SHREWSBURY/WESTBOROUGH – Over $100,000 in grant funds for improvements to streets and sidewalks will be coming to the region.
The money will go toward several projects, including radar signs for Shrewsbury’s Dean Park and snow removal equipment in Westborough.
Last month, the Baker-Polito administration announced that $16.4 million had been awarded through the Shared Streets and Spaces Program.
The program, which is administered through the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, provides funding to communities and transit authorities for improvements to curbs, streets and parking areas in support of public health, safe mobility and community growth, according to a press release from the governor’s office.
The program was launched in 2020 in response to the pandemic. Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said in the release that over $50 million in grant funds has been awarded.
Locally, Grafton received $50,000 for snow removal equipment for pedestrian and bicycle facilities.
Shrewsbury received $6,770 for messaging signs.
Director of Parks and Recreation Angela Snell said that the department received the funds for two solar radar signs to be installed at Dean Park.
Snell noted that this round of grant funds had an emphasis on two new types of projects — to reduce vehicle speeds to increase safety and to purchase equipment needed to improve and maintain infrastructure for active transportation.
“As many people use the roadways at Dean Park to walk, I thought this would help people recognize what their vehicle speed was traveling through the park and slow down if needed,” Snell said.
This will help make it a safer place for people to walk, she said.
In Westborough, the town received $32,490 for snow removal equipment for pedestrian and bicycle facilities and $30,792 for pedestrian safety elements.
Department of Public Works Director Chris Payant said the town has been fortunate to receive several Shared Streets grants over the past two years, which have allowed for sidewalk ramps and crosswalk enhancements.
“Using this grant funding for the purchase of materials allows us to make our own budget go a bit farther, especially in regards to road and sidewalk maintenance and repair,” Payant said.
This year, one of the grants will allow Westborough to purchase high visibility signs that will be installed at pedestrian locations like crosswalks. The second will go toward equipment to clear snow from sidewalks.
“It’s a great program that allows towns to make significant improvements to pedestrian and bike mobility,” Payant said.