.
- How long will the bike lane be there?
- The city plans to keep the bike and pedestrian lane installed through to July 2022. However, the Center Loop will be temporarily taken down during the winter months so that the City can be ready for snow removal.
- How will it be marked?
- We will be using these temporary barriers called Saris Wave Delineators, painted bike boxes at intersections, and painted lines to make the path clear. The Delineators are thin waves that stand a little over 2 feet tall.
- Who can use the lane?
- Everyone! All Chicopee residents and visitors are invited to use the Center Loop. Please wear a bike helmet if biking and follow all of the rules of the road.
- Where can I submit a comment?
- We want to hear all opinions about the Center Loop, both good and bad. We are collecting feedback through our website, and we would appreciate it if you went to our website to leave some comments. That way we can collect and analyze all the feedback at the end of the project.
- Where am I supposed to park?
- Chicopee Center has multiple public parking lots and a great deal of on-street parking spots. There is no start or finish to the loop, so feel free to enter the bike lane wherever is most convenient for you! We have a map on the Planning Department’s website that highlights the public parking areas.
- How will businesses be affected?
- All affected businesses [have/will] receive a letter from the Planning Department explaining alterations to the on-street parking. If you look at the map, there are highlighted parking alternatives. We are hoping that the increased bike and foot traffic will allow for more walk-in business. If you as a customer or a business and have concerns about this we would appreciate it if you submitted a comment, we want to hear from you!
Through a partnership with the Department of Planning and Development and the Department of Public Works, the City of Chicopee is able to complete the renovation needed for correct their unusual street layout. The improved Center Loop will act as a testing program for the city, allowing them to understand the impact of potential future redesigns, and potential improvements such as bike lanes, in the coming years.
“The City of Chicopee has heard through numerous public forums, public comments, and surveys thatLee Pouliot | Project Planning Director
residents desire additional biking and walking infrastructure. Many residents have said that they do not
currently bike or walk because of safety concerns”
The plan will be re-evaluated in July of next year. The Center Loop will be removed in the winter to allow for street snow removal.