The Lynn City Council adopted a Complete Streets policy Tuesday, formalizing the City’s commitment to having streets that are accessible and safe for all users. By adopting this policy, Lynn could be eligible for additional state transportation funding next year.
“As we continue to develop policies to encourage economic growth in our Downtown, Waterfront, and the Boston Street corridor, we must keep in mind how essential our transportation system is to our success,” said City Councilor and State Representative Brendan Crighton. “People want to live, work, and play in areas that are accessible and safe for all users including pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers.”
The State’s 2014 Transportation Bond Bill created the Complete Streets Program to encourage cities and towns to invest in infrastructure that will support walking, bicycling and transit. Complete Streets policies outline a community’s aspiration to have streets that are safe for users of all ages and abilities. These policies direct decision-makers and stakeholders to consistently incorporate complete streets principles through both routine maintenance projects and large-scale projects. Complete Streets policies set the foundation for changes to regulations and processes, and ultimately changes for local infrastructure – our buildings, roads, public spaces, and more. Some examples of Complete Streets principles include:
- Improved handicap accessibility
- Highly visible crosswalks and street markings
- Safer traffic signals, signage, and lighting
- Shared lanes
- Enhanced sidewalks
“Better designed roadways will help alleviate traffic and make it easier for everyone to get where they want to go,” said Council President Dan Cahill. “The potential for additional roadway funding and project prioritization could go a long way to help improve our transportation infrastructure.”
Lynn joins over a dozen other municipalities that have adopted Complete Streets policies including Salem, Lowell, and Everett. New policies will be reviewed and graded by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) in 2016. Cities will then work closely with MassDOT to coordinate implementation of their policies and establish a project prioritization plan. Lastly the municipalities will be eligible to apply for additional funding for qualifying projects. A total of $12.5 million in grant money will be available statewide in FY2016 and FY2017.