Transportation Committee

 

September 2017

The most recent meeting of the 495/MetroWest Partnership's Transportation Committee  was held on Wednesday, September 26th.

The Acting District Highway Director, Barry Lorion, gave an Annual Update for MassDOT Highway District 3, including an overview of the various projects in the 495/MetroWest Region.  See presentation below.

 

The Director of Transportation for Massachusetts, Chris Dempsey, provided an update on the coalition's activities for transportation investments statewide, including a congestion reduction pilot they are proposing to MassDOT.  See presentation below.

In Other 495/MetroWest Transportation/Transit News: 

Additionally, we wanted to update you on two projects for which the Partnership has been advocating for several years. The first is the I-495/I-90 Interchange Improvement Project, which saw a significant funding jump in this year's FY18-22 Capital Investment Plan (CIP) for MassDOT (an increase of nearly $200 Million).  MassDOT has also created a dedicated webpage to the Project; check out the link above for further details. The Partnership will continue to keep you informed as this important Project moves forward.

The second project is the Foxborough Commuter Rail Pilot Project, which was approved by the MBTA's Fiscal Management Control Board (FMCB) at their August 14th meeting. The Partnership is excited to see transit options expand on one of our three commuter rail lines and we look forward to seeing the impacts of expanded commuter rail service to the 495/MetroWest region.

 Additional Resources:

Finally, we would like to draw your attention to two reports regarding transportation which have recently been released by Mass Moves and the Massachusetts Taxpayer's Foundation. Both reports illuminate many of the challenges currently facing the Commonwealth as it adapts its transportation infrastructure to meet the demands of the 21st century, as well as detailing possible directions for improvement. 

Mass Moves Executive Summary

MTF's Transportation in an Era of Transition report 

 

 

June 2017

CIP/TIP/UPWP Season:

Partnership Letter on MassDOT Capital Investment Plan (CIP)

Partnership Letter on Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization's (MPO) Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP)

Partnership Letter on Boston MPO Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP)

Partnership Letter on Central MA MPO TIP

Partnership Letter on Central MA MPO UPWP

 

May 2017

Meeting with MassDOT

The Transportation Committee was treated to two presentations by MassDOT staff at our May meeting.  Jack DeWolfe, Director of Sustainable Mobility for MassDOT presented, appropriately enough, on Sustainable Mobility.  Check out her presentation and be sure to scroll to the end for the valuable links and contact on the variety of topics discussed.

 

We were also joined by Jim Kersten, Legislative Liaison for MassDOT, who offered a detailed overview of the Comm Ave Bridge Replacement Project. And while you might be wondering what the Comm Ave Bridge Project in Boston has to do with 495/MetroWest, the simple answer is plenty, if you plan to drive on I-90 between July 28th and August 7th OR if you plan on using the Framingham/Worcester Commuter Rail Line during the weekends of July 29-30 and August 5-6.  Check out the Project Page or the presentation above for further details.

 

October 2016

ALL ELECTRONIC TOLLING (AET) UPDATE:

We are pleased to share that MassDOT heard the Partnership's, the MetroWest delegation's, and the public's concerns about proposed toll rate changes on I-90 when AET goes live at the end of October.

For your convenience, we have provided various resources below and we hope you find these helpful, especially the breakdown of toll costs in the Rate Grid created by our co-op student Zach Ramsfelder:

495MWP Toll Rate Grid

MassDOT October 24 Press Release on AET

MassDOT Presentations from Toll Plaza Demolition and Reconstruction Public Meetings

MassDOT Westborough Presentation on Toll Plaza Demolition

MassDOT AET Gantry Rates and Privacy Update

MetroWest Daily News Story

 

The October meeting focused on two topics, Toll Plaza Demolition and Roadway Reconstruction as I-90 moves to All Electronic Tolling (AET)  and CrossTown Connect Shuttle service to/from the Fitchburg Commuter Rail Line.  Special thanks to Barry Lorion, District Operations Engineer at MassDOT District 3 for explaining the toll booth demolition process and timeline at the three I-90 exits in our region.

MassDOT Presentation on Toll Booth Demolition

495/MetroWest Partnership's Letter on AET

MassDOT Changes to AET Gantry Rates

 

We would also like to thank Scott Zadakis, Director of CrossTown Connect Transportation Management Association (TMA), and Andrew Scribner-MacLean, Assistant Town Administrator in Maynard, for highlighting new shuttle services planned for the Littleton and South Acton stations on the Fitchburg Line.

CTC Presentation

 

August 2016

August 18, 2016 Meeting with Keolis Commuter Services

Special thanks to Gerald Francis, General Manager for Keolis Commuter Services, Linda Dillon, Customer Service Manager, Scott Treece, Chief Transportation Officer, Pascal Baran, Chief Engineering Officer, and Anne Miller, Chief of Staff for another informative presentation and discussion on commuter rail in 495/MetroWest. 

