a white speed limit sign with bright colored leaves in the background

The fourth grant round of the Shared Streets and Spaces Program will place particular emphasis on a specific type of roadway project: the management of vehicular speeds through design interventions.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has opened the fourth grant round of the Shared Streets and Spaces Program, with applications due by March 1.

While multiple project types are eligible for funding, this year MassDOT will be placing particular emphasis on roadway projects designed to manage vehicle speeds through design interventions. “Speed management” involves making targeted changes to streets, using identified safety measures, in order to reduce crashes and the severity of crashes through safer and more consistent vehicle speeds.

MassDOT recently launched a Safe Speeds website to provide municipalities with information on speed management and opportunities to seek grant funding to implement speed control measures.

MassDOT reported that there were 415 fatalities in 2021 due to 386 “crash incidents” in Massachusetts. “Higher speed increases the risk of a fatal or serious crash and reduces the likelihood of survival,” the Safe Speeds website states. “Every mph matters: each 1 mph increase that a person drives can be attributed to a 3% increase in potential loss of life.”

A MassDOT speed management information page states that “physical changes and engineering-related roadway treatments are critical to realizing safer speeds, ” adding that effective physical roadway treatments can make safe travel speeds “self-enforcing.”

Shared Streets and Spaces provides funding to municipalities and public transit authorities to quickly implement improvements to plazas, sidewalks, curbs, streets, bus stops, parking areas and other public spaces in support of public health, safe mobility and strengthened commerce.

Building on the success of the program first launched as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic during the summer of 2020, the program continues to be an integral funding source for communities as they address ongoing challenges and seek to improve their transportation infrastructure. Thus far, Shared Streets and Spaces has awarded a total of $33 million to 183 municipalities and four transit authorities to implement 310 projects.

Only municipalities and public transit authorities are eligible to apply. Applications are submitted via an online form. For more details, visit the How to Apply page.

Award notifications will be released within four to six weeks after the application deadline, with a project implementation deadline of June 30, 2023.

For more information about speed management projects and other eligible project types, visit the Program Overview page.