Montague, Erving and Northfield earn grants for pedestrian improvement projects

  • The sidewalks on the corner of Moody Street and Highland Avenue in Northfield. Contributed photo

Staff Writer
Published: 11/6/2020 4:07:36 PM
Modified: 11/6/2020 4:07:21 PM

Montague, Erving and Northfield have each received grants for pedestrian improvement projects, mostly comprising repairs of old sidewalks and construction of new ones. Each town’s grant is worth nearly $400,000.

The grants come from the state Department of Transportation’s Complete Streets program, which typically supports infrastructure projects that will improve not only vehicle traffic, but also pedestrian or bicycle traffic.

“The point of the program is, the state wants towns to look at a road or an area or an intersection, and think about every potential user,” said Beth Giannini, a transportation planner at the Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG).

Towns that participate in the Complete Streets program submit priority lists to the Department of Transportation (MassDOT) before they can apply for funding. FRCOG provides assistance in that process to member towns that need it, Giannini said. This year, all three Franklin County towns that received funding were assisted by FRCOG.

Since 2017 (the first year of the Complete Streets program), Greenfield, Sunderland, Whately and Buckland have also received funding. Deerfield has submitted a priority list, which has been approved, but the town has not received funding yet.

The grants awarded this year are $399,596 for Erving, $399,686 for Montague and $372,620 for Northfield. The maximum possible funding amount is $400,000.

Erving’s funded projects include repairs of old sidewalks and construction of new ones on River Street, Strachan Street, Central Street, Park Street, Pratt Street and Gunn Street. A summary provided by FRCOG notes that the new sidewalks will improve access to the public park on Central Street and Park Street.

Montague’s funded projects include sidewalk repair and construction on Keith Street, Montague Street and Turnpike Road. Notably, the projects will serve to improve pedestrian access in neighborhoods around Hillcrest Elementary School and Sheffield Elementary School.

Northfield’s projects include sidewalks on Moody Street, Highland Avenue and Winchester Road; streetlights on Moody Street and Winchester Road; crosswalks on Pentecost Road, School Street and Lorita Lane; and radar speed signs on Mount Hermon Station Road and Gulf Road. The intersection of Moody Street and Highland Street is also being modified to give pedestrians more walking space, and to simplify the area for vehicles.

Reach Max Marcus at or 413-930-4231.


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