Senator Jason Lewis and Representative Paul Brodeur attended the Melrose Pedestiran & Bicycle Advisory Committee’s monthly June meeting.
Sen. Lewis and Rep. Brodeur said that the Complete Streets program, which was attached to the State Transportation Bond Bill, was signed by the Govenor in April 2014 authorizing $50 million over 5 years for Complete Streets funding. What this means is that cities and towns that are Complete Streets Certified in Massachusetts will divide the $10 million each year.
Before money is made available, however, the Govenor needs to implement the program. However, as Sen. Lewis explained, typical of any bond bill, it is now up to the Governor’s administration to decide which project gets done in which order. Sen. Lewis said that there is nothing more powerful than hearing from municipalities saying that we appreciate that this program has been set up or that the legislature has put it forward, and now we want to move forward with it. The committee is in the process of drafting such a letter.
Complete Streets is a tool for the City to incorporate shared multimodal forms of transportation including walking, biking, public transportaton, automobiles and freight. As Complete Streets has just come online, Melrose would be one of the fist cities to become Complete Streets certified. Complete Streets is modeled after Green Communities, which Melrose is also certfied for. As part of being a Green Community, Melrose has received hundreds of thousands of dollars to make improvements. Complete Streets is built to do the same. It will help us make our city safer for walking and bicycling and make it the community to want to live!
We have a long road ahead of us before we see any money from Complete Streets. But this is a first step. Stay tuned….