Northampton, MA

Level: bronze
Population: 27,995
Population Density: 817/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 2021, Northampton updated their comprehensive plan to incorporate the bicycle and pedestrian plan into it.
  • In the past five years, Northampton has constructed almost three miles of new shared use paths, providing walking and biking opportunities in areas previously without paths or sidewalks. The town has also added several curb cut ramps to make sidewalks more accessible.
  • Northampton has gained funds to make the community more pedestrian friendly. They have invested $1 million on a Main Street Complete Streets design and have obtained a $1 million grant to create additional sidewalks and two major crosswalks.
  • During the Covid-19 pandemic, Northampton piloted a shared streets program and closed one downtown street for outdoor dining
  • In 2017 Northampton completed their Walk/Bike Northampton plan, building upon the many walkability goals they set with the Sustainable Northampton Comprehensive Plan.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. There is usually one car per shift that is focused specifically on traffic safety enforcement. Northampton also employs paid crossing guards at all elementary and middle schools.
  • Northampton has an extensive trails system that does an excellent job of linking destinations such as schools, shopping areas, and other amenities.