Northampton Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan
With funding from Healthy Hampshire, the City of Northampton created a Bicycle and Pedestrian Comprehensive Plan, which designates priority improvement projects that will significantly improve and expand Northampton’s network of pedestrian, bicycle, and non‐automobile travel modes and increase connectivity. The Plan articulates a clear vision to enhance walking and bicycling activities to serve all populations, with a special focus on urban underserved neighborhoods. For more information, see the City of Northampton’s webpage.
Complete Streets Ordinance
Since 2008 the City of Northampton has followed the guidance on complete streets articulated through their Sustainable Northampton Comprehensive Plan. In December 2015, the City Council elevated complete streets to the highest priority by enacting an ordinance to ensure that “pedestrian, bicycle and transit facilities are fully integrated into a safe and efficient transportation system.”
Pavement to Parks Initiative
The Northampton Office of Planning and Sustainability wants to convert unused or underused pavement into public spaces. Inspired by the "Pavement to Parks" program in San Francisco, Northampton is experimenting with converting Cracker Barrel Alley into a pedestrian-only zone. This particular area is a danger zone for pedestrians; closing it off to vehicular traffic may ensure less conflict between pedestrians and motorists, and would also provide a public gathering space for people needing a place to rest or congregate. The City recently exceeded their $10,000 fundraising goal to build the parklet, qualifying them for a matching grant through MassDevelopment.
Connecticut River Greenway
The City of Northampton has a long-term plan to increase recreational offerings within the Connecticut River Greenway, an area of City-owned land located between Damon Road and the Connecticut River. The potential exists for a variety of amenities, including a community garden, multi-use trail, or park. Healthy Hampshire is working with residents who live in this area, primarily at River Run Condominiums, to determine the level of interest in these amenities and how to increase access to healthy food, in particular, for the residents who live in this complex.
SNAP & Save at Northampton Markets
Four markets in Northampton participate in the SNAP & Save program, including the Florence Farmers Market, the Northampton Farmers Market, the Northampton Tuesday Farmers Market, and the Northampton Winter Farmers Market. These markets provide up to $10 of matching funds for EBT customers per market visit.
Healthy Hampshire Markets at State Street Fruit Store and Cooper’s Corner
Both State Street Fruit Store and Cooper’s Corner participated in the Healthy Hampshire Markets pilot program in 2013. Both stores put up signs and shelf indicators to help customers identify healthier options. They also increased their inventory of low-salt canned items and nuts, provided healthy grab-and-go options near the cash registers, and increased their promotion of SNAP acceptance.
MassDOT Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety and Awareness Program
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has launched a multi‐disciplined project to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety in Massachusetts. While fatalities and incapacitating injuries among motorists have been decreasing in Massachusetts over the past few years, pedestrian and bicycle crashes have not followed this trend. Through MassDOT, WalkBoston and MassBike are assisting in the development and implementation of this critical pedestrian and bicyclist safety strategy aimed at achieving the Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) goal of reducing fatalities and injuries among bicyclists and pedestrians by 20% in the next 5 years. As a Mass in Motion community that has an elevated rate of pedestrian and bicycle crashes, Northampton was selected for participation in the program. Police departments in the selected Communities have stepped up enforcement efforts and education around hazardous pedestrian, bicyclist and motorist behavior, while WalkBoston and MassBike will collect data and produce a report on elements of the built environment that may be creating unsafe environments. These reports will assist in documenting the case for implementation dollars that fund infrastructure projects to increase the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists.