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MassDOT’s ‘Shared Streets and Spaces’ Grants Will Continue Into 2024

11:10 AM EDT on July 13, 2023

Turners Falls shared streets and spaces project in Montague, Mass.

A Shared Streets and Spaces project in Montague’s Turners Falls village used paint and flexible bollards to narrow intersections shorten crosswalks on Third Street. Montague recently won grant funds to make these changes permanent with more durable materials. Photo courtesy of the Franklin Regional Council of Governments.

The days of "physical distancing" are mostly behind us, but a pandemic-era program designed to promote safer outdoor gathering spaces on public streets will continue for at least one more year.

MassDOT's popular Shared Streets and Spaces program launched during the Covid-19 pandemic to fund safer walking and biking routes and outdoor gathering spaces.

Over three years, the program has funded hundreds of small-scale safety and public space improvements, including new sidewalks, bus lanes, crosswalk improvements, sidewalk snow plows, and quick-build bike lanes.

A MassDOT website currently lists the application deadline for the next round of Shared Streets and Spaces grants as "TBD."

A MassDOT spokesperson told StreetsblogMASS that the agency plans to accept applications for the next round of Shared Streets and Spaces grants later this year. The program has a budget of $8.5 million for fiscal year 2024.

During 2020 and 2021, MassDOT was issuing Shared Streets and Spaces grants at a rapid clip, with new awards going out every few months.

But the pace slowed in 2021, after the widespread availability of vaccinations blunted the pandemic's impact. MassDOT issued its last two rounds of Shared Streets and Spaces grants in July 2021 and in August 2022.

MassDOT spokesperson Jacquelyn Goddard told StreetsblogMASS that the agency will make an announcement to accept a new round of grant applications for the program later this calendar year.

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