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Dont Crowd the PlowMassDOT and the MBTA are advising the public that the National Weather Service is forecasting a winter storm which will bring snow to locations throughout Massachusetts beginning on Sunday evening, and continuing through Monday morning. Snowfall is expected to be heaviest between 10 p.m. on Sunday, and 6 a.m. on Monday, which may create challenging travel conditions during overnight hours and for the Monday morning commute.

Travelers are encouraged to consider working from home or adjusting their work hours so that they travel later in the morning. The MBTA currently expects to operate regular weekday schedules for Commuter Rail and subway service, and people should consider using public transportation if that is an option.

“We are advising everyone to avoid driving during the peak Monday morning commute if possible and to use public transportation instead. Those who must be on the roadways on Monday morning should plan to leave plenty of extra time for their trip,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “This is a significant winter storm that will bring several inches of snowfall by Monday morning, and members of the public will need to plan ahead so that they leave home at the best time and utilize the most appropriate mode of travel to reach their destinations.”

“Given the potential for this storm to affect tomorrow morning’s commute, we are asking customers to monitor the weather forecast, and stay connected with the T,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “With the current snowfall predictions, we’re also asking customers to plan ahead, allow for extra travel time, and if possible adjust work hours on Monday.”

MassDOT’s snow and ice operations will be deployed throughout the Commonwealth as conditions necessitate. Highway Districts always conduct preparation activities in advance of new weather systems and are able to pretreat roadways with brine and Magnesium Chloride when necessary. In the most severe storms, MassDOT’s Highway Division is able to utilize up to 700 personnel to perform snow and ice removal operations on more than 15,000 lane miles of roadway throughout the Commonwealth. This winter, MassDOT has approximately 3,900 pieces of state and vendor equipment available for snow and ice operations and this includes over 1,400 plow and spreader combos, 2,100 plows, and 460 front-end loaders.

MBTA crews are preparing for the arrival of the storm by prepositioning snow fighting equipment, restocking supplies of salt, and calling in crews to monitor snow and ice buildup at MBTA and Commuter Rail parking facilities, pedestrian walkways, station platforms, and bus stops.  The T is also calling in crews to address any downed trees, limbs, or other debris that could affect the ability of overhead wires and switches from properly functioning.

Select train sets across all rail lines will be equipped with ice cutters, plows, and anti-icing agent to address the buildup of snow and ice along the rail rights-of-way, as well as on overhead catenary wires, and exposed third rail.  These trains will be operating continuously overnight and will be integrated into normal service Monday morning.

On the Commuter Rail network, crews continue sanding and salting areas near stations and parking facilities; de-icer will also be applied to coach doors in an effort to minimize dwell times and keep train departures on time. Switch heaters will be activated in key areas to ensure a normal flow of train traffic. Equipment such as snow-fighters and flangers will be in position and deployed as snow becomes plowable.

Beginning with the start of service on Monday, the MBTA will only be running 40-foot buses, with the exception of the Silver Line bus fleet.  This is to ensure buses can safely traverse narrow streets, sharp corners, and steep hills that may be affected by snow and ice.  Depending on the storm’s intensity, buses may also operate on snow routes.

Customers who use The RIDE should be mindful that driving conditions and safe access to drop-off and pick-up points that may not have been fully cleared of snow and ice.

Because this storm is not expected to bring high winds, at this time, the T expects no impact to ferry service.

For the most up-to-date information on transportation impacts, please follow on Twitter: @MassDOT @MBTA @MBTA_CR, and @MassRMV.

If drivers go out on the roadways, they are advised to always wear seatbelts, minimize distractions, turn off or put away cell-phones and devote full attention to what is ahead on the road.

For updates on road and traffic conditions in Massachusetts, drivers can:

  • Dial 511 before heading out onto the roadways and select a route to hear real-time conditions.
  • Visit www.mass511.com, a website which provides real-time traffic and incident advisory information, access to traffic cameras, and allows users to subscribe to text and email alerts for traffic conditions.
  • Download MassDOT’s GoTime mobile app and view real-time traffic conditions before setting out on the road.

Other important winter driving tips include:

  • Clear snow and ice from all windows and lights, even the hood and roof, before driving, (start with the tailpipe).
  • Leave plenty of room for stopping.
  • Remember that the posted speed limits are for dry pavement.
  • Use brakes carefully. Brake early. Brake correctly. It takes more time and distance to stop in adverse conditions.
  • Bridge decks freeze first. Due to the difference in the exposure to air, the surface condition can be worse on a bridge than on the approach road.
  • Exit ramps are an even greater challenge during the winter since they may have received less anti-icing material than the main line.
  • Leave room for maintenance vehicles and plows – stay back at least 200 feet and don’t pass on the right.
  • Seat belts should be worn at all times – it’s the law.
  • Most importantly please remember to slow down.

Please review more information on safe winter driving.

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