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Massachusetts DOT Implements New Bus Lanes, Bus Network, Roadway Safety Improvements Through Shared Streets & Spaces Program

Route 104 bus using the new Florence Street bus lane approaching Malden Center Station.
Route 104 bus using the new Florence Street bus lane approaching Malden Center Station.
Road crews installing the Florence Street bus lane.
Road crews installing the Florence Street bus lane.
MALDEN, MA — The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), and the City of Malden announce the completion of a series of quick-build multimodal roadway treatments along Florence Street in Malden, including shared bus-bicycle lanes, bicycle lanes, and improved pedestrian crossings to enhance access to the MBTA Orange Line’s Malden Center Station and the surrounding downtown area. These changes are a part of the Shared Streets & Spaces Program to facilitate quick-build projects that support safe, sustainable transportation modes in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These street improvements are a wonderful example of how public space can be shared to benefit all travelers,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “We thank City of Malden officials for their leadership to make this project possible, which will provide a vital last-mile link for bus customers and people walking and bicycling between Malden Center, the Orange Line station, and other important destinations, including the Northern Strand Community Trail.”

Components for the Florence Street project include a shared bus-bike lane heading inbound toward Malden Center Station and a buffered bike lane heading outbound toward Washington Street.

In addition to partnering with the City of Malden on the Florence Street project, the MBTA has worked to improve reliability for Bus Route 104 and other bus services through quick-build bus lanes like those on Sweetser Circle in Everett as a part of the MBTA’s Rapid Response Bus Lane Program. The program is an unprecedented effort to construct up to 14 miles of bus lanes across several municipalities in less than one year.

The City of Malden completed the project with the support of a $211,715 grant awarded by MassDOT through the Baker-Polito Administration’s Shared Streets & Spaces program. Through the end of October 2020, Shared Streets & Spaces had provided a total of $10 million to 103 communities for 124 projects.

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MassDOT is now extending the Shared Streets & Spaces Program to help municipalities address the particular challenges of cold weather during the pandemic. Shared Winter Streets & Spaces has a total of $10 million in funding available and will provide cities and towns with grants as small as $5,000 and as large as $500,000 to improve plazas, sidewalks, curbs, bus priority, streets, parking areas, and other public spaces in support of public health, safe mobility, and renewed commerce.

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