The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has announced a new $5 million Shared Streets & Spaces Funding Program to provide technical and funding assistance to help cities and towns design and execute shared streets and spaces projects.

The quick-launch/quick-build grant program, in partnership with the Barr Foundation, will provide grants for municipalities to quickly launch or expand improvements to sidewalks, curbs, streets and parking.

Grants may range from $5,000 to $300,000 and be used to quickly implement or expand improvements to sidewalks, curbs, streets, on-street parking spaces, and off-street parking lots in support of public health, safe mobility, and renewed commerce in their communities.

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito explained that the program will “create safe ways for people to walk, bike, and use transit as they take advantage of reopening restaurants and retail locations in their communities.”

Shared Streets & Spaces is also designed to facilitate the development of safer routes to schools, child care and programs for children and youth.

Applications for grant funding will be accepted from June 22 through Sept. 29, and projects must be mostly or completely implemented by Oct. 9.

Grants will be awarded by MassDOT on a rolling basis and made available as simply and quickly as possible so that projects can be completed this summer and fall.

Shared Streets & Spaces is modeled after the administration’s Complete Streets Funding Program, which was created in February 2016 and, as of January 2020, had awarded $46 million to cities and towns for transportation infrastructure improvements.

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