Public design hearing on Main Street streetscape project December 9!

Public design hearing on Main Street streetscape project!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

7:00 PM (doors open 6:30 PM to view plans)

Worcester Public Library, Saxe Room

What is this hearing for? The City of Worcester is redesigning north Main Street from Austin/Myrtle Streets to School Street. This hearing is a required part of the process.

Why should I attend? WalkBike Worcester supports the proposed design (read our Sept 27 op-ed), which can help make the Central Business District a vibrant area that invites Worcester residents and visitors to spend time there. Having many supporters attend builds positive momentum for the project among city officials, MassDOT, and the public. We all have a stake in a revitalized Main Street!

What will happen at this public hearing? Before the hearing, you can view design plans and the engineers will answer questions. The hearing will start with a presentation by the City of Worcester and its consultant, followed by a Q&A period. If you’re comfortable, during this public comment period you can ask questions and voice your opinion about the project overall as well as specific features that are included or you believe should be included.

How else can I help? You may submit written comments to MassDOT at You can spread the word and show your support by sharing this notice, our Facebook event and our updates with your own networks.


The proposed design reduces the current 4 vehicle lanes to 3 lanes with a shared turning lane, adds bicycle lanes, and improves pedestrian crossings. These types of changes, along with lighting, on-street parking, shade trees and landscaping, and seating, help create the type of welcoming public space that can draw more people downtown and support existing and new businesses. Some critics believe adding bicycle facilities will cause traffic delays and reduce parking, leading to loss of retail business along the corridor. Evidence shows such concerns generally prove unfounded.

Benefits of the project for walkers:

*It improves safety by reducing crossing distance and increasing pedestrian visibility.

*It encourages crossing at designated locations.

*It encourages walking to area destinations.


Benefits of the project for bicyclists:

*It improves safety by reducing conflicts between bicyclists and drivers.

*It creates dedicated space to pass through the corridor.

*It decreases incentive to ride on the sidewalk.


Benefits of the project for drivers:

*It improves safety by reducing potential for conflicts with other vehicles.

*It increases awareness of bicyclists’ presence on the roadway.

*It encourages yielding to pedestrians.


Where can I get more information?

Read our As I See It from the September 27 Telegram and Gazette outlining the benefits.

Watch this very short video demonstrating conversion of a 4-lane roadway to a 3-lane roadway.

Check out our  project page for links to further information about this type of design and its benefits.

Stay up to date on this project and other walking and biking news in Worcester and beyond:

Ø  *Contact us at to sign up for our email list

Ø  *Like us on Facebook

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WBW helps WalkBoston celebrate 25 years with Walk the Woo

On June 17 we helped our friends WalkBoston celebrate their 25th anniversary with Walk the Woo, a 1.5 mile walk exploring walkability in the context of revitalization. Check out WalkBoston’s Storify piece here. Our cosponsors included the City of Worcester, Food and Active Living Policy Council, Central Mass Regional Planning Commission, Worcester Mass in Motion, Worcester Tree Initiative, VHB, Worcester Historical Museum, and Canal District Alliance. Worcester Executive Office of Economic Development staff Paul Morano, Steve Rolle, and Phil Niddrie spoke at stops along the way with Heather Gould adding commentary. Allen Fletcher of the Canal District Alliance spoke about the social capital a walkable community offers. Following the walk, many lingered at the Blackstone Tap on Water Street. We are looking ahead to hosting similar walks in future!


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Walk the Woo June 17!

Worcester Walk - Flyer Final photo

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Bike to Work Day Commuter Breakfast on May 15

Do you work in or near downtown? Do you ride your bike to work, or want to try it for one day? Join us on the Worcester Common for Bike to Work Day 2015. Enjoy a healthy breakfast, giveaways and vendors to celebrate active transportation to work. (We won’t tell if you arrive at work by other means)

Date: Friday, May 15

Time: 6:30 -10 AM 

Location: Worcester Common behind City Hall

Co-sponsors: Walk Bike Worcester, the City of Worcester, Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission, and MassRIDES.

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Mother’s Day Bike Ride 2015

Explore the history of diners in Worcester with WalkBike Worcester and the Worcester Historical Museum as part of Bay State Bike Week!

Join us for a casual 8-mile bike ride stopping at 3 of Worcester’s historic diners on Sunday, May 10. We’ll start at Ralph’s Chadwick Square Diner at 12:30 PM, visit the Boulevard Diner on Shrewsbury St, and then stop at Miss Woo and the former site of the Worcester Lunch Car and Carriage Co. before returning to Ralph’s. Bill Wallace from the Worcester Historical Museum will be giving us brief histories of WLCC and the diners.  No rider left behind! (Kids should be in bike seats, trailers, trail-a-bikes, or on tandems if they are small or uncertain riders. We will be riding on city streets.) (Rain date: Sunday, May 17.) Please complete the free registration so we know how many to expect.

Be sure to stop and see the exhibit on Worcester diners at the Worcester Historical Museum some time after the ride.

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Second Annual WalkBike Worcester Social on Wednesday, March 18

WalkBike Worcester will hold our second annual SOCIAL this Wednesday, March 18, 5:30-7:30pm at Eric’s La Patisserie, 446 Main Street (Worcester Plaza, corner of Main & Pleasant), 4th Floor. Bring your friends and families to eat, drink, and talk walking and biking in Worcester.

Why on Main Street? Worcester is hungry for a vibrant downtown that continues the momentum of recent investments by the city and local institutions including business, health care and universities. A Theatre District is under development, and the City is redesigning north Main Street from School Street to Austin/Myrtle Streets. Fewer vehicle lanes, wide sidewalks, safer crossing features, bicycle lanes, pedestrian-scale lighting, on-street parking, shade trees and other landscaping, and seating can make the Central Business District a vibrant area that invites Worcester residents and visitors to spend time there. Over the past 2 years WBW has advocated a “road diet” or conversion from 4 lanes (2 in each direction) to 3 lanes (one in each direction plus shared turning lane). This was a top recommendation of a MassDOT Road Safety Audit we participated in, and MassDOT supports a 3-lane option. This is being studied in depth and indications are that it looks favorable.

What do you want to see in a walkable downtown? What would walkers and bikers bring to downtown?

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WalkBike Worcester monthly meeting and Greening Worcester Presentation

Mark your calendar for our meeting next Wednesday. November 19 6:30-8pm at WPI in the Hagglund Room and lobby in the Rubin Campus Center. Parking is free after 5pm, with plenty of space plus bike racks in the Park Ave lot.

The full meeting will be devoted to a presentation entitled “Greening Worcester: Increasing bicycle, pedestrian, and green space connections” by graduate landscape architecture students from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  For the past two months, these students have analyzed and generated greenspace connections to link key areas of Worcester including downtown, the Ecotarium, Lake Quinsigamond, as well as local schools, colleges, and cultural institutions.  The students’ plans build upon ideas developed in Worcester’s Open Space and Recreation Plan (2014).  The class will present a city-wide greenway plan as well as detailed focus studies for such areas as Downtown, Lake Avenue, Main Street, and the Blackstone Canal. They welcome feedback.

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