The Planning and Community Development Department is seeking resident input and assistance in planning the next walkway projects. While walkway construction has been on-going for several years in neighborhoods all over Town, prioritization is developed with more resident input and participation.
The Town has received numerous requests for walkway construction over the past several years. Narrow roads, inability for children to safely walk to and from school, and general safety concerns seem to be the driving force behind such petitions. The Town is extremely concerned with these issues, however there is much that goes into planning for, and the eventual feasibility of, a walkway construction project . Environmental considerations and the width of the town right of way must be taken into account, with the end result that not all streets will be capable of having walkways. These obstacles are further defined in the Walkway Committee Report, Feb. 2000. However, with citizen participation and neighbors working together for a common goal, we may be able to overcome some obstacles and build more walkways.
Walkways complying with the following procedures will be entitled to priority status, based on funding availability. Those neighborhoods which can demonstrate broad support for the construction of a walkway will be the most successful.
The process going forward will be as follows:
1. Talk to the Director of Public Works, Bill Place, at (978-440-5489), or [email protected] . Answers to the following questions must be determined:
- Is the requested walkway on the 2000 Walkway Report list?
- What side of the street is most appropriate?
- Will easements be necessary?
- Are there major wetland constraints?
- What is the length of the walkway segment?
- What is the estimated cost?
2. Submit a petition to the Planning and Community Development Department requesting walkway construction. The petition shall include the signature of as many affected property owners as possible (those property owners on the side of the street proposed for the walkway), but in no case shall it be less than 75%.
3. The petition shall include the name and contact information for a neighborhood coordinator. An email address is required. No petition shall be accepted without a designated neighborhood coordinator.
4. The Traffic Safety Committee will review the requests for inclusion of all the required elements.
5. Requests will be prioritized based on available funding, safety need, linkage to other walkways, serving an under-served neighborhood and other factors described in the 2000 Walkway Report.
6. Requests will be accepted on a rolling basis for future funding consideration. The majority of walkway funding is subject to the approval of town meeting. Requests received by Jan. 31st of each year will be considered for any funds approved at the April annual town meeting.
7. All general questions can be directed to Jody Kablack, Director of Planning and Community Development at 978-639-3387, or to [email protected].