Northampton, MA

Level: bronze
Population: 28,549
Population Density: 836/sq. mi.
Pedestrian Plan
Program Website
Contact: Wayne Feiden

Community Highlights

Northampton is designated as a Bronze-level community due to its excellent zoning practices, performance indicators, and enforcement practices that include dedicating staff time to enforcing traffic safety laws and facilitating safe pedestrian crossings. Highlights of Northampton’s application include:

  • In 2017 Northampton completed their Walk/Bike Northampton plan, building upon the many walkability goals they set with the Sustainable Northampton Comprehensive Plan.
  • Northampton now has two roundabouts in town, with two more in design. New road projects consider curb extensions, bicycle lanes, road narrowing, and wider shoulders.
  • The town has endeavored to create a pedestrian count program, acquiring three pedestrian counters. Two were installed in permanent locations and one is used as a mobile unit to additional collect data.
  • Northampton has excellent policies about accessory dwelling units, density bonuses, and mixed use, which requires retail or commercial uses on the ground floor in the City’s business districts.
  • Police foot and bike patrols are focused in downtown and pay close attention to pedestrian safety on every shift. There is also usually one car per shift that is focused specifically on traffic safety enforcement. Northampton also employs crossing guards at all of the community’s elementary and middle schools. Crossing guard is a paid position and all guards are trained and supervised during their first week on the job by the school resource officer.
  • Northampton has 22.6 miles of trails, with another 12 miles planned or proposed. The City’s trail system does an excellent job of linking with destinations such as schools, shopping, and other amenities.