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Officials Announces Complete Streets Program Grants

Wed November 30, 2016 - Northeast Edition #24
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Lieutenant Gov. Karyn Polito, Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack, Highway Administrator Thomas Tinlin, and members of the Legislature announced grant funding from the Complete Streets Program to 11 participating municipalities. A ceremony was held at the Massachusetts State House to distribute funding for the Complete Streets Funding Program.

“We're proud of the efforts our administration has taken to make Massachusetts a better place to live and work, and the Complete Streets Program is another way that we can do that in our neighborhoods and city and town centers,” said Gov. Charlie Baker. “We also understand that cities and towns know their communities better than anyone, and with the Complete Streets Program, they are empowered to design for the unique needs of their residents, commuters and the traveling public.”

“We are very excited to provide municipalities with the first round of funding for the Complete Streets Program,” said Lieutenant Gov. Karyn Polito. “The Complete Streets Program provides municipalities with an opportunity to identify and develop key transportation improvement projects that seek to increase the safety, accessibility, and reliability of multi-modal transportation for residents across the Commonwealth.”

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.

The Complete Streets grant funding awards will be used to fund local, multi-modal infrastructure improvement projects, as identified in each municipality's submitted Complete Streets Prioritization Plan. Examples of projects that can be addressed through the program include improved street lighting; radar speed signage; intersection signalization; new shared bike paths; designated bicycle lanes; ADA/AAB compliant curb ramps; transit signal prioritization; and transit pedestrian connection improvements such as ramps, signage and new signals at crosswalks.

“MassDOT is pleased to partner with municipalities across the Commonwealth to offer the Complete Streets Program to help communities make much needed transportation improvements,” said Transportation Secretary & CEO Stephanie Pollack. “I would like to thank all of the state and local officials, civic and community leaders, and members of the MassDOT staff who have helped to streamline the program, and highlight the need to incorporate 'complete streets' into design and planning projects.”

Complete Streets Program requirements include the attendance by municipalities at an initial program workshop, passage of a Complete Streets Policy that scores 80 or above out of a possible 100 points (Tier 1), and the development of a Complete Streets Prioritization Plan (Tier 2). Upon completion of these requirements, a municipality is eligible for construction funds (Tier 3). Through the program, a municipality is eligible for up to $50,000 for technical assistance, and up to $400,000 for construction funding with additional consideration in the qualification process for Community Compact communities.

The Complete Streets Funding Program was launched on February 1 of this year. To date, 91 municipalities have approved policies and 27 have approved Prioritization Plans. MassDOT has developed a full Complete Streets Funding Program Guidance document that explains the program requirements, model policy guidance and scoring system, and eligible infrastructure. A two way interactive online portal has been developed to guide and assist municipalities through the Policy Development, Prioritization Plan and Project Approval Tiers of the program.

Complete Streets Funding

Locations and Descriptions

• Acton will receive funding for town center pedestrian safety improvements; reconfiguration of travel lanes on Main Street (Route 27) at Maple Street/High Street to improve bicycle safety; and Main Street Corridor bike lanes to improve bike safety between the Assabet River Rail Trail and the Bruce Freeman Rail Trails. In addition, the town also will install a sheltered bike rack at the South Acton Commuter Rail Station to serve the large number of cyclists who seek access to the station on a daily basis.

• Arlington will receive funding to make improvements to Gray Street, which serves as a major route for children walking to Ottoson Middle School. The Gray Street Pedestrian Accessibility & Connectivity Improvement Project will provide a new section of sidewalk; new handicap ramps; and improve the safety and visibility of the crosswalk located at Quincy and Fountain Street with a new pedestrian activated beacon. The project will make the major street crossing and path to the school more visible, accessible and safe for children and other pedestrians.

• Beverly will receive funding for the reconstruction of Broadway Street to provide a network for pedestrians and bicyclists to connect Beverly's downtown commercial district with the Beverly Depot Commuter Rail Station. New ADA compliant sidewalks and curb ramps, bicycle sharrows, signage and pedestrian scaled lighting will nicely complement MassDOT's current Rantoul Street improvements.

• Cambridge will receive funding to enhance major city and Chapter 90 funded projects on Massachusetts Avenue and Lawn Streets. Cambridge's two roadway segment improvement projects will improve walkability and provide bicycle network accommodations. Cambridge also will improve user safety by providing pedestrian signal timing improvements; marked crosswalks and reducing corner radii to increase intersection crossing safety; and bicycle parking at transit stops. In addition, Complete Streets funding will be used for sidewalks, pedestrian ramps and bike parking.

• Framingham will receive funding to build a section of a two-way multi-use path originating just north of the intersection of Fountain Street and Dudley Road and continuing along the east side of Dudley Road, terminating at Dr. Harvey L. Cushing Way. The multi-use path will link residents in nearby neighborhoods to downtown transit, employers, and schools, and provide access to major Town recreation amenities.

• Lawrence will receive funding to create a safer path to the Wetherbee School and to Riverside Park. Sidewalks will be repaired along Kingston Street to Riverside Park and new crosswalks and ADA compliant ramps at the intersections. The Kingston/Everett intersection will be addressed to calm traffic speed and reduce crossing distance. New flashing beacons also will alert vehicles to crossing pedestrians.

• Lowell will receive funding to construct a new lighted and landscaped multi-use shared path in the South Commons Park to provide vital connections between the Gallagher Multi-Modal Bus/Train Terminal, the Rogers School STEM Academy and the Markham Village low-income apartments. Another multi use trail spur will run parallel to Thorndike Street from the Highland Street intersection to the Gallagher Terminal intersection. The improvements dovetail with the new multi-modal improvements being done as part of the Lord Overpass reconstruction project.

• Medford will receive funding to improve pedestrian safety at six strategic locations, including traffic calming and signal improvements at Brooks Elementary School and intersection and crossing improvements at West Medford Square, Tufts Pool and Park, Medford Square, and Winthrop circle. Funding also supports bicycle safety improvements along Boston Avenue with a northbound separated bicycle lane and southbound shared lane between High Street in West Medford to the Somerville line on Broadway.

• Stoughton will receive funding to improve walkability and accessibility of Central Street from the intersection of Pearl Street to the intersection of Tosca Drive. New sidewalks with traffic calming landscaping buffer strips will help to better connect pedestrians to schools and low income housing and recreations facilities. The project serves environmental justice populations and also leverages a Safe Routes to School Project and a TIP intersection improvement project at Tosca/Central Street to increase the overall impact.

• Westwood will receive funding to improve the intersection geometry and crossing safety of High Street and Pond Street. The town identified these areas of need through a safety audit. Approximately 1,000 ft. (304.8 m) of new sidewalk will be constructed on the westerly side of High Street from Millbrook Road to Pond Street to improve connectivity between residential neighborhoods and the William E. Sheehan School. An additional project includes constructing 5-ft. (1.5 m) bike lanes in each direction along 1-mi. (1.6 km) of Blue Hill Drive to improve local and regional bicycle connectivity from Canton Street to University Avenue and the University Station transit facility and mixed-use development.

• Winchester will receive funding to construct pedestrian safety improvements at twelve critical locations across town. Improvements include traffic calming, (or narrowing travel lanes), improved crosswalks, installation of pedestrian flashing beacons, and installation of “Your Speed” radar feedback signs. Locations include the crosswalk on Highland and Stone Avenue, a primary walking route for children attending the Muraco Elementary School.

The available funding for Complete Streets is $12.5 million to be used through Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017. Per the authorizing legislation in the 2014 Transportation Bond Bill, MassDOT is required to distribute one-third of the monies to municipalities below the median household income.

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