The MassDOT grant will fund a number of parklets and traffic calming projects as well as creating bike lanes and outdoor pedestrian spaces.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city has received $238,826 for Shared Streets and Spaces projects from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to support 20 placemaking projects.
The city announced Tuesday that the state Department of Transportation approved and funded the its grant application for the Shared Streets and Spaces Program in the amount of $238,826.
The grant program was instituted in part to aid communities in developing areas for pedestrian access and outdoor economic activities, such as outdoor dining, during the novel coronavirus pandemic. However, applications were weighed on the potential and intent for making these improvements permanent.
This program will support 20 placemaking projects in the downtown corridor designed to enhance mobility for pedestrians and bicyclists, integrate additional open and public spaces for community life, and improve navigation.
The grant program provides grants as small as $5,000 and as large as $300,000 for cities and towns to quickly implement or expand improvements to sidewalks, curbs, streets, on-street parking spaces and off-street parking lots in support of public health, safe mobility, and renewed commerce in their communities.
Projects are split into two categories:
Enhanced Mobility Components: Projects that will enhance mobility by taking paved space typically used for car travel and altering it for more diverse use.
These projects include traffic calming measures, bicycle and pedestrian-friendly paths and improvements, parking changes, and traffic changes.
Placemaking Components: Projects that draw foot traffic by creating focal points throughout the downtown to create a more inviting outdoor experience.
The projects include the installation of various parklets and plazas throughout the downtown as well as interactive play streets. Projects also include gateway intersections and corridors that invite pedestrians to explore and continue their walk through the downtown.
Projects vary in cost from $4,000 to just over $20,000
A full outlay on the projects can be found here but some highlights are protected bike lanes from Maplewood Avenue to Wahconah Street, a play street installation on Melville Street, and the North Street gateway enhanced corridor that will include shade structures, bike racks, public art, and seating.
Work is expected to begin now and continue through early October, adhering to the grant's required timeline.
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