The City of Holyoke received a MassTrails grant to evaluate the feasibility of a separated shared-use path design along Main Street. In this section, Main Street is a mixed-use urban area that contains residential houses, recreation areas, open spaces, a school, and commercial businesses. The project extends bicycle accommodations being constructed along Route 5 by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) to Springdale Park, one of Holyoke’s largest open space parks and a location for multiple festivals throughout the year. Main Street is considered an environmental justice area for minorities and income, so providing enhanced accessibility was a primary goal of the project.
Nitsch led multiple forms of public outreach to gain valuable input from the community, conducting a virtual online survey, an abutter site walk, and a virtual public meeting. This public input was used to develop conceptual plans and helped determine an ideal roadway cross section. We then evaluated different forms of bicycle accommodations for the corridor and evaluated different alignments and cross sections that fit within the existing roadway footprint.
We prepared a detailed feasibility study that discusses the existing conditions, public outreach, alternative designs, a preferred design, and identifies permits and right-of-way impacts. A main focus of our study was to develop a conceptual design that provided a shared use path within the roadway footprint to limit impacts to abutting properties and on-street parking. Nitsch also evaluated multiple complete streets and traffic calming improvements to improve safety for all users and reduce vehicle speeds.
Owner: City of Holyoke