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Official Tweeting from Mass. Dept of Transportation (MassDOT). Tweets ending in JM from MassDOT Secretary/CEO Jeffrey Mullan

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On the Trans Blog
MassDOT Holds Regional Community Forum

As part of the commitment to civic engagement and customer service, MassDOT held the first in a series of regional Community Forums in Framingham last evening before approximately 60 citizens, legislators, and town officials.

MBTA Crime Lowest in 30 Years

MBTA Transit Police announced serious crime on the T is at its lowest level in 30 years, with incidents down 21% in 2009 compared to the previous year.

MBTA: Key Bus Routes Real-Time Tracking

MassDOT and the MBTA announced that riders on five of the T's busiest bus lines can now track the locations of their buses in real-time on the MBTA website. The new service, "T-Tracker," includes real-time location and arrival prediction information for bus route 39, which serves Jamaica Plain, the Longwood Medical Area and Back Bay in Boston; and bus routes 111, 114, 116 and 117, which serve Haymarket Station, East Boston, Chelsea and Revere.

RMV Branch in Danvers Open

The new limited RMV branch at the Liberty Tree Mall in Danvers opened Monday.

Wakefield-Lynnfield Trail Moves Forward

Governor Deval Patrick is moving forward with funding to support the design of a multi-use trail on the former Boston & Maine Railroad corridor in Wakefield and Lynnfield.

MassDOT Funds Boost Chinatown Park

The Boston Redevelopment Authority is pleased to announce that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation has transferred approximately $191,000 in funds to be used for the redesign and construction of Chinatown Gateway Park, also known as Mary Soo Hoo Park.

MBTA Bus Route 39 Improvements

The MBTA is planning major service improvements along Bus Route 39, one of MBTA's busiest routes operating between Forest Hills and the Back Bay. The public is invited to a meeting to review recommendations for the proposed improvements at the following date, time, and location:

Winter Driving, Live Cameras

Before driving this winter, read MassDOT's winter driving tips or check out the online traffic cameras. Read more about MassDOT services to make your winter drive smooth.

The Road to Reform

MassDOT Priority: Healthy Transportation

by Catherine Cagle, MassDOT Manager, Sustainable Transportation

This month we had a terrific kick-off meeting the Healthy Transportation Compact!

MassDOT Secretary & CEO Jeff Mullan and Health & Human Services Secretary Dr. JudyAnn Bigby provided inspiration in leading the first meeting of the Compact, left.

The MassDOT transportation vision includes a strong commitment to pedestrian and bicycle access. Walking and bicycling move people out of single-occupant vehicles, reduce traffic congestion, and promote healthy lifestyles and a cleaner environment.

MassDOT will be ‘Leading by Example' by supporting and promoting Bike Week 2010, in addition to establishing measures/incentives to promote healthy transportation commuter options among Commonwealth employees.

We are looking forward to a very strong collaboration that will increase efficiency to achieve positive health outcomes through the coordination of land use, transportation and public health policy. In the coming weeks we will be assembling agency staff level team and our advisory committee.

At the kick-off meeting participants agreed to:

  1. Identify needs and opportunities for promoting healthy transportation through a Gap analysis.
  2. Establish a ‘Complete Streets' policy per the MassDOT Highway Project Development and Design Guide.
  3. Incentivize ‘"Complete Streets" design guidelines for all transportation projects that use any federal or state funds, including bond programs (e.g. PWED, STRAP) and Chapter 90).
  4. Determine how to best use Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) as a tool to promote healthy transportation goals and outcomes.

For more information please check out our new MassDOT Healthy Compact web page and Health and Human Services' Mass in Motion link.

Federal Stimulus Grants Boost State, Regional Rail

Governor Deval Patrick calls "exceptional news" this week's U.S. Department of Transportation award of $70 million for final design and construction of the "Knowledge Corridor" along the Connecticut River rail line in western Massachusetts. The competitive grant award is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail program.

Connecticut and Vermont received separate grants totaling $90 million to upgrade the New Haven to Springfield and Vermont portion of the line. The result will be improvements all along the corridor serving the Amtrak Vermonter line, seen at left.

