The Patrick Administration announced 17 technical assistance grants will be awarded to communities to implement smart growth principles of the South Coast Rail Economic Development and Land Use Corridor Plan. This is the sixth round of grants available to 31 communities who will be impacted by South Coast Rail.
MassDOT and the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development reviewed the applications and awarded communities technical assistance for projects to address and support new zoning, housing needs and production plans, corridor studies, economic development, land use strategy and permitting.
This sixth round of grants totals almost $245,000. Applicant communities worked with their Regional Planning Agencies (RPAs) to develop their proposals and will meet with the RPAs to implement their plans. The Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District will work with 14 communities; the Old Colony Planning Council with two; and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council with two.
The South Coast Rail Economic Development and Land Use Corridor Plan, developed in 2009, has made strategic investments to assist the 31 corridor communities in preparing for passenger rail through sustainable development and appropriate land use. The Plan identifies areas that are appropriate for new development near proposed South Coast Rail transit stations. The fifth round of technical assistance announced in October 2012 provided grants to 15 Corridor communities of $5,000 – $25,000 to plan for sustainable, smart growth.
Over the past five years, communities have used the grants to achieve smart growth principles as outlined in the Corridor Plan. These efforts include transit-oriented development, riverwalk and streetscape planning, mixed-use bylaws in town centers, bicycle and pedestrian connectivity to new station locations and several more. The technical assistance grants are part of a broader strategy to target state investments in the region to advance the housing, economic development and preservation goals outlined in the Corridor Plan. Technical assistance grants to communities in the region have totaled more than $1 million over the first five years of the program.
In September, Governor Patrick announced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had released the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the South Coast Rail project, and MassDOT has adopted the Corps’ document as the state-required Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR). MassDOT has identified the Stoughton rail alternative as its preferred route for providing the best transportation, environmental and smart growth benefits.
For more on the Corridor Plan or South Coast Rail, visit www.southcoastrail.com. The list of communities receiving grants for 2014 include:
Attleboro, Berkley, Bridgewater, Dartmouth, Dighton, Fall River, Foxborough, Freetown, Marion, Middleborough, North Attleboro, Rehoboth, Sharon, Somerset, Stoughton, Taunton, and Westport.
I-495 Highway Safety Program Announced posted on Nov 20
MassDOT and the Massachusetts State Police announced the establishment of a new Highway Safety Corridor Program for I-495 through the towns of Chelmsford, Westford, Littleton, Boxborough, Bolton, and Berlin. The program posts public safety signs that read, “Highway Safety Corridor / Laws Strictly Enforced” at …Continue Reading I-495 Highway Safety Program Announced
Robin Chase Appointed to MassDOT Board posted on Nov 19
Governor Deval Patrick today appointed Robin Chase to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Board of Directors. Chase is the founder and former CEO of Zipcar, the largest car-sharing company in the world, Buzzcar, a car-sharing marketplace in France and GoLoco, an online ridesharing community. …Continue Reading Robin Chase Appointed to MassDOT Board
McGrath Boulevard Project Working Group Meeting posted on Nov 18
MassDOT has assembled a working group for the McGrath Boulevard Project including residents, business owners and other local stakeholders. The purpose of the working group is to inform and advise MassDOT on important community issues affecting the development of a design for the McGrath Boulevard …Continue Reading McGrath Boulevard Project Working Group Meeting