Main Street design

Picture Main Street-creating a safer place to live, work, and play
No Turn on Red Sign- Main Street
Main Street Bench painted with artwork
Lower Main Street Sidewalk Cafe

Welcome to the future of Main Street! Planning & Sustainability, in coordination with the Mayor and the Department of Public Works, is working to redesign Main Street to better serve all residents and visitors of Northampton. We are at the beginning phase of the design project and will update this website with important notices throughout the project.

Click here for Main Street and other Planning & Sustainability periodic project updates.

Project Goals- The Main Street reconstruction project has five core goals:

>> Main Street will be safer. Main Street has one of the highest rates of crashes in the State. The new design of Main Street will focus first and foremost on improves safety outcomes for all people who travel along Main Street.

>> Main Street will be truly multimodal. The new design of Main Street will support people traveling by all modes, including people walking, biking, taking transit, and driving. The design will provide safe and comfortable spaces for walking and biking, interconnected and efficient transit systems, and intuitive travelways for people driving.

>> Main Street will be open for business. Our streetscape will preserve and enhance the elements that make our Downtown an attractive and vibrant place for businesses to thrive. The new design will live up to our legacy as a beautiful Main Street.

>> Main Street will contribute to a healthy environment. More street trees and better drainage systems will support improved ecological and environmental outcomes.

>> Main Street will be inclusive and accessible for all. Main Street will prioritize design that supports people with mobility, cognitive, or other disabilities. Regardless of ability, age, or background, Main Street will be designed to welcome you.

>>Main Street's design will reflect what we hear from the community. Pre-Covid, for example, this input included a community public forum (1/13/2020), community focus groups, and community surveys. We Covid we have switched to learning lessons from the City's shared street efforts to make Main Street safe in a Covid environment and to keep the downtown economy alive. Watching how people use the shared streets, surveys of downtown users, shared streets town hall virtual meetings, and other methods will replace the engagement planned before Covid stuck.  While the shared streets effort is about keeping Main Street safe and alive during Covid, it provides great lessons and demonstrations for future project.

Participate in the community conversation on Main Street. What should Main Street, building facade to building facade, look like in 2025. Link here for a survey.

Project Schedule (subject to change)



2021 - 2022

2023 - 2024


  • Data collection & analyses
  • Community Forums
  • Develop design concepts
  • Public outreach
  • Learn from Covid share streets effort
  • Collect public feedback
  • Detailed design & Specifications
  • Project permitting
  • 25% plans in 2021
  • 25% public hearing 2021 or 2022
  • 75% design plans
  • 100% final plans
  • Finalize design
  • Project permitting
  • Construction

Project Documents related to the project will be available here throughout the project

The city and its consultant team are committed to a wide range of public engagement forums:

1. Community workshops (open to all)

2. Community surveys (open to all)

3. Engagement with the relevant city boards and commissions (Transportation, Planning, Tree, Bike/Ped, Disabilities, City Council)

4. Periodic engagement with Downtown Northampton Association (DNA) and the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce

5.Stakeholder engagement with groups that were under-represented in the last programmatic planning for Main Street  (e.g., City Council representatives, merchants and downtown business community, sampling of board members)

6. The Covid shared streets installation (July-November 2020) will also ideas and gain community input.

Main Street Road Safety Audit (2020)

Precedents- success stories from other communities

Rainbow Crosswalk on Main Street
Memorial Hall with U.S. flag
PVTA bus on Main Street
Buskers on Main Street
Main Street Angled Parking
Seth Thomas Street Clock at Pulaski Park