Baker-Polito Administration Announces Complete Streets Funding Program Awards
Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito today joined Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack, Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver, and local officials in Springfield to announce funding awards totaling $5.1 million to eighteen communities through the Complete Streets Funding Program to support local, multimodal infrastructure projects that improve accessibility for people walking, biking, taking transit, and using other forms of transportation. The Baker-Polito Administration has now awarded a total of approximately $38 million in construction funding since creating a funding program for Complete Streets in February 2016.
The event in Springfield also highlighted $365,022 previously awarded to the City of Springfield through the Complete Streets Funding Program in February 2018. This award funded multimodal infrastructure improvements at several locations such as adding bicycle improvements at numerous locations and carrying out work such as repainting crosswalks, installing warning strips at key intersections, repairing sidewalks, installing buffered bicycle lanes, and putting in place bicycle signage and shared use markings. The additional $207,161 in funding being announced for Springfield today will build upon these past investments and improvements.
“This popular program empowers local communities to improve their transportation infrastructure to support different modes of getting people where they need to go, whether they are walking, bicycling, using public transit or driving,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are pleased to have included support for the Complete Streets program in our administration’s recently filed transportation bond bill so that the Commonwealth can continue to invest in improving mobility, access, and safety for all roadway users across the Commonwealth.”
“Our administration has prioritized serving as a reliable partner for cities and towns and the Complete Streets program is one of the key ways in which we can help communities achieve their local transportation priorities,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We look forward to seeing the completion of these multimodal projects and for residents and visitors to enjoy the benefits that they each will bring.”
A “Complete Street” is one that provides safe and accessible options for all travel modes and for all people, taking into account the ages and abilities of individuals. To date, 201 municipalities have approved Complete Streets policies and 161 have approved prioritization plans.
Governor Baker recently filed a transportation bond bill seeking $18 billion in additional capital authorization to invest in building and modernizing a transportation system that meets the needs of residents, businesses and cities and towns statewide. The authorization would be used to fund existing programs as well as several new initiatives designed to lessen impacts from roadway congestion and ensure reliable travel throughout the Commonwealth. This bill also includes an additional $20 million for the Complete Streets Funding Program to assist cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth.
“Thanks to the leadership of Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Polito, MassDOT continues to work closely with municipal partners to increase safety, accessibility, and connectivity throughout the Commonwealth,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “Complete Streets design concepts are important because they support people using all modes of transportation and help ensure that travelers safely and efficiently reach the places they need to go.”
“These eighteen communities are receiving funding to build sidewalks, install bicycle lanes, improve traffic signals, and put in place infrastructure that accommodates all modes of travel,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “We thank the MassDOT staff members who work diligently to manage this program and congratulate each of the award winners.”
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno added, “First of all, I am very thankful to Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito and Mass DOT Secretary Pollack for their efforts in assisting Springfield to obtain this grant. I’m proud that my administration has adopted a ‘Complete Streets’ policy, which will enable safe access for all users regardless of age or ability. These monies will help DPW Director Chris Cignoli to incorporate ‘Complete Street’ components in these specifically named projects. Also, we are attempting to incorporate ‘Complete Streets’ components into arterial streets as part of our paving program where conditions warrant, if funds are available, which my administration will continue to identify and pursue.”
The Complete Streets Funding Program was launched by the Baker-Polito Administration on February 1, 2016. Examples of projects that can be addressed through the program include filling bicycle and pedestrian network gaps, improving transit access, installing street lighting, improving safety of crosswalks and intersections, and building new shared use paths.
Today’s announcement regarding the Complete Streets Program provides funding to the following communities:
Abington is receiving $399,996 to construct a shared use path along Lincoln Boulevard and put in place traffic calming measures. The Town also plans on utilizing available roadway width along Washington Street from Elm to Adams Street, and along Adams Street from Washington Street to Route 139, to provide exclusive bicycle lanes to extend the connection in a north-south direction. This will extend bicycle connectivity to commercial areas, residential neighborhoods, popular recreational areas, and other points of interest schools, the library, town hall, Island Grove Pond and Park, Abington Park & Recreation, restaurants, shops and the post office.
Ayer is receiving $203,118 to construct a new sidewalk along School Street from Prospect to Bligh Street creating a new connection to the town park, library, courthouse, youth athletic fields, business district, and Pond Street Senior Center. Funding also includes replacing sidewalks and curb ramps from East Main to Prospect Street. Ayer has leveraged other funding sources to provide complete streets accommodations surrounding this project including the recently completed path at the Pirone Park and constructing new sidewalks on Pleasant Street and Oak Street to improve access and pedestrian safety.
