Post Content

Catherine Cagle

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.

MBTA Shared Use Paths
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.

Written By:

Recent Posts

Baker-Polito Administration Supports 49 Community Recreational Trail Projects posted on Sep 19

Baker-Polito Administration Supports 49 Community Recreational Trail Projects

Today, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito announced $1.8 million in 49 Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grants to community trail projects throughout the Commonwealth, which will construct over 10 miles of new trails and structures and will improve over 150 miles of existing recreational trails within the   …Continue Reading Baker-Polito Administration Supports 49 Community Recreational Trail Projects

Somerville: Sullivan Square Transportation Public Forum September 25th posted on Sep 19

Somerville: Sullivan Square Transportation Public Forum September 25th

Do you live, work, socialize or commute in and around Sullivan Square? Are you interested in helping weigh options  for future transportation improvements in the area? Join MassDOT, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), and the cities of Boston, Everett, and Somerville for an interactive   …Continue Reading Somerville: Sullivan Square Transportation Public Forum September 25th

RMV, AAA Northeast Celebrate New Service Location in Acton posted on Sep 18

RMV, AAA Northeast Celebrate New Service Location in Acton

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV), in partnership with AAA Northeast (AAA), announced today that the Acton AAA Branch, located at 342 Great Road, now offers select RMV license and registration services for AAA members. With the addition of Acton, AAA   …Continue Reading RMV, AAA Northeast Celebrate New Service Location in Acton