Medford Launches “Shared Streets” Pilot Program
Shared Streets programs allow streets in residential areas to be utilized by abutters only, creating traffic calming and opening streets for more walking, biking, etc.
Shared Streets programs being utilized as a best practice regionally to allow for physical distancing during Covid-19 crisis.
MEDFORD – Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn announced this week that the City of Medford is launching its first-ever Shared Streets pilot program for Summer 2020.
Shared Streets concepts prioritize public streets for pedestrians, bicyclists, and lower-speed vehicles. Concepts typically range from installing street furniture, planters, and other “barriers,” along the public way, to posting simple signage deterring through traffic from utilizing a particular street. In Massachusetts, cities and towns like Medford have already begun Shared Streets program to create more opportunities for outdoor activities while maintaining social distancing.
This week, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation announced that Medford is one of only 12 communities throughout the state receiving funding to support Shared Streets initiatives; Medford’s allotment of the state grant will directly support expanding outdoor dining options for Medford restaurants, including installation of jersey barriers, temporary ADA ramps, safety measures, and equipment for beautification.
The City of Medford plans to launch its Shared Streets program as a pilot in Summer 2020, in several ways:
- Providing additional outdoor dining options for restaurants, by request. Restaurant owners who do not currently have permits to serve food or alcoholic beverages outdoors but would like to obtain a permit, and/or restaurants who do not have sufficient existing outdoor options to do so, can register with the City of Medford to determine potential opportunities for assistance. You can register at the following link: https://tinyurl.com/medford-reopen-reg, or contact the Office of Community Development at 781-393-2480 or email@example.com.
- On residential secondary streets, by resident request. If you and your neighbors are interested in seeing a Shared Streets pilot on your street, you can sign up at the following link. To be sure that the program will be helpful and not negatively impact your neighborhood, we will ask that you provide proof of support from most residents of your street. https://tinyurl.com/SharedStreetsMedford
In considering residents’ requests, the City plans to rank proposals using criteria including but not limited to:
- Streets within “environmental justice areas”
- Public streets (vs. private ways)
- Streets that have been reported as high-speed zones to the Traffic Commission
- Ensure that requests are spread throughout the city and not clustered within a few specific areas
Medford’s Shared Streets program on residential streets would include signage at the entrance(s) to your street; no permanent or temporary furniture will be added to your street during the pilot program.
If you have questions, please contact Miranda Briseño in the Office of Community Development at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Medford city services are available to all residents, regardless of economic situation, immigration status, ability, benefit eligibility, or religious affiliation.