Town of Arlington Receives Two MassDOT Shared Streets and Spaces Grants

Projects will repurpose spaces for socially-distanced activities throughout Arlington

The Town of Arlington received two Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Shared Streets and Spaces grantstotaling $57,674. The Shared Streets and Spaces Program is intended to support projects that promote public health, safe mobility, and renewed commerce by quickly providing new or repurposed space for socially-distanced walking, bicycling, dining, retail, and bus travel.

The first award, totaling $46,727, will enhance public and private outdoor seating, ensure pedestrian safety, and provide bicycle parking infrastructure in Arlington Center and Arlington Heights. Converting parking spaces, small roadways, and pedestrian alleyways into safer areas to dine outdoors, walk, and travel by bicycle will assist businesses by providing additional public space for their customers’ use and safer means of access to commercial centers. In Arlington Center, dining spaces will be installed along Alton Street and Medford Street. A section of Park Terrace will be closed to vehicle traffic and turned into an outdoor seating area and pedestrian plaza. Lighting and bike racks will be installed along the pedestrian walkway on Old Mystic Street adjacent to Whittemore Park to transform the pedestrian experience. In the Heights, a parklet and an outdoor seating area will be installed in front of 1306-1308 Massachusetts Avenue.

The second award, totaling $10,947, will support the installation ofshared street components in East Arlington to provide safe social distancing space for people walking, bicycling, and rolling. Slowing vehicle speeds on these roadways is especially important as lower traffic levels in recent months facilitate faster vehicle travel, creating an impediment to walking, bicycling, and rolling activity. Shared street components will be installed along Brooks Avenue, several side streets between Brooks Avenue and Herbert Road, and along Mary Street as approved by the Select Board in August 2020 and building on the Brooks Avenue pilot held in May 2020 and continued in August. Project components include using portable materials such as traffic delineators, sandwich boards, sawhorses, and signage, to create traffic calming elements on these streets. 

Both of these projects will be implemented quickly and efficiently due to the portability of the project components. The installations will remain in place until late fall 2020 at which point they will be disassembled and stored until the spring.

To learn more about the shared streets project, contact Daniel Amstutz, Senior Transportation Planner, at damstutz@town.arlington.ma.us. To learn more about the outdoor dining project, contact Ali Carter, Economic Development Coordinator, at acarter@town.arlington.ma.us.  

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