METHUEN — Pedestrian safety improvements are on the way in the area near the city’s Senior Center after more than $83,000 in grant money has been designated to cover the installation of a new crosswalk and safety beacons, among other enhancements.
The changes are coming as the result of a grant from the Baker-Polito Administration as part of the Shared Streets Program. Methuen is one of 77 cities and towns to share in $6.5 million aimed at new traffic safety measures, trail connections, bikeshare stations, bus facilities, and areas for outdoor dining and community activities, according to a statement from the governor’s office.
Methuen’s share — $83,194 — covers funding for a narrowed travel lane, curb ramps, a new midblock crosswalk and pedestrian safety beacons on Orchard Street, Gov. Baker’s office said.
According to Mayor Neil Perry, city Economic and Community Development Director Bill Buckley applied for the grant to cover the improvements off Pelham Street that dovetail around the back of the Senior Center.
Perry said that's not the only infrastructure upgrade coming to the city this year.
Over the next eight months, a separate $1 million grant will cover the restoration of a retaining wall that abuts Lawrence Street near the First Congregational Church.
“That money will go to restoring the wall and adding parking spaces below for our downtown, so that’s a pleasant improvement,” Perry said.
While there is nothing confirmed yet, the mayor also hopes he can convince the City Council to purchase a parcel of land on the corner of Broadway and Pleasant Street he thinks would be “ideally suited” for a joint parking lot and park for downtown patrons.
“We can make it look really nice," Perry said. “A gentleman owns that (space now and) I’d love for the city to buy it.”