Buckland is receiving $133,797 to make pedestrian network improvements in Shelburne Falls Village. This includes work on State Street such as extending the 5-foot wide sidewalk from the town parking area to the nearby crosswalk accessing State Street, removing sidewalk obstructions, installing new curb ramps, repositioning the stop sign at William Street and refreshing crosswalk paint to improve visibility. A second project along Ashfield Street connects the commercial center of Shelburne Falls to dense residential neighborhoods, installing a new crosswalk, and widening part of the existing sidewalk to 5-feet wide. Overall, these improvements will improve pedestrian access to the main commercial street and serve environmental justice neighborhoods.
Chelsea is receiving $361,364 to make safety improvements in the area of the Carter Street/Everett Avenue intersection which is located adjacent to Chelsea High School. The project includes installation of new pedestrian signal equipment, including pedestrian push buttons and countdown signal heads, bicycle route signs and bicycle detection, sidewalk extensions, striping a new crosswalk across the Everett Avenue, and restriping pavement markings. In addition, new 5-foot wide bicycle lanes will be striped along both directions of Everett Avenue between the city line and the rail line crossing, and along both directions of Carter Street between Everett Avenue and Blossom Street.
Cohasset is receiving $254,755 to reconstruct the sidewalk around and across the town common, install seven crosswalks, and improve curbing on the north side of Highland Avenue and Robert Jason Road. This will help facilitate pedestrian access in the area of the town hall, Cohasset Senior Center, South Shore Community Center, Cohasset Housing Authority, Pratt Memorial Library, residential homes, businesses, and the waterfront.
Dedham is receiving $399,933 to improve pedestrian and bicycle access and safety between Barnes Memorial Park, Dedham Middle School, Avery Elementary School, Dedham High School, the town center, the MBTA commuter rail station, and surrounding residential neighborhoods. Bicycle lanes will extend north-south on East Street and east-west on Eastern and Whiting Avenue. Additionally, new sidewalk will be constructed along Eastern Avenue, two new pedestrian signals will be installed, and pedestrian improvements will be made on East Street.
Ipswich is receiving $135,000 to make improvements to Little Neck Road and Lord Intersection. This includes the construction of a sidewalk along the north side of Little Neck/Bayview Road from Pirate Park playground to the existing crosswalk, and along the south side of Bayview Road to the far side of the Pavilion Beach parking lot. The project will improve the safety for both pedestrians and vehicles visiting the Pavilion Beach by creating a physical separation between the parking lot and Bayview Road, providing clear areas for pedestrians to cross, striping of new crosswalks, crossing signage, and yield pavement markings. Bicycle racks will be installed at the beach parking lot to provide bicycle accommodations. A second project includes tightening the corner radius, construction of a pedestrian curb extension, and crosswalk striping at the High Street/Short Street (Lord Square) intersection, reconstruction of sidewalks and installation of pedestrian warning signage along High Street.
Lincoln is receiving $132,424 to make connectivity improvements including a sidewalk that links a pedestrian/bicycle pocket park and travels along Lincoln Road to the Codman Road/Lincoln Road intersection, and to Codman Farm in the village center. The project also includes a sidewalk that will wind through conservation land and Lincoln’s community gardens linking the village center and Codman Farm. The town will further enhance the sidewalk with benches and interactive nature play stations to encourage walking and biking in the village center. The intersection at Lincoln/Codman Road will be improved with crosswalks to facilitate safe pedestrian crossing and improve connectivity to other amenities within walking distance from the MBTA station and the village center, such as Drumlin Farm.
Lynnfield is receiving $383,555 to improve pedestrian access and safety at three schools: Lynnfield Middle School, Summer Street School, and Huckleberry Hill Elementary School. The proposed improvements will include tightening intersections, modifying and painting crosswalks, installing pedestrian signals, providing crossing islands, improving signage and pavement markings, and placing radar speed feedback signs. This will help provide more visible, safer pedestrian crossings and control driver behavior and speeds.
Millbury is receiving $174,499 to reconstruct the South Main Street intersection with North Main and Elm Street. South Main Street is a pedestrian access route that links the dense residential neighborhood beyond the South Main Street Bridge, which includes 83 units of low-income senior and family housing, to Millbury Center’s shops, restaurants, banks, services, churches, day care center, and municipal facilities. South Main Street also links the residential neighborhood to schools within and just beyond Millbury Center and is an important destination for bicyclists utilizing the nearby Blackstone River Bikeway. This project will reconstruct the intersection, replace sidewalks, reduce crossing distance, create a new pedestrian plaza, install curb extensions, new LED street lights, bicycle racks next to the bus shelter, and bicycle wayfinding signs. The project will also improve transit connections for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Nantucket is receiving $114,114 to create a quality walking and biking connection along Sparks Avenue from Atlantic Avenue to Hooper Farm Road. The project will construct an 8-foot wide sidewalk that will connect to existing sidewalks on Atlantic Avenue and create a complete sidewalk network. Additionally, crosswalks will be realigned, shortened and restriped for safety and better visibility. This new sidewalk will connect pedestrians and bicyclists with points west, Mill Hill Park, the Nantucket Cottage Hospital, Nantucket High School and athletic fields, the Lower Pleasant Business District, surrounding neighborhoods, and points east. The project is within a mile of the Nantucket High School/Special Education, the Nantucket Elementary School, the Montessori Children’s House of Nantucket, and the Nantucket Lighthouse School.