495/MetroWest Partnership's MassDOT FY 2017-2021 CIP Issue Brief

Provides an overview of CIP funding commitments in the 495/MetroWest region over the next five years.

 

TIP/UPWP Season

Partnership Letter on Boston MPO FY17-21 TIP

Partnership Letter on Central MA MPO FY17-21 TIP

Partnership Letter on Central MA MPO FY17 UPWP

 

May 2016-Draft MassDOT FY 2017-2021 Capital Investment Plan (CIP)

495/MetroWest Partnership Letter

 

March 29, 2016 - Meeting with MassDOT D3 on projects in the 495/MetroWest Region

MassDOT D3 Representatives Jonathan Gulliver and Barry Lorion's informative presentation on the All-Electronic Tolling initiative can be read by clicking the link below.

MassDOT D3 Presentation on All-Electronic Tolling (AET)

Special thanks to Jonathan Gulliver and Barry Lorion of MassDOT for their comprehensive update on ongoing and planned infrastructure improvements for the region! See the report by clicking the link below.

D3 Update on 495 MetroWest

Special thanks as well to Albert Ng of VHB for his presentation on MassDOT's Complete Streets Funding program, which can be found by clicking the link below.

MassDOT Complete Streets Presentation by VHB

 

February 2016

495MWP Letter to MassDOT on their Western Turnpike Triennial Report

495MWP Letter to MassDOT and MBTA on Commuter Rail Schedule Initiative

 

December 16, 2015 - Commuter Rail and Transit in 495/MetroWest

Special thanks to Astrid Glynn, MassDOT Rail and Transit Administrator, and Ed Carr, MetroWest Regional Transit Authority Administrator, for their time and presentations!  It was a lively and informative discussion on topics ranging from the fact that Commuter Rail schedules have not been comprehensively updated since the Eisenhower Administration to the ever growing service by the MetroWest RTA.  See below for links to the presentations.

MassDOT Presentation

MetroWest RTA Presentation

 

July 2015 - Letters, letters & more letters!  

 Anyone who follows the MPO process knows that July 2015 was the deadline for  many letters on the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), the Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), as well as the MassDOT Capital Investment Plan (CIP).  Given the Partnership's 35 community service area, we work with both the Central Massachusetts MPO and the Boston Region MPO and it should be noted that a few communities on the edge of our service area are in additional planning and MPO regions.  Below you will find links to the Partnership's commentary on these important documents:

Partnership's Commentary on the MassDOT CIP

Partnership's Commentary on the Boston MPO LRTP

Partnership's Commentary on the Central MA MPO LRTP

Partnership's Commentary on the Boston MPO TIP

Partnership's Commentary on the Central MA MPO TIP

 

I-90/I-495 Interchange Improvements Project

The Partnership has been pleased to host two meetings on this project, given its importance to our region and its status as #6 on our 495/MetroWest Region's 2014 Top Ten Transportation Nightmares.  For your convenience, we have provided links to the Environmental Notification Form (ENF) for the project (filed March 2, 2015 with comments due March 31, 2015) as well as the MassDOT presentation from the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) Scoping Session on March 19, 2015.  We have also included additional information from our December 2014 meeting as well (see below under Dec. 18, 2014).

May 28, 2015 - Long Range Transportation Plans

The Partnership hosted a timely discussion on the Long Range Transportation Plans (LRTP) for both the Central Massachusetts and Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO).  Both plans will be release in draft form for public comments in mid-June.  In the mean time, below are helpful links and presentations on the documents:

Central Massachusetts Presentation

And below are a few links to Boston MPO documents that might be helpful to review:

Boston MPO Scenario Planning Results

Boston MPO LRTP Recommendations

Boston MPO Proposed Draft FFY2016-20 TIP Target Program

The Partnership thanks Sujatha Mohanakrishnan and Rich Rydant, Transportation Project Managers for the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission, Eric Bourassa, Director of Transportation Division at Metropolitan Area Planning Council, and Anne McGahan, Chief Planner for the Central Transportation Planning Staff for the Boston MPO for their detailed presentations prior to the release of the draft plans.

 

April 30, 2015 - Keolis Commuter Rail

The Partnership was pleased to welcome back Gerald Francis, General Manager of Keolis Commuter Services to update our Committee on Commuter Rail operations in the 495/MetroWest Region.  Given that our region includes three commuter rail lines, Fitchburg, Framingham/Worcester, and Franklin, we used the opportunity to share both public and private needs for commuter services, while noting the economic importance of reliable and expanded services such as reverse commute schedules.  There was plenty of opportunity for stakeholder input from attendees following the Keolis Presentation.  We look forward to next year's discussion with Keolis as a continuation of the productive dialogue to date.

