Natick Public Works employees install the first phase of a traffic calming trial in the town center on Sept. 25 after receiving a $25,000 Shared Streets grant. (Photo courtesy Joshua Ostroff)

The Baker-Polito administration in mid-November announced a new phase in its Shared Streets and Spaces program tailored for the winter months, with an initial $10 million investment in municipal grants.

Shared Winter Streets and Spaces focuses on supporting communities to facilitate outdoor activities and winter programming by creating safe spaces for people of all ages and abilities to walk, bicycle, eat, shop, play and enjoy community events.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is encouraging cities and towns to develop proposals to manage the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on winter mobility by conceiving, designing and executing improvements to sidewalks, curbs, streets, plazas and parking areas.

Applications will be given preference if they include elements for children and youth, seniors, accessing public transit, or accessing public parks and other open spaces. Preferential consideration will also be given to applications from Environmental Justice communities, municipalities in which the median income of all residents is lower than the statewide median, and those identified as at high risk for COVID-19 transmission.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, with decisions made in four rounds. Applications need to be submitted by:
• Dec 4 for consideration and award by Dec. 22
• Jan. 5 for consideration and award by Feb. 2
• Jan. 29 for consideration and award by Feb. 26
• Feb. 26 for consideration and award by March 26

The project completion and spending deadline for all four rounds is May 31, 2021.

The Shared Streets and Spaces program, launched in June, has provided $10.2 million to 123 projects in 103 cities and towns in support of public health, safe mobility and renewed commerce.

The Barr Foundation will continue its partnership with MassDOT by providing pro bono technical assistance to any interested municipality applying for Shared Winter Streets and Spaces funding.

Visit the Shared Winter Streets and Spaces website for more information, including project eligibility.

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