TEWKSBURY — Tewksbury has a new bus shelter on Livingston Street. Located in front of the Saunders Circle Senior Housing, the shelter will provide protection from the elements while residents wait for the Lowell Regional Transit Bus.
According to Town Engineer Kevin Hardiman, the funding for the ramps, pad and crosswalk was provided through the town’s sidewalk funding.
Selectman Mark Kratman, who is the current representative to the LRTA for Tewksbury, worked with the agency to get the shelter on Livingston Street.
“The original bus stop was not able to accommodate accessibility needs,” Kratman said. “We added lights, and the town installed a pad so that the LRTA bus can let someone off right onto a pad.”
Kratman said that after several complaints by residents that the bus was not able to see them due to dim lighting, the lack of a crosswalk and other accommodations, he presented the proposal to the LRTA board, which unanimously approved the new shelter.
“It was a real collaboration between the LRTA and the town,” Kratman said.
There is another shelter on Main Street in front of Oakdale Plaza, and the hope is that more will be installed.
The LRTA is made up of advisory members from 14 communities who are serviced by the agency. State and local money, along with advertising revenue and fares help fund the fixed route transit service. LRTA also provides paratransit services.
Tewksbury is working on additional sidewalk improvements as part of its pedestrian mobility plan. East Street and Chandler Street, in front of the Senior Center, will have an improved intersection and expanded walkways, including sidewalks near the ball field, and a link to the rest of East Street to Livingston Street, and portions of Chandler as well as back toward the center of town.
The town is working to execute the sidewalk plan based on a connection network workshop that was held in which residents helped prioritize sidewalk construction. A Complete Streets grant of $400,000 was awarded to Tewksbury which will help fund the project.
Sidewalks on Pleasant Street have recently been completed, and improvements for Foster Road are also on the way. The main goal is to connect residents to the core centers of the town, such as the library, town hall, and the schools. Improvements to Route 38, which is a state road, will also include sidewalk enhancements and bike lanes or shared access where possible.