MassDOT recently announced a new round of the Shared Streets and Spaces Grant Program, which is now open for applications. All municipalities and transit authorities in Massachusetts are eligible to apply. In light of recent increases in speeding-related crashes and fatalities, this new phase of the program will have an additional emphasis on safety, and is looking to fund projects that improve safety for all road users through interventions that achieve safer conditions and safer speeds.
Funds can be used for quick-build improvements to plazas, sidewalks, curbs, streets, bus stops, parking areas, and other public spaces in support of public health, safe mobility, and renewed commerce. These improvements can be intentionally temporary, in the style of tactical urbanism, or can be pilots of potentially permanent changes to streets and sidewalks. Bonus points will be awarded to projects seeking to address an identified safety concern through measures such as street reconfigurations and traffic calming. Bonus points will also be awarded to projects with the following features:
- Environmental Justice communities. An additional bonus point will be awarded to projects that are situated in Census Blocks in which the area median household income is below the statewide median household income
- Municipalities designated as a COVID-19 ‘higher risk (red) community’ at the time of application (check status here)
- Cities and towns that have not previously received a Shared Streets and Spaces grant in either summer or winter cycles
- Proposed projects with a budget of $50,000 or less
- Quick-build projects that can be implemented by September 7, 2021
- Projects that are proximate to schools, senior centers, transit and transit connections, and open space and parks
Shared Streets and Spaces will provide cities and towns with grants as small as $5,000 and as large as $200,000. Applications will be accepted until Friday, May 21st. Please visit the Shared Streets and Spaces Grant Program website for more information on eligible project types and how to apply.
BETA has assisted several MA municipalities in the preparation of applications which have been accepted and approved by MassDOT to receive funding. We have the experience, team, and vision to identify areas of opportunity within a city or town. We then position them to align the benefits of the project with the goals of the Shared Streets and Spaces program, resulting in a better likelihood of approval and acceptance into the program.
One recent example was a submittal for 336 Boston Post Road in Wayland, MA. This streetscape was proposed to be converted into a dining area, with direct connection to the Mass Central Rail Trail/East Coast Greenway, which creates a new multi-use path connection to the businesses on Post Road with the Mass Central Rail Trail/East Coast Greenway. This improves local mobility and connectivity to a regional shared bikeway, while also providing safe and functional environments for curb-side dining. BETA assisted the Town in identifying project benefits for all users, project timelines, and anticipated budget. In addition to the grant application, BETA prepared landscape amenities design, graphics/renderings, and presentation materials to support the technical aspect of the application. Ultimately, the project was approved to receive funding and has been fast-tracked for a quick implementation to support the immediate needs of the community.
BETA also recently worked with the Town of Natick, who received $55K through the Shared Streets and Spaces program to create a separated bike/shared-use lane on a segment of Route 30 by making use of the road’s shoulders. This project will increase bicycle and pedestrian accessibility, safety, and connectivity on a major thoroughfare through the Towns of Natick and Wayland, while also serving users of the Cochituate Rail Trail. BETA assisted the Town with developing construction cost estimates, maps, and supplemental illustrations to help the grant application review team visualize the finished project.
Contact us to see how BETA can help you identify your potential project site and develop application materials.