Keolis Fact Sheet

 

Passenger Information Plan for Framingham/Worcester Line Heat Restrictions 

March 19, 2015 - Transportation Projects from Concept to Construction

The Partnership hosted a panel discussion on how to get transportation projects from concept to construction.  We were very pleased to hear the insights and expertise of April Anderson Lamoureux, President of Anderson Strategic Advisors, LLC; Michelle Ciccolo, Director of Community Development in the Town of Hudson; and Arthur Frost, MassDOT District 3 Project Development Engineer, who detailed their experiences bringing transportation projects to fruition.  For your convenience, we have made the MassDOT and Hudson presentations available below:

MassDOT District 3 Presentation

Town of Hudson Presentation

 

December 18, 2014 - I-90/I-495 Interchange Improvements Project

The Partnership hosted a briefing by MassDOT and their consultant, AECOM, on preliminary findings relative to I-90/I-495 Safety Improvements and Interchange Reconfiguration Project.  

The need for the I-90 / I-495 Safety Improvements and Interchange Reconfiguration Project has been well-documented in recent transportation planning and economic development efforts by state, regional and local officials.  The implementation of the All-Electronic Tolling System (AETS) along the entire length of I-90 (Western Turnpike, Boston Extension and Harbor Crossings) and associated toll plaza demolition provides a logical opportunity to address chronic safety and operations issues at the I-90 / I-495 interchange that will not be relieved by these actions.

MassDOT and its consultant, AECOM, have begun the process of developing conceptual alternatives for the I-90 / I-495 interchange and shared their early findings with local officials, property owners and other interested stakeholders at a meeting hosted by the Partnership in Westborough.

 

 

November 20, 2014 (Working Group on 495/9/90):

The Town Planners from Hopkinton, Southborough and Westborough shared each community's perspective on potential improvements to the interchanges and to the adjacent portion of Route 9.  An informative discussion among Working Group members and MassDOT District 3 followed the overview of community objectives.

 

October 23, 2014

Long Range Transportation Planning for Boston and Central Massachusetts Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO):

Representatives from the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, and the Boston MPO presented their goals and objectives in drafting their respective Long-Range Transportation Plans, as well as asked for stakeholder input. 

Mobility 2040 (Central Massachusetts)

Charting Progress to 2040 (Boston Region)

Share your transportation priorities with Central Mass planners by filling out this quick and easy survey! Mobility 2040 Survey

 

September 26, 2014 (Working Group on 495/9/90):

MassDOT District 3 provided an update on the implementation of the All-Electronic Tolling System (AETS) along I-90.  An update was also provided on potential solutions to the current constraints at I-495/I-90 Interchange, I-495/Route 9 Interchange and the adjacent portion of Route 9. 

MassDOT District 3 Presentation

 

September 11, 2014

Focusing on the Federal Role in Transportation:

The Partnership welcomed representatives from the Federal Transit Administration, Senator Warren's office and Congressman Capuano's office for a federally focused discussion on transportation.  It was an informative conversation with the priorities of each office and the Administration shared with the Partnership's public and private stakeholders.

FTA Presentation

 

May 8th, 2014 Meeting (Working Group on 495/9/90):

This was the first meeting of the Working Group, at the request of MassDOT, to begin a dialogue concerning the recommendations of the final study on the 495/9/90 Interchange area and its relationship to economic development in the 495/MetroWest region. The working group was visited by Kathleen Polanowicz, Congressman McGovern's District Director and General Counsel, who provided his perspective on the issues facing the interchanges. Two members from MassDOT were also present to give their agency's viewpoint: Jonathan Gulliver, District 3 Administrator; and Barry Lorion, District 3 Operations Engineer. Following this, the group, which includes both public and private stakeholders, then engaged in a discussion and provided feedback. 

 

May 1, 2014 Meeting

Commuter Rail:

The Partnership's constituents heard from Acting General Manager of Keolis Commuter Services, Gerald Francis, who introduced himself and Keolis to the 495/MetroWest region. He also provided information on the transition and mobilization planning his team is currently undertaking in order to be ready to begin operations on July 1st, 2014.  In January 2014, Keolis was  awarded the MBTA contract to run the state's commuter rail.  The 495/MetroWest region includes three commuter rail lines, Fitchburg, Framingham/Worcester, and Franklin.

 

February 27, 2014 Meeting

MassDOT District 3 Update on the Region:

The Partnership welcomed MassDOT's District 3 Highway Division, namely Barry Lorion and Joe Frawley, who provided a detailed overview of the progress made on the 2004 Top Ten Transportation Nightmares for the 495/MetroWest region in addition to presenting other projects in the region. 

 
powered by MemberClicks