Fiorentini Aims to Make Haverhill a ‘Walkable City’ With Complete Streets Funds

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini reviewing sidewalks in 2016.

The state’s Complete Streets program could come to Haverhill at the request of Mayor James J. Fiorentini. (WHAV News file photograph)

Haverhill is headed in a new direction following Mayor James J. Fiorentini’s approval of a new program that could qualify the city for up to $400,000 in state funding for roadway and sidewalk projects.

As part of the Department of Transportation’s Complete Streets initiative, funding is made available to cities that adapt roadways and sidewalks for users of all ages and abilities, considering all modes of transportation. Modifications must be made to safely accommodate pedestrians, wheelchairs, buses and emergency vehicles.

This week’s approval of the program is the next step in Fiorentini’s effort to make Haverhill a “walkable city” and repair and build new sidewalks.

“We want to do more sidewalks, but they are very expensive so it’s a slow and methodical process,” Fiorentini said. “This funding will help us do more over time.”

Should Haverhill’s application be approved, the city would be eligible for an initial $50,000 in planning funds to hire a consultant to analyze and prioritize community needs. Thereafter, the city would be eligible for up to $400,000 annually, Fiorentini’s office said.

Fiorentini would like to see the funding go to new construction—including building sidewalks around schools—and the resurfacing of city roadways.