Natick is making available an online tool so that those who live, work, and visit the town can suggest ways to make streets safer and more useful for all, whether you’re driving, walking, running, cycling, or getting around in some other manner. The feedback tool was discussed during a Jan. 26 meeting of the Natick Transportation Advisory Committee and we’ve embedded the Natick Pegasus recording below.
I’m looking for an extension of the Cochituate Rail trail that would go between our house and any number of our regular haunts. But if you have more selfless and community-oriented ideas, dive in.
Act soon though, since the online tool is slated to disappear at the end of February.
The tool takes a little getting used to, but you’re basically invited to doodle on a map to point out where you’d like to see improvements, then can check off boxes to help the data crunchers categorize feedback. You can also fill in fields with descriptions of what sort of improvements you’d like to see. In addition, you can pile on prior suggestions left on the map.
A rep from consultant Toole Design says you can leave your name and email within the tool to get updates, but that your information is not associated with comments you leave.
The town will use the community feedback to help it update its Complete Streets prioritization plan, which will help put Natick in position to apply for competitive grants from state’s Department of Transportation that can be used to boost infrastructure. Expect to hear about public meetings once the feedback has been digested and other plans progress.
Natick was an early participant in the Complete Streets program and has garnered hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants for planning and construction on municipal infrastructure. Natick has already completed 10 of the 26 projects on its original prioritization plan, which Natick DPW Director Jeremy Marsette says “has been a great tool for us.”
The state doles out grants under Complete Streets in the $5M to $8M range every spring and fall, with awards up to $400K per community.