Pittsfield is receiving $353,562 to make numerous pedestrians and bicycle accessibility improvements. This includes sidewalk upgrades along Allen Street from East to School Street, improvements at the intersection of Fenn and Allen Street to provide greater separation for pedestrians, and the installation of a separated bicycle lane along Wahconah Street along a corridor between Wahconah Park and Berkshire Medical Center, housing, and businesses. Other projects include new mid-block crosswalks, intersection upgrades along Burbank Street adjacent to Morningside Community School, safety upgrades at the intersection of East and Elm Street, improvements at the intersection of West and Hurlbut Street, new bicycle lanes and signage along Elm Street, safety improvements at the intersection of Springside Avenue and Grove Street, and sidewalk repairs along Union Street.
Rockland is receiving $399,228 to realign the intersection of East Water and Liberty Street which is located within one mile of the Rockland Junior and Senior High School, the McKinley School, the Holy Family School, the Rockland Community Education Center, the Memorial Park Elementary School, and the Jefferson Elementary School. The work will create a four-way stop controlled intersection by removing the slip-lanes, installing curb extensions to reduce corner radii, re-aligning and restriping crosswalks to reduce crossing distances for pedestrians, and installing new signage.
Shirley is receiving $392,091 to improve bicycle and pedestrian facilities along Front Street and allow connections to the MBTA Commuter Rail, town hall, Ayer/Shirley Regional Middle School, banks, convenience stores, Hazen Library, and the U.S. Post Office. The work will replace the Front Street sidewalk with 5-feet ADA compliant concrete sidewalks, wheelchair ramps, and warning panels from Main Street to Hospital Road. It will replace crosswalks with high visibility crosswalks and signage, and a new bicycle lane will be put in place on Front Street to improve bicycle safety and reduce vehicle speeds by narrowing the width of travel lanes.
Somerset is receiving $400,000 to make safety and pedestrian network improvements along Riverside Avenue, which travels in a north-south direction alongside the scenic Taunton River and connects to Pierce Playground, Pierce Beach, recreational and sports fields and to the Somerset Marina. The project will improve access and safety for pedestrians and bicyclists by narrowing travel lanes, constructing a continuous sidewalk on the river side, and installing raised crosswalks.
Springfield is receiving $207,161 to carry out six projects to help complete bicycle network links. This includes the installation of bicycle lanes along Roosevelt Avenue to enhance bicycling to Springfield College and local high schools, filling of a bicycle lane gap along South Branch Parkway to complete a network of bicycle friendly streets in residential neighborhoods, installation of bicycle lanes and signage along Wilbraham Road adjacent to Western New England University campus, and installation of bicycle lanes and signage along East Street from Page Boulevard to the Chicopee city line. In addition, pedestrian safety improvements will be made at the intersection of Fisher/Haskin Street to improve access to Hiram L. Dorman Elementary School, and at three intersections along the walking route to the Lincoln Elementary School, Calhoun Park and Baystate Medical Center.
Topsfield is receiving $382,000 to make various safety and connectivity improvements throughout the Topsfield Common Historic District. The Town’s overall vision is to align safety and accessibility while also promoting multimodal access and connectivity throughout the adjacent residential neighborhood and the downtown village shopping area. This project replaces sidewalks and curb ramps on Grove and Washington Streets, closes gaps in the pedestrian network with new sidewalks, and enhances safety at Topsfield Rail Trail crossings.
West Bridgewater is receiving $287,399 to provide improved pedestrian connections and traffic control in the immediate vicinity of the West Bridgewater Middle-Senior High School, and improve access to the middle school, one of the elementary schools, and the library. To provide for safer crossings and improved control across West Center Street, a traffic control signal will be installed with accessible pedestrian controls, detectable warning surfaces and high visibility crosswalks to accommodate safe crossings. The proposed traffic control signal will include bicycle detection on all approaches to promote bicycle access along Howard Street.
Written by Klark Jessen, MassDOT Blog