The Town of Eastham is the first Cape Cod Community with a state-approved Complete Streets policy.
The program was launched by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) last year to encourage towns to embrace safe and accessible options for all travel modes – walking, biking, transit and vehicles – for people of all ages and abilities.
The benefit of an approved Complete Streets policy is access to additional funding, up to $400,000 from a separate funding source for local projects.
Eastham is now one of 19 Complete Streets communities in MassDOT’s District 5, which includes the Cape, Islands and Southeastern Massachusetts, and 90 statewide.
While individual towns need to apply separately for the designation, the Cape Cod Commission-developed a template as a starting point for towns. Eastham is the first policy based on the Commission’s template reviewed.
Commission Historic Preservation Planner Sarah Korjeff and Transportation Planner Steven Tupper developed the template document and guidance to align with the scoring system used by MassDOT in its evaluation. Policies need a score of 80 and above on the state’s criteria to be accepted.
The next step for Eastham is to develop a prioritization list of projects for MassDOT review.
“The town shall make Complete Streets practices a routine part of everyday operations,” the policy reads. This includes evaluating transportation projects in its annual capital improvements plan against the policy.
Development of the template was encouraged by the Cape Cod Joint Transportation Committee (CCJTC) for the benefit of the 15 towns. The JTC has representatives from each town’s administration, typically DPW directors, and among other things is a review board for the annual Cape Cod Transportation Improvements Plan.
The towns of Sandwich and Bourne are in the initial stages of the Complete Streets process, having notified MassDOT of their intent to develop a policy.