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.
Medford: Green Line Extension Public Meeting December 14 posted on Dec 5
The Green Line Extension Project Interim Program Management Team will host a public meeting as follows: Wednesday, December 14, 6:30 to 8:30 PM, Medford City Hall, Council Chambers, 85 George P. Hassett Drive The purpose of the meeting will be to present a general update …Continue Reading Medford: Green Line Extension Public Meeting December 14
MBTA Future: Focus40 Seeks Your Ideas posted on Dec 2
The Focus40 Street Team has been out at stops and stations around the system, collecting your ideas for the MBTA’s future. The Street Team is made up of MassDOT staff, community members, and partner organizations. We have already engaged with over 1,000 MBTA customers and …Continue Reading MBTA Future: Focus40 Seeks Your Ideas
MassDOT, MAPFRE Insurance Encourage Motorists to Prepare for Winter Driving posted on Dec 1
MassDOT and MAPFRE Insurance offer helpful tips to ensure that your vehicle is geared up for wintry road conditions: Bring your vehicle in for an inspection. Winter can involve some of the harshest conditions for your vehicle to endure, so have your vehicle checked by …Continue Reading MassDOT, MAPFRE Insurance Encourage Motorists to Prepare for Winter Driving