The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is announcing the award of $2,805,194.22 in the fourth round of funding from the Baker-Polito Administration’s Shared Winter Streets and Spaces program. The program, which was launched on November 10, provides technical and funding assistance to help Massachusetts cities and towns conceive, design, and implement tactical changes to curbs, streets, and parking areas in support of public health, safe mobility, and renewed commerce, with a special focus on the particular challenges of winter.
The awards made today will provide funding to 17 municipalities and two public transit authorities for 19 projects. 58% of the awarded municipalities are designated Environmental Justice communities and 79% are considered high-risk for Covid infections. 53% of today’s winners have never received a Shared Streets and Spaces award before.
Auburn received $280,000.00 to expand an existing sidewalk – currently in poor condition – into a 14-foot wide multi-use path, which will connect to Goddard Park, commercial centers, and the public high school and library, as well as add new pedestrian safety features.
Since the inception of the program in June of 2020, the Commonwealth has invested $21.1 million in municipal Shared Streets projects.
The Shared Winter Streets and Spaces program provides 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 current public health crisis and provide safe mobility for children, for elders, to public transportation, and to open space and parks.
Additional cities and towns awarded Shared Winter Streets and Spaces grants in this funding round are:
· Amherst received $192,600.40 to construct a new pedestrian ramp and walkway system – including a new crosswalk and wayfinding – in order to improve connectivity among the Amherst Senior Center, Musante Community Health Center, and downtown shops and services, while also providing a new link to a network of walking routes used by seniors for exercise.
· Attleboro received $122,149.50 to support new lighting, paving, landscaping, public seating, public art, and bicycle racks in order to transform an underused alleyway between Attleboro’s municipal parking garage and the downtown area into a safe and comfortable public space capable of hosting civic activities and festivals.
· Brockton received $165,100.00 to repurpose the former Brockton Area Transit Authority bus terminal, which is currently serving as a surface parking lot, into a new public space called Sycamore Grove to host community events and outdoor dining. The combination of temporary and permanent improvements will provide the City with a new public gathering space in the heart of downtown.
· Great Barrington received $137,310.00 to construct the Old Route 7 Greenway, a separated and shared-use path that will improve pedestrian and bicycle safety along Route 7/Stockbridge Road, link two community centers, and complete the last link of a 2.5-mile loop of the Fountain Pond State Park/Three Mile Hill trail system.
· Harwich received $142,021.00 to support a series of quick-build projects, including painted curb bump-outs, expanded sidewalk zones for outdoor dining and activities, improved crosswalks, and traffic-calming measures to better protect pedestrians.
· Marshfield received $9,245.00 to install public seating, including new benches on Webster’s Wilderness Trail.
· The MBTA, in partnership with Revere and Chelsea, received $196,900.00 to install a peak-only shared bus/bike lane on the southbound side of Broadway, from Revere Street to the Revere/Chelsea line.
· Medford received $100,000.00 to add two bus shelters in Medford Square and Haines Square, in areas that have been identified as high need and/or at stops with high ridership.
· Middleborough received $228,206.00 to construct a new concrete sidewalk with granite curbing on the south side of East Main Street (Route 105), in order to extend the existing sidewalk network and allow safe walking to the Pratt Farm Conservation and Recreation Area.
· Millbury received $70,418.25 to improve public spaces by adding new lighting, wayfinding, seating, trash receptacles, crosswalks, and planters in order to encourage people to use the downtown area to eat, shop, visit, work, and live, and to do so by encouraging walking and a stronger village atmosphere.
· New Bedford received $224,224.00 to install lighting, wayfinding, and other placemaking elements in order to encourage residents and a regional audience to return to downtown for dining, shopping, and arts and culture-based programming.
· Newton received $199,919.92 to install four new Bluebikes stations, including 44 new bikeshare bicycles. This will more than double origin-destination possibilities for Newton’s bikeshare system.
· Oxford received $300,000.00 to install new safety improvements within the downtown area, including enhanced crosswalks with pedestrian safety beacons, ADA-compliant curb ramps, improved pedestrian signals, and bus shelters.
· Princeton received $24,934.00 to increase year-round usage of the Krashes Recreation Area by developing a walking track that ties together two wooded hiking trails, and also provide more outdoor seating and picnic tables for a sledding hill, soccer fields, basketball court, and the new walking track.
· The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority, in partnership with West Springfield, Agawam, Holyoke, East Longmeadow, and Westfield, received $214,900.00 to add ADA-compliant concrete pads, bus shelters, new sidewalks, and new flashing safety beacons at 10 locations throughout the PVTA service area.
· Shirley received $30,000.00 to purchase outdoor heaters, traffic barriers, and picnic tables to support outdoor dining.
· Shrewsbury received $45,000.00 to support the Shrewsbury Senior Center to provide residents with salt, buckets, and basic snow removal equipment – as well as new benches – to encourage safe winter walking.
· Wakefield received $122,266.15 to install new sidewalks, ADA-compliant ramps, bump-outs, improved crosswalks with push-button activation, wayfinding, and bicycle racks in order to enhance Wakefield’s Main Street to support dining, shopping, and local services.
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
Information about the Shared Streets and Spaces Municipal Grant Program, including information about how municipalities can access free technical assistance, can be found at www.mass.gov/shared-winter-streets-and-spaces-grant-program.