Working Group to Convene to Advance Complete Streets Projects in Multiple Areas of Manchester-By-The-Sea

Gregory T. Federspiel, Town Administrator
10 Central Street Manchester by the Sea, MA 01944

For Immediate Release

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 617-993-0003
Email: [email protected]

Working Group to Convene to Advance Complete Streets Projects in Multiple Areas of Manchester-By-The-Sea

MANCHESTER-BY-THE-SEA — Town Administrator Gregory Federspiel wishes to provide residents with an update on planned infrastructure improvements.

The Town of Manchester-By-The-Sea is currently engaged in work to overhaul three intersections, as well as sidewalk improvements to Singing Beach, which will lead to enhanced vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian traffic flow in key parts of the town.

The planned improvements to the intersections at School and Central/Union Streets, Beach and Union Streets as well as Summer and Washington Streets are part of the town’s ongoing Complete Streets program.

Manchester’s Complete Streets efforts launched two years ago, when the Board of Selectmen adopted a policy that aims to more fully accommodate pedestrians, cyclists, cars and trucks through improved design. The four projects were subsequently awarded $242,000 in state funding. As full design and cost estimates are developed, the funding may not be sufficient to complete all four projects.

At their most recent meeting, the selectmen agreed to continue working on alternative designs for the School and Central/Union intersection as well as the Beach and Union intersection.

That work will include the convening of a group of stakeholders — property owners, Bike and Pedestrian Committee members and Downtown Improvements Projects Committee members — to further develop options that meet a series of objectives, some of the which compete with one another. For example, on-street parking within an intersection conflicts with safe passage of pedestrians and vehicles.

The working group, as well as the selectmen and other town leaders, will move forward with preferred layouts that meet as many of the objectives as possible. Given anticipated funding constraints, the selectmen will reassess the work that needs to be done once more accurate cost estimates are completed.

“Our most important goal is reaching a consensus on ways to make our roadways more pedestrian and bike-friendly, while respecting the character of our historic village,” Federspiel said. “We are committed to finding solutions that improve access for those walking and biking through town, while also ensuring that motorists can drive and park efficiently in town.”

Town leaders will work aggressively to develop a final design on the projects by the end of April, with an eye toward beginning construction in May and June, in order to comply with deadlines set out in the grant award. As the process continues, the selectmen will only advance projects that they are confident are fully developed and ready to proceed.