City of Pittsfield seeks input for draft bicycle facilities master plan

The City of Pittsfield is requesting public input for its draft Bicycle Facilities Master Plan, which aims to establish a safe, comfortable and connected bicycle network throughout the city that is accessible to people of all ages and abilities.

A link to the plan, as well as an interactive map and public input survey, which is open through Oct. 30, is available on the homepage of the city’s website, www.cityofpittsfield.org, under “Hot Topics.” A public meeting will be held via Zoom at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21; a link will be posted on this page during the week of Oct. 12.

 “With this project, the City of Pittsfield is taking a significant step in its steadfast commitment to plan and implement a safe and accessible city-wide network for people who bike for various reasons to a range of destinations throughout Pittsfield,” said City Planner CJ Hoss. “The development of this master plan will be a collaborative process, and we are seeking to hear from the community.”

The Bicycle Facilities Master Plan will allow the city to develop a long-term citywide vision for a bicycle network and grow beyond a ‘one-street-at-a-time’ planning approach, Hoss said. The city has retained Kittleson and Associations, Inc., a nationally renowned transportation focused consulting firm, to lead this project.

“The project team is excited to embark on the planning process to develop the plan and engage various stakeholders and community members to create an equitable and connected bicycle circulation plan,” he said.

The project team has identified the following project goals and objectives:

 

  • Develop a citywide plan based on transportation, land use, and demographic factors;
  • Prioritize plan recommendations for full-scale build out over time;
  • Recommend bicycle facility types for preferred and alternative routes in the network; and
  • Identify complementary bicycle facilities such as bicycle racks, maintenance stations, and bike-share stations.

Beginning in the early 2000s, the city started to design and implement bicycle facilities with the redesign of North Street to include sharrows (a shared lane marking) and dedicated bike lanes.

This effort was followed by the reconstruction of Elm Street with dedicated bike lanes and sharrows. More recently, the city has adopted a Complete Streets policy and is currently redesigning Tyler Street to add bicycle facilities. Through the adoption of the Complete Streets policy, the city successfully leveraged MassDOT’s Complete Streets program to prioritize projects and secure funding.