Through the recently launched Local Rapid Recovery Plan (LRRP) program, the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is assisting communities with developing actionable, project-based recovery plans to address the impacts of COVID-19 on downtowns, town centers, and commercial areas across the Commonwealth.
DHCD has made $10 million available to 125 communities to develop actionable plans that are unique to each community. The program has three phases, beginning with data collection and diagnostics, shifting to community engagement and project recommendations, and ending with the development of a final plan for each
Acting as plan facilitator, BETA represented nine communities in this statewide planning process including Acton, Foxboro, Littleton, Milton, Northfield, Rockland, Taunton, Westfield, and Wrentham. We utilized our multi-disciplined professionals to evaluate each community’s specific issues and recommended short-term and long-term project solutions. The resulting Local Recovery Plans included analysis and exploration of challenges, barriers, strategies, and actions, with a focus on developing tactical and strategic project recommendations that help communities achieve their recovery goals. A project rubric was developed for each recommended project which included a preliminary budget, time frame, risk, performance indicators, partners and resources, action items and process.
BETA staff served as Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) for seven communities including Eastham, Holliston, Medfield, Mendon, Methuen, Shrewsbury, and Westborough. SME areas included complete streets, traffic calming, wayfinding and signage, traffic mitigation, water and wastewater, and environmental issues. BETA staff also served on a webinar expert panel discussing COVID-19 Impacts on Parking, Biking, Sidewalks, and Streets. Best Practices projects sheets were provided for East Providence, RI and Natick and Wayland, MA.