Photo of people walking and bicycling on the street

Five Year Plan for Sidewalk and Street Reconstruction

About the Five Year Plan

The Five Year Plan is comprehensive plan for designing streets that safely accommodates all user- pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and public transportation users of all ages and abilities. The plan is developed under the direction of several priorities:

2019 Update

The 2019 update was released in August 2019 and includes information about:

  • The Bicycle Ordinance - passed in April 2019, the Cycling Safety Ordinance supports the City's commitment to Vision Zero and the construction of a connected network of permanent separated bicycle lanes across the City.
  • Climate change considerations including extreme flooding and the Urban Heat Index
  • Urban Forest Master Plan - sidewalk and street reconstruction provides opportunities for the City to increase it's urban canopy, making neighborhoods more resilient to climate change, reducing the urban heat island effect, mitigating stormwater runoff, reducing nutrient runoff, and contributing to community well-being. The Urban Forest Master Plan provides a guide to developing this urban forest. 

Priorities of the Five Year Plan

  • Condition of streets and sidewalks
  • Location – areas close to parks, major squares, libraries, youth centers, elderly housing, and senior centers as well as those close to bus routes or subject to heavy traffic are given priority
  • High Priority Areas as defined by the Bicycle Vision Network
  • Transit locations
  • Funds available from both the City and from the State

Goals of the Five Year Plan

  • Reconstruct streets, sidewalks and bicycle facilities with an emphasis on a Complete Streets approach: designing the street for all users
  • Provide for comprehensive inspection/repair and upgrading of city utilities, as well as public utilities, so as to ensure new street system integrity is maintained for as long as possible once construction is complete
  • Maintain safe, accessible streets and sidewalks
  • Reconstruct streets, sidewalks and bicycle facilities in a prioritized fashion based on need
  • Construct projects efficiently with minimum disruption to community life
  • Effectively communicate design and construction projects with neighborhoods and facilitate a more integrated design process
  • Provide reasonable access for all users, during street reconstruction

The Five Year Plan allows for coordinating utility companies to plan their work ahead of street and sidewalk reconstruction, significantly reducing the need for repeated opening of the street or sidewalk. The plan is reviewed on an annual basis, however it is subject to revisions based on uncertainties like:

  • Sewer separation and storm water management priorities than can be uncertain
  • Unpredictable utility failures, repairs and replacements

Next Steps

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I request that my street be considered for the Five Year Sidewalk and Street Reconstruction Plan?

Email Kate Riley, Community Relations Manager. The plan is updated annually based on the priorities indicated above, but resource constraints limit the number of areas that can be reconstructed in a year. Your request will be submitted to the engineering department for review. To report a pothole or a sidewalk defect, please use the Commonwealth Connect reporting system.

My street is scheduled for reconstruction. How can I learn more?

Visit the Construction Projects page to view detailed information about current and upcoming sidewalk and street reconstruction.

Page was posted on 3/18/2019 6:10 PM
Page was last modified on 8/6/2019 4:23 PM
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