Posted by Catherine Cagle, MassDOT Manager of Sustainable Transportation
The MBTA is continuing its long and fruitful legacy of advancing the construction of shared-use paths with the announcement of two new leases that will turn abandoned railroad corridors into new paths. Just as the MBTA has done with many abandoned rail corridors, including the corridor that now hosts the popular Minuteman Commuter Bikeway, these two recent MBTA initiatives will promote shared-use path construction that will foster healthy transportation modes and provide new connections to transit, residential areas, schools, and employment centers.
The Somerville lease will facilitate the extension of the Mass Central BSG corridor. A 1.2-mile section of the former Somerville Freight right-of-way, between Lowell Street, Somerville and the Cambridge border, will be used exclusively by Somerville to build, maintain and operate a rail trail. Under a previously approved license with the MBTA, the City of Somerville has already developed the rail trail between the Cambridge border and Cedar Street. This action allows the trail to be extended to Lowell Street. Increasingly popular with residents, the rail trail provides a safe and convenient pedestrian and bicycling connection to the Davis Square Red Line station.
The Saugus Branch lease will speed the expansion of the North Shore BSG corridor. The MassDOT Board has approved a separate 99-year lease with Revere for an approximately one-mile section of the former Saugus Branch right-of-way, between the Malden and Saugus borders. This section of inactive railroad will become part of the 10 mile-long Northern Strand Community Trail (Bike to the Sea) which, when completed, will travel through five communities. Under the lease agreement, the City of Revere will assume the cost of scrapping the abandoned rail and disposing of the old railroad ties. As with other rail trail agreements, the lease includes a reversion clause should the property be needed for other future transportation purposes.
To date, the MBTA has entered into 27 similar agreements with cities and towns, leading to the creation of more than 100 miles of rail trails. This valuable program preserves right-of-ways for the Commonwealth’s future transportation needs, as well as providing environmental and recreational benefits.
The MBTA’s actions reinforce major MassDOT initiatives, the GreenDOT Policy and the Healthy Transportation Compact, and they directly support implementation of the 740-mile, seven-corridor Bay State Greenway (BSG) identified in the 2008 Massachusetts Bicycle Transportation Plan.
Tobin Bridge Pay-By-Plate Fines Reduced posted on May 29
MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack announced changes to the fine structure to the all-electronic, Pay-By-Plate, toll collection system on the Tobin Bridge. Additionally, Secretary Pollack also announced a 30-day amnesty program that starts Monday, June 1, where drivers can simply pay the amount of …Continue Reading Tobin Bridge Pay-By-Plate Fines Reduced
Route 2/I-95 Bridge Project: Intelligent Innovation posted on May 29
It may not be obvious to drivers on Route 2 or I-95 in Lexington, but some of the construction vehicles at the Route 2/I-95 Bridge Replacement Project site are anything but ordinary. The project is one of three that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) …Continue Reading Route 2/I-95 Bridge Project: Intelligent Innovation
MassDOT RMV AAA Partnership: Hadley posted on May 28
Today, Governor Charlie Baker joined MassDOT Registrar of Motor Vehicles Erin Deveney and executives from AAA Northeast (AAA NE) in Hadley to announce the latest AAA Registry Services location to begin providing RMV license and registration renewal services to members. “Today marks the doubling of …Continue Reading MassDOT RMV AAA Partnership: Hadley