Complete Streets Program
Complete Streets is the planning, design, and implementation of transportation systems to provide safety and accessibility to all of its users. This includes pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users, horseback riders, motorists, emergency, commercial vehicles, and any other forms of transportation. Furthermore, Complete Streets principles and initiatives contribute towards the general health, safety, economy, and overall quality of life within a community by improving pedestrian and vehicular connectivity as well as accessibility for users of all ages and abilities.
Montague particpates in MassDOT's Complete Streets Program. As components of particpation, Montague has adopted a Complete Streets Policy and adopted a Complete Streets Prioritzation Plan that identifies 41 potential projects across Montague.
In 2020 used a $311,000 Complete Streets Project Grant to implement four priority projects identified in the plan.
- Project #1 Main Street Pedestrian Improvements
- Project #2 Pedestrian and Transit Improvements on Millers Falls Rd/Unity St/ High St
- Project Rank # 3 Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements at Avenue A/ First Street
- Project #4 Bicycle Accommodation on Avenue A and Montague City Road
In 2021, the Town will use a $399,000 Complete Streets Grant to adress gaps in Motaguue's sidewalk networks pertaining to safe routes to schools.
Project # 1 Keith Street Pedestrian Improvement/ Elementary School Connection
This project addresses a critical gap in Montague’s sidewalk network, particularly as it is a popular route to the nearby Hillcrest (PreK-1) and Sheffield Elementary Schools (2-4) The project will provide 1/4 mile of new sidewalk on the north side of Keith Street from the sidewalk on High Street to the intersection of Davis Street. The sidewalk will also replace the deteriorated sidewalk that serves as the rear pedestrian entrance to the Hillcrest school. The project will effectively connect FRTA bus stop for routes 22 and 32 directly to the schools. This sidewalk will link to existing ADA compliant sidewalk networks on High Street and Avenue C. In Montague, students within 1 mile do not receive the benefit of school bus service. Students and the general public walk currently walk in the paved roadway which is 40 feet wide. This sidewalk will benefit over 300 households in the “Hill” neighborhood of Turners Falls by filling this network gap that connects these households to the two adjacent elementary schools. The new sidewalk will be ADA compliant and connect to other compliant sidewalk which is consistent with the 2018 Montague ADA Transition Plan. A portion of the project is located within Turners Falls Census Tract 407.01 which is identified as an Environmental Justice Area based on income by the Mass Department of Energy and Environmental Affairs. The project is a link between adjacent EJ neighborhood and the neighborhood schools that serves the EJ population. The project will also link to completed Complete Streets project #4 “Pedestrian and Transit Improvements on Millers Falls Rd/ Unity/ High Street” which provided a safer road crossing and transit stops at the adjacent intersection.
Project Rank # 2 Montague Street Pedestrian ImprovementsThis project addresses a critical 1/2 mile gap in Montague’s sidewalk network that connects the Hillcrest (PreK-1) and Sheffield Elementary Schools (2-4) to the Turners Falls High School/Great Falls Middle School and the Montague Public Safety Complex. The sidewalk on Montague Street current ends at Dell Street and fails to continue to connect to the perpendicular sidewalk at Turnpike Road.
Montague Street is a thoroughfare in the residential section of town. The paved width is 35 feet. Because it is an artery, it sees higher speeds than adjacent residential streets. Students on Montague Street must walk to the above named schools, but they are not afforded a sidewalk and must walk in the paved roadway. In 2018 the town and school district received some negative press when the police made a determination that Montague Street was not safe enough to allow children to walk to school. The town now must bus students on this stretch due to lack of sidewalks, despite being near schools. Montague students within 1 mile of the school generally do not receive the benefit of school bus service. This sidewalk will benefit over 300 households in the “Hill” neighborhood of Turners Falls by filling this network gap that connects these households to the doorstep of Montague’s K-12 schools. The project will directly benefit the 30 apartments in the Montague Housing Authority’s Sunrise Terrace Senior Living facility which has frontage on the section of Montague Street to be improved. Park Villa Senior apartments, which are also within ¼ mile of the project and will be connected via sidewalk on Turnpike Road. The new sidewalk will be ADA compliant and connect to other compliant sidewalks which is consistent with the 2018 Montague ADA Transition Plan. Montague Street is a busy thoroughfare in Montague providing direct access between the Police Station and downtown Turners Falls, an EJ neighborhood.
Project Rank # 3 Name: Turnpike Road Pedestrian Improvements
This project will resolve a 1/3 mile sidewalk gap by connecting two disconnected sidewalks networks running the entire length of the 1.8 mile Turnpike Road. The project will directly support Montague’s largest senior housing facility (Park Villa Apartments) and largest employer (Judd Wire). It will also link residential areas to the Turners Falls High School/Great Falls Middle School and Montague Public Safety Complex, both of which are located on Turnpike Road. Students currently walk in this stretch of roadway in order to get to the middle/high school. Turnpike Road is the 4th busiest municipal road in Montague and carries a substantial burden of truck traffic due to industry and municipal facilities in the area. The pavement width is only 25 feet, which leaves little shoulder for pedestrians.
The project will connect the Turners Falls EJ neighborhoods to the High School and Police Station. It will effectively provide a sidewalk connection between the “Hill” section of Turners Falls and the village of Montague City at the western terminus of Turnpike Road. The new sidewalk will be ADA compliant and connect to other compliant sidewalks which is consistent with the 2018 Montague ADA Transition Plan.
The current crosswalk at Judd Wire connects the factory entrance to employee parking across the street. This crosswalk has proven problematic because it does not connect to a sidewalk network and the visibility is limited. A rapid flashing beacon is proposed.
The scope has been modified since the Prioritization Plan. Originally the sidewalk was to extend from Park Villa to Sandy Lane to services the industrial area, but in 2019 , the Gill-Montague School District brought it to the town’s attention that they have a students on Turnpike Road that walk in the busy roadway to school and as a result, they have serious concerns about the safety of pedestrian use of this section of roadway. On June 8, 2020 six abutters petitioned the Montague Selectboard to complete this sidewalk gap.