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CHICOPEE, MA – The City of Chicopee, through collaboration between the Department of Planning & Development and the Department of Public Works, announces that the final installation of the Center Loop project is underway. The project will create a temporary bike lane in Chicopee Center, intended to provide additional space for bikers and pedestrians traveling through the neighborhood. Mayor John Vieau stated, “We are grateful to MassDOT for allowing us to make our streets safer and more accessible for all users, increase outdoor recreation, and encourage patronage to our Chicopee Center businesses.” Known as the “Center Loop,” this project is a temporary installation that will be re-evaluated in July 2022. The project will also be removed during the winter months to allow for snow removal.
Late last year, the City received over $76,000 in grant funds through MassDOT’s Shared Streets and Spaces Program. City Council President, Shane Brooks, said, “The City has long been aware of the need for additional bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in specific neighborhoods, one of which is Chicopee Center.” Due to the neighborhoods’ unusual street configurations, one-way streets, and vehicle speeds, City officials decided to use the Shared Streets and Spaces Grant as an opportunity to begin the initial process of introducing protected bike infrastructure into the Chicopee Center streetscape. The Center Loop will serve as a pilot for ideas and allow vital data collection to assist larger-scale redesigns of the Chicopee Center’s streetscapes in the coming years.
“The City of Chicopee has heard through numerous public forums, public comments, and surveys that residents desire additional biking and walking infrastructure. Many residents have said that they do not currently bike or walk because of safety concerns” stated Planning Director, Lee Pouliot. The Center Loop will address these desires and concerns by creating a protected bike lane in Chicopee Center, adding space for people to walk, bike, and recreate safely.
More information on the Center Loop project can be found on the City’s Planning Department websites (https://chicopeema.gov/908/Center-Loop) and social media pages. Information that can be found online includes the Center Loop route map and an FAQ sheet. Public comments regarding the Center Loop will be collected through an online form on the Planning Department’s website. Written comments can also be directed to the Planning Department, which can be reached as follows:
Mail: 274 Front St, City Hall Annex - 4th FL, Chicopee, MA 01013
The City looks forward to providing this new resource to make the streets safer, more accessible, and promote a culture of activity for Chicopee residents.