"The Knowledge Corridor is a cornerstone of our vision for regional rail and regional economic growth," said Governor Patrick. "This $70 million will support long-awaited improvements, create jobs and restore access to cities in the Pioneer Valley. Thanks to wonderful teamwork with our neighboring states and the advocacy of our congressional delegation, especially Congressman Olver, the Obama Administration recognized the project's strong potential, and the powerful impact it will have on our economy. I couldn't be more thrilled or more grateful."

The Massachusetts portion of the project with a total budget of $75.6 million will rehabilitate the existing Connecticut River rail line. The project will create an estimated 626 jobs during construction and 155 permanent jobs by the 5th full year of operation. Once completed, Amtrak Vermonter service will be rerouted to the line providing a more direct route, faster service and restored access to the cities of Northampton and Greenfield. The Vermonter will make stops at the former Amtrak station at Northampton and the new regional intermodal transit center in Greenfield. The Patrick-Murray Administration had already invested $12.8 million in ARRA funds to build the Greenfield facility.

In total, $485 million in stimulus funds will be invested to improve rail lines in the Northeast Corridor. In addition to the investments between New Haven, Springfield and St. Albans, Vermont, $35 million was awarded to Maine to restore rail service between Portland and Brunswick as part of the popular Downeaster service which begins in Massachusetts, and $112 million to fund improvements in the Boston to Washington DC corridor.

MassDOT's Rail & Transit Division will oversee the Connecticut River line project construction, which is expected to take approximately two years and begin during the 2010 construction season. Learn more about MassDOT's Hi-Speed Intercity Rail projects.

MassDOT Civil Engineer Serves in Haiti

James O'Leary, MassDOT Senior Civil Engineer, will be in Haiti for the next two weeks wearing his other hat as a Civil Engineering Core officer in the U.S. Naval Reserves.

Lieutenant Commander O'Leary will join other members of his joint command in USSOUTHCOM directed by the President to assist US AID in Disaster Relief Operations.

While in Port-au-Prince, Jim will be the Current Operations Officer in Logistics, tracking construction and infrastructure projects as the rebuilding of Haiti begins. Our thanks to Jim for his efforts, and the service he provides each day for the Commonwealth in his role at MassDOT.

Like so many people across the U.S., O'Leary's MassDOT colleagues are providing assistance or exploring ways to help, forming a group called "MassDOT Friends of Haiti."

Governor Patrick and his administration are working with the federal government and our local partners to assist the Haitian community in Massachusetts and the people of Haiti. Learn more about opportunities to help.

MassDOT Aeronautics Reaching Out

by Christopher J. Willenborg, MassDOT Aeronautics Division Administrator

The MassDOT Aeronautics Division this month partnered with the Massachusetts Airport Management Association (MAMA) for their first quarterly general membership meeting, hosted at Worcester Regional Airport. MAMA is one of the largest aviation stakeholders group in the Commonwealth with over 120 members. The MAMA quarterly meetings are an excellent opportunity for MassDOT to reach out to the aviation stakeholders across the Commonwealth.

I was pleased to speak to the group about MassDOT and the Aeronautics Division since our official beginning on November 1, 2009. I provided an update on the Statewide Airport System Plan Update, the Massachusetts LPV Approach System Project, Five Year Airport Capital Improvement Program, 2010 Real World Design Challenge, 2010 Statewide Economic Impact Study, and outreach efforts to other state agencies.

We also heard from David Dinneen, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Airport Management Association, and LaVerne Reid, Manager of the New Region FAA Airports Office, with updates about their organizations.

I wish to sincerely thank MAMA for the strong partnership in addressing general aviation issues throughout the Commonwealth and Andrew Davis, Airport Director of Worcester Regional Airport, for graciously hosting the event in the terminal building. We look forward to future collaboration.

I invite everyone to visit our website for information about general aviation airports, airshows, aircraft registration, and much more.

MassDOT Board February Public Meeting

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors will hold its next public business meeting on Wednesday, February 3, in the MBTA Board Room, Boston. During 2010, meetings will be held in Springfield, Lowell, and Brockton, along with Boston. All meetings are open to the public.

The meeting schedule is available on the MassDOT website.