Priority bus lane project in the city of Everett. (Photo courtesy BostonBRT)

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has announced a new round of the Shared Streets and Spaces grant program, which is now open for applications.

All municipalities and transit authorities in the Commonwealth are eligible to apply for this new phase of the program, which is intended to help communities gear up for summer amid the ongoing public health crisis.

In light of recent increases in speeding-related crashes and fatalities, MassDOT announced that it is looking to fund projects that improve safety for all road users through interventions that achieve safer conditions and safer speeds.

Shared Streets and Spaces supports municipalities and transit authorities to improve plazas, sidewalks, curbs, streets, bus stops, parking areas and other public spaces in support of public health, safe mobility and renewed commerce. For this new round, 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 — 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
• Cities and towns that have not previously received a Shared Streets and Spaces grant in either the summer or winter cycles
• Proposed projects with a budget of $50,000 or less
• Quick-build projects that can be implemented by Sept. 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. The maximum amount that can be requested this spring is lower than previous iterations of Shared Streets and Spaces. Better Bus projects that provide new facilities for public buses may receive up to $500,000.

Applications will be accepted until May 21, and award notifications will be made by June 25.

The Shared Streets and Spaces grant program website has information on eligible project types and how to apply. Questions may be sent to

Shared Streets and Spaces was launched during the summer of 2020 and later extended to address the particular challenges of winter. The program has awarded a total of $26.4 million to 161 municipalities and four transit authorities to implement 232 projects. Grant-funded projects have ranged from dedicated bus and bike lanes to seasonal parklets, road diets, safer crosswalks, and new bike share stations.

For examples of previously funded Shared Streets and Spaces projects, visit the MassDOT Google Photo Drive or the Metropolitan Area Planning Council Flickr page. The Shared Streets and Spaces Award Announcements page has descriptions of previously funded projects. Prospective applicants may also be interested in viewing the Shared Streets and Spaces resource library for case studies and other evaluation materials.