BOSTON – State Senator Ryan Fattman (R-Sutton) announced that the Baker-Polito Administration was increasing the total funding for the Shared Streets and Spaces Emergency Grant Program to $10 million. The award of $3.9 million is the largest round of funding to date.
The program was launched on June 10, and it provides technical and funding assistance to help Massachusetts cities and towns conceive, design, and implement tactical changes to curbs, streets, on-street parking spaces and off-street. Parking lots in support of public health, safe mobility, and renewed commerce.
The quick-build grant program provides grants as small as $5,000 and as large as $300,000 for municipalities to quickly launch changes to sidewalks, curbs, streets, on-street parking spaces and off-street parking lots in support of public health, safe mobility – including safe walking and biking to schools – 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.
MassDOT is managing the Shared Streets & Spaces Program and the Barr Foundation is providing free technical assistance through service providers to city and town officials who may request help in identifying possible projects, designing project elements, applying for funding, conducting safety evaluations, and considering needs in regard to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Northbridge received $135,739.80 to reconfigure a school parking lot to create a safer drop-off area, install a temporary sidewalk using water barriers to connect the parking lot with the crossing guard crosswalk, redirect entrance and egress patterns for the school, install new signage, and add two new ADA-accessible parking spaces.
“This injection of funding into our municipalities comes at a critical juncture in our Commonwealth’s recovery,” said Senator Ryan Fattman. “As we continue to deal with the existence of this virus, and send students back to school, it is important that towns like Northbridge receive the support they need to meet the back-to-school safety protocols.”
"I am happy that Northbridge was able to receive additional funding through the Shared Streets Program," said Senator Michael Moore. "Making the spaces in and around our schools as safe as possible is essential for creating a proper learning environment. A safer and more efficient drop off area for students is a great way of achieving this."
“Municipalities have been hit especially hard across the Commonwealth in our fight against COVID-19,” said Representative David Muradian. “I am confident that the town of Northbridge will use these funds to further assist our students and faculty in arriving and departing safely from school. I also want to thank the Baker-Polito Administration for their constant efforts and dedication to our districts during these trying times.”