One of the options includes creating a protected bicycle lane.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city is determining what Tyler Street will look like in the future.
After months of working on conceptual designs and working with stakeholders, officials are now taking the vision for a streetscape plan to the wider public.
Consultants BSC Group will present various concepts for bicycle lanes, expanded sidewalks, and pedestrian safety measures on Thursday at 6 p.m. at Morningside Community School.
Five concepts have been drawn up and for residents to prioritize.
"We've been hearing the same things for a few years. We really want to see dedicated bus stops. We want safe bike facilities, safer pedestrian crossings. We want cars to slow down. And we want to do that without sacrificing parking," City Planner CJ Hoss said.
The city allocated capital money for a design a few years ago. MassDevelopment approved the Morningside area as a "Transformative Development Initiative" zone and dedicated a staff member to focus on ways to redevelop the street. That's included a number of planning projects but also the rollout of a storefront improvement projects. This year the city used the capital funds to hire BSC to develop the plans.
"This has been in the works for the last few years. After getting through multiple planning projects through TDI, we felt we really had good groundwork and now best in position to use the resources that were put aside as capital funds a few years ago," Hoss said.
Hoss said five options have been crafted, and two have seemingly become the most important. The concepts range from installing protected bike lanes, where bikes would travel between the parked cars and the curb, to eliminating parking on the north side to make for more sidewalk space, to doing a shared track for the bike lane, to adding bumpouts to shorten the crosswalks.
"There is an opportunity to look at multiple modes of transportation and try to improve it," Hoss said.
"We've heard people really care about all of these different things and we can't accommodate them all the maximum extent. So if we get feedback on what the priorities are, maybe something rises to the top," Hoss said.
Hoss said he hopes to have BSC complete the conceptual plan in early 2019 and then have design and have construction documents drawn up. And eventually, it will mean renovations to the long commercial corridor with construction likely be done in phases.
"The next step is coming up with a preferred option and developing that into more detail. Ideally, we would like to see this project wrapped up by first quarter of 2019 so then we can start thinking about construction and construction documents," Hoss said.
A renovation to Tyler Street has been years in the making. Once North Street's streetscape was finished, the city pivoted the focus to Tyler Street.