The Commonwealth of Massachusetts will begin accepting grant applications on June 22, 2020, for its newly created Shared Streets and Spaces program. The program’s website is here.

Administered through MassDOT, the $5 million program offers grants as small as $5,000 and as large as $300,000 for cities and towns to quickly implement or expand improvements to sidewalks, curbs, streets, on-street parking spaces and off-street parking lots in support of public health, safe mobility, and renewed commerce in their communities.

A source we have found to be helpful in developing “parklets” and other spaces that could meet the requirements of the program is the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) Urban Design Guide. DCI also has researched how cities in other parts of the country have addressed the challenge of reinvigorating their commercial districts and governmental functions by adapting and improving public infrastructure as coronavirus-related restrictions are eased.

If you’re considering applying for a Shared Streets and Spaces grant and have questions about the process or your proposed plans, contact DCI at and we will help any way we can.

To apply for the grant, you need the following:
• A project goal of 1-2 sentences
• Explanation of the benefits of the project and how it will meet the goals of this program
• A description of the project and the project location
• GPS coordinates for the project location
• Confirmation of ownership/control of the relevant municipal infrastructure, as well as indication of whether any Commonwealth-owned infrastructure is integral to the proposed project
• Demonstration of compliance with safety and accessibility-related regulations (ADA and MAAB)
• Explanation of whether the project is intended to be temporary or to pilot a potentially permanent change (preference will be given to projects with the potential to be lasting)
• Description of the roles and responsibilities of the applicant(s)
• A project timeline, with milestones, and a project budget