Bus stop, crosswalk improvements funded in Montague, Deerfield

  • Montague’s $178,376 in grant funding will help improve this bus stop on Millers Falls Road at Industrial Boulevard. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Montague’s $178,376 in grant funding will help improve this bus stop on Millers Falls Road at Industrial Boulevard. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Published: 8/15/2022 4:10:12 PM
Modified: 8/15/2022 4:06:44 PM

The streets of Deerfield and Montague will get a minor facelift with new crosswalks and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant curb ramps through the state’s Shared Streets and Spaces Grant Program.

In the largest-ever round of Shared Streets and Spaces funding, Deerfield received $113,188 to do crosswalk work. Montague, through a partnership with the Franklin Regional Transit Authority (FRTA), received $178,376 to undertake a variety of work highlighted by bus stop improvements.

The Shared Streets and Spaces program provides grants as small as $5,000 and as large as $500,000 for municipalities and transit authorities to make changes to their streets that allow for safer walking, biking, public transit, recreation, commerce and civic activities, according to a press release from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT).

In Deerfield, Selectboard member Carolyn Shores Ness said the town will be installing new crosswalks at Frontier Regional School and at the site of the abutting North Main Street park, which had its site plan review approved by the Planning Board, but is under appeal from an abutter.

“That area is very dangerous. … People are distracted when they’re on the phone, people go too fast and we’re really concerned for kids’ safety,” Shores Ness said. “It’s a safety issue.”

Along with the new crosswalks to the park, the town will install flashing pedestrian signs on North Main Street to ensure drivers are aware when someone is crossing the road.

Additionally, Shores Ness said the town will be “looking at all the crosswalks” to see what needs ADA-compliant curb upgrades, with a goal of increasing walkability.

“This is part of what we envision to make (the town) friendly for people,” Shores Ness said. “We want to encourage people to walk, we want to encourage people to be downtown and this is part of our overall effort.”

Montague’s $178,376 allotment will help improve an FRTA bus stop on Millers Falls Road at Industrial Boulevard with shelters, bicycle racks, new crosswalks and ADA-compliant curb ramps.

“The current stops are dated and some of them are in need of repair, so the improved stops and the ability to have riders not exposed to the elements while they’re waiting is certainly an improvement,” explained Rich Kuklewicz, Montague Selectboard chair and a member of the FRTA Advisory Board.

Other Franklin County towns that received grant money for snow removal equipment, bicycle maintenance stations or speed feedback signs are: $10,542 for Ashfield; $44,333 for Charlemont; $31,229 for Greenfield; $40,000 for Northfield; $20,432 for Shelburne; and $10,609 for Whately.

Chris Larabee can be reached at clarabee@recorder.com or 413-930-4081. Reach Julian Mendoza at 413-772-0261, ext. 261 or jmendoza@recorder.com.


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