Excellent news! According to a media statement from the City of Pittsfield and the Mayor's Office, the city has completed its Bicycle Facilities Master Plan.

The Bicycle Facilities Master Plan aims to establish a safe, comfortable, and connected bicycle network throughout the city that is accessible to people of all ages and abilities. The city will share a final presentation of the plan via Zoom at 6 p.m. on July 19.

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City Planner CJ Hoss had this to say regarding the new bicycle network:

This project has resulted in the identification of short-term and long-term improvements that will link the city’s neighborhoods and downtown, as well as needed accessory infrastructure, such as storage and maintenance. While the project included two formal public meetings, the development of this master plan also included stakeholder meetings, input from a community survey this past spring, as well as updates through an interactive mapping tool on the project website.

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

The goals and objectives of the project break down like this:

  • 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, is commencing a Tyler Street Streetscape construction project which will add bicycle facilities, and is currently making improvements to North Street to implement a continuous dedicated downtown buffered bike lane with educational signage and materials.

A link to the plan through the project website is available on the homepage of the city’s website under “Hot Topics.” Those wishing to participate may do so via Zoom. The meeting ID is 83323710276 or https://us06web.zoom.us/j/83323710276. The meeting will also be broadcast via PCTV.

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