Northborough seeks public feedback on transportation improvements

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Northborough seeks public feedback on transportation improvements
A car drives down South Street in Northborough. The town is talking about improvements to its sidewalks. (Photo/Dakota Antelman)

NORTHBOROUGH – Residents are encouraged to participate in a Complete Streets survey to help the town create a plan that outlines transportation improvements.

The survey will be open through Aug. 29. 

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) oversees the Complete Streets Funding Program, which has a goal to support safe and accessible options for all modes of travel.

Earlier this year, the Board of Selectmen took the first step and adopted a Complete Streets policy. 

The next step is for the town to develop and adopt a prioritization plan that will identify needs, gaps, possible funding sources and implementation plans for improvements for sidewalks, bicycles and accessibility measures. 

As Town Administrator John Coderre described it during the Aug. 15 Board of Selectmen meeting, this survey is part of the public outreach portion of the process. 

“[We’re] looking for what people see as priorities and the locations of those,” he said.

During past meetings, town officials have said that projects funded under this program could range from widening sidewalks to building accessible ramps and implementing bike lanes.

According to Director of Public Works Scott Charpentier, the survey is made up of five questions. 

Among the questions, residents are asked what type of project is most important to them and where they would like to see a project implemented. Residents will also weigh in on infrastructure that they believe impedes walking and what bike and pedestrian amenities they feel are most needed. 

Once the survey closes, the data will be analyzed and returned to the selectmen for a public input session.

Staff will then work to put the prioritization plan together.

The process will culminate in the fall. The prioritization plan will return before the Board of Selectmen for its endorsement. The plan will then be sent to MassDOT. 

Once Northborough’s plan is approved by the state, the town will be eligible for up to $400,000 in grant funds to implement the program. 

“It’s, I know, a very important survey as part of a very important process,” said Chair Mitch Cohen. “I would encourage everyone watching this meeting to fill out the survey and tell everyone they know to fill out the survey.”

The survey can be found at https://www.town.northborough.ma.us/public-works/news/complete-streets-citizen-survey.

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