Pawtucket and Central Falls Awarded Grant for Bicycle/Pedestrian Master Plan

Pawtucket and Central Falls Awarded Grant for Bicycle/Pedestrian Master Plan

PAWTUCKET – Pawtucket and Central Falls were recently awarded a $90,000 grant from the Rhode Island Department of Administration to develop a Joint Bicycle/Pedestrian Master Plan. The project will identify priority routes for bicycle and pedestrian access improvements and assist the cities in implementing the plans.

“I want to thank the Department of Administration for recognizing our work to create safe, reliable access to alternative transportation for our residents,” said Pawtucket Mayor Donald R. Grebien. “This grant aligns perfectly with our plans for the Pawtucket-Central Falls Commuter Rail and Transit Hub set to open in 2020.”

“This grant will enable us to take our bicycle and pedestrian planning to the next level,” said Central Falls Mayor James A. Diossa. “We look forward to providing amenities to our community that will give opportunity for more bike riding for transportation or recreation,” he continued.

Both communities are ideal candidates for bicycle networks that will connect residents with places of work, recreation, commerce and education due to their dense development and gridded street networks. The bicycle networks will also complement the existing Ten Mile River Greenway and the Blackstone River Bikeway. This project will expand locally the work of the ongoing State of Rhode Island Long-Range Transportation Plan. In addition to their joint work on the Commuter Rail Station, the two cities have also collaborated to create the first joint planning commission and first joint hazard mitigation plan in the state, and on the tri-city Broad Street Regeneration Initiative. In addition, an increase in bicycle infrastructure will help meet environmental sustainability and health goals by decreasing the amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and promoting active transportation.

The development of the master plan and incorporation of community feedback is expected to begin this Spring and last approximately six months.

The ‘Planning for a Livable Future’ is an innovative program from the Rhode Island Department of Administration to assist communities in promoting transportation opportunities and enhancing economic development in the State. The program, overseen by the Division of Statewide Planning, provides much-needed technical assistance for studies/design of traffic calming, streetscape design, and safety improvements. Cities will receive consultant support to enhance transportation opportunities, and to create a product (e.g. recommendations, conceptual plans, renderings, etc.) that could be used as a basis for a future, specific project proposals. The Rhode Island State Legislate is currently considering a bill to develop a Municipal Infrastructure Grant Program modeled after Massachusetts’ very successful MassWorks program that could make many of these projects a reality.