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On the Trans Blog
Residents Discuss Mitchell River Bridge Project

MassDOT held a well-attended public hearing on March 18 at the Chatham Community Center, in which our design team presented design plans for the replacement of the Mitchell River Bridge and listened to comments and answered questions from community members. The plans we presented included a number of features to help the bridge blend in with its surroundings including timber and stone cladding, and a timber railing and walkway. The design team also presented a number of traffic calming measures.

RMV Promotes Motorcycle Safety

Governor Patrick has proclaimed a state motorcycle safety period from March 22 through April 30. The Registry of Motor Vehicles sponsors the Mass Rider Education Program, providing training, materials, new Rider Coach training and promotional and technical assistance to a statewide network of training sites.

MassDOT "Friends of Haiti"

The MassDOT employee "Friends of Haiti" team this month collected emergency kits needed by the residents of Haiti ravaged by the earthquake.

We're hoping you join us this May 17th to 21st for Bay State Bike Week, a week when Massachusetts will celebrates bicycle transportation!

The Road to Reform

Davey Appointed MassDOT Rail & Transit Administrator, MBTA GM

Governor Deval Patrick and MassDOT Secretary and CEO Jeffrey Mullan this week appointed Richard A. Davey as MassDOT's new Rail and Transit Administrator.

Davey will oversee the Commonwealth's 15 Regional Transit Authorities and MassDOT's freight and passenger rail program. As part of his Administrator responsibilities, Governor Patrick and Secretary Mullan recommended and the MassDOT Board Thursday approved the appointment of Davey as MBTA General Manager.

Davey will succeed William Mitchell who served as Acting Rail and Transit Administrator and Acting MBTA GM. Mitchell will return to his prior role as MBTA General Counsel and continue to play a major role in transportation reform implementation.

Davey promises to focus on five top priorities: safety, customer service, an inclusive employee work environment, fiscal responsibility, and innovation. His incoming message is available on the Transportation Blog and YouTube.

Davey is an experienced rail and transit manager who currently serves as General Manager at the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad (MBCR), the company which operates and maintains MBTA commuter rail service, the 5th largest in the U.S. At MBCR, Davey initiated programs that improved operations and safety, strengthened customer service and changed the culture within the company.

Due to Davey's focus on operations, safety and customer service, customer complaints dropped 40% in 2009 from 2008.

MassDOT and the MBTA in the past six months have strengthened customer service for T riders by:

  • Updating MBTA system maps and for the first time ever including key bus routes.
  • Extending discounted student Charlie Card hours during school days for youth travel to and from school.
  • Investing federal stimulus ARRA funds in stations, tracks, bus service and station bicycle facilities.
  • Launching the nationally recognized Open Data Initiative and Developers Page.

Governor's First Hand Look: MBTA Control Center

Governor Patrick this week toured the MBTA Operations Control Center with MassDOT Secretary & CEO Jeff Mullan and newly-appointed MassDOT Rail and Transit Administrator and MBTA GM Richard Davey. The Operations Control Center is the hub for T operations and safety-related communications. The state-of-the-art Control Center equipped with wall-sized electronic monitors closely tracks location and movement of hundreds of subway cars and trolleys on all four Rapid Transit Lines (Red, Orange, Blue, and Green) around the clock.

Supervisors and dispatchers constantly communicate with train crews and other subway personnel throughout the 63-mile Rapid Transit System that sees more than 2,600 trips a day. The OCC is also staffed by MBTA Transit Police, who monitor images from over 700 closed circuit television cameras in subway stations, platforms, and tunnels.

MBTA staff briefed the Governor on Operations Control Center functions, and Administrator Davey later led a roundtable discussion with T riders. Acting T GM William Mitchell joined the Governor and Secretary Mullan. Mitchell will return to his prior position as MBTA General Counsel.

Check Out Student Safe Driving Videos

Dozens of Commonwealth high school students and schools have answered the call on YouTube and posted their best safe driving videos.

MassDOT RMV Registrar Rachel Kaprielian last month joined Mary Elizabeth Heffernan, Secretary of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS), to announce the 2010 "Dance. Don't Chance" statewide teen safe driving video contest to encourage a safe prom/graduation season.

Teens wrote, produced and submitted 60-second videos on safe driving and avoiding underage drinking.

Now, you can check out the more than 50 videos on YouTube here. The winning video will be announced next month. The winning school receives a Dream Prom package provided by contest sponsors.

Learn more about the contest.

MassDOT Dorchester Avenue Project Update

MassDOT is keeping residents and businesses informed with a website about the progress of the $15.6 million Dorchester Avenue stimulus project.

The project is part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's Massachusetts Recovery Plan to secure the state's economic future.

An update will be sent via email to the community and added to every two weeks highlighting a general description of work locations, activities and hours. Specific anticipated lane closures and any restrictions on parking and pedestrian travel ways throughout the project work area will be included.

The Dorchester Avenue project will will improve safety and mobility at four major intersections along the Dorchester Avenue corridor: Andrews Square, Glover's Corner, Fields Corner and Peabody Square. An additional 11 intersections will receive traffic signal equipment upgrades and interconnection and hardwire control to the City of Boston Traffic Management Center. All intersections will see accessibility and bicycle accommodation improvements.

For the two week period beginning Monday, March 29, traffic signal and street light installation, sidewalk and curb installation work will proceed at Peabody Square, East Cottage/Crescent, and Old Colony Avenue, with normal work hours of 7am-3pm. There will be limited lane closures during the work period.

MassDOT Board April Public Meeting

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors will hold its next public business meeting on Wednesday, April 7, in Springfield. 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.