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For Immediate Release – January 29, 2021
NORTHAMPTON - Mayor David J. Narkewicz announced today that the City of Northampton is moving forward on four different projects in Leeds, Florence, and downtown to make the city more pedestrian and bicycle-friendly and to refresh the downtown Florence business district.
“Northampton has been designated as both a walk-friendly and a bicycle-friendly community, but we can and will do more,” said Mayor David J. Narkewicz. “Making all of our neighborhoods safer to walk and bicycle improves our public health, reduces our carbon footprint, and improves social equity,” shared the Mayor, “I am proud of our commitment to make the city a better place to live, work, and play.”
Last night the Planning Board adopted the city’s Climate Resilience and Regeneration Plan, its blueprint for addressing climate change. That plan, and several past city plans, recommends additional walking, accessibility, and bicycling improvements to improve our quality of life and help reduce the 26% of city greenhouse gases that come from transportation.
The city will shortly release a bid for approximately one million dollars in projects downtown to make pedestrian, bicycle, and landscaping improvements to Pleasant Street from Hockanum Road to the roundabout and add a ValleyBike share station at the Salvo House on Conz Street.
The city is also advancing its work for pedestrian and accessibility improvements on Parsons Street and, in a more limited way, on Hawley Street, as well as at key Bridge Street and Pomeroy Terrace crosswalks. This project, to be built in future years, is funded by federal and state transportation funds with CDBG and city funds for any required slivers of land needed for the project.
A public forum on both of those downtown projects is scheduled for Tuesday, February 2nd.
In Florence, the city is seeking engineering quotes for an engineer to design approximately $400,000 of improvements along Main Street. This project includes 15 replacement sidewalk ramps to meet accessibility standards, replacing the most damaged sidewalk sections, new tree pits to increase the life of street trees along with new street tree plantings, new benches, bike racks, a small art installation, and a wayfinding program. This project is being funded with a combination of federal CDBG funds (for accessibility improvements), tree mitigation funds, and a city capital improvements appropriation. The project grew out of three Florence Center community forums.
In Leeds, the city is preparing for a Spring bid to repair the intersection of Leonard Street and Haydenville Road/Route 9 into a T intersection, to slow the speed of cars entering Leonard Street and improve visibility at Haydenville Road to improve pedestrian safety on Leonard Street. The project is funded from the city’s traffic mitigation fees and grew out of three Leeds forums and site visits.
All four projects are being managed by the Northampton Office of Planning & Sustainability, in cooperation with the Northampton Department of Public Works.
For more information, please contact the Mayor’s Office at 413-587-1249 or firstname.lastname@example.org.