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On the Trans Blog
Berkshire Scenic Rail Rides Continue

MassDOT and the Housatonic Railroad announced the extension of an agreement that will allow the Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum to operate scenic rail rides along the Housatonic River for the next two seasons. For more information, visit the museum's website or call 413-637-2210.

MIT Students Restore T Stop Music Sculpture

An MIT student group has organized to restore a once-popular music sculpture at the MBTA Kendall Station stop. Check out the Globe story and video.

Green Line Extension Workshops

MassDOT announced it will hold a series of Green Line Extension Land Use Workshops in Medford, Cambridge and Somerville in May and June. The meetings are intended to gather public ideas and suggestions for the areas around future MBTA Green Line Extension stations. Updated information will be posted on the project website.

MassDOT: Capital Spending Public Meetings

MassDOT is holding public meetings across the state in May on development of a five-year capital spending plan. The capital spending plan is required by the 2009 transportation reform legislation. Times and locations for these meetings connected to the You Move Massachusetts Initiative follow:

Northampton - May 17

Pittsfield - May 18

Quincy - May 19

Framingham - May 25

MassDOT Annual Farmer's Markets at Service Plazas

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) announced that the MassDOT's annual Farmer's Market Program will begin in May 2010, continuing through Fall 2010. Local Farmers are invited to take advantage of free vending space at the state's eighteen highway service plazas to sell their home-grown produce and made-in-Massachusetts products.

The Road to Reform

Bicycle Safety: Same Roads, Same Rules

In response to the sharp rise in bicycle commuters and recreational bicyclists, MassBike, in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, the Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Department of Public Health, has launched a new safety campaign to educate both bicyclists and motorists about the role of bicycles on the state's roads. The centerpiece of the "Same Road, Same Rules" campaign is an educational website unveiled at www.SameRoadsSameRules.org.

The agencies and MassBike are also encouraging residents to bike to work and take part in Bay State Bike Week on May 17-21, a week long series of bike events occurring statewide. For a calendar of events and more information visit Bike Week on the web.

"Bicycling is a fun, healthy way to travel, whether you're just going to the store or commuting to work," said Governor Patrick. "Due to the increase in popularity of bicycling we encourage both drivers and bicyclists to educate themselves about their separate roles and responsibilities on the road."

The state's partnership with MassBike on the Same Roads, Same Rules campaign is part of the Healthy Transportation Compact, an initiative of the Patrick-Murray Administration's historic transportation reform that promotes collaboration between the departments of transportation and public health to adopt best practices, increase efficiency and achieve positive health outcomes through the coordination of land use, transportation and public health policy.

The Same Roads, Same Rules website focuses on the most important things both motorists and bicyclists need to know about the role of bicycles on the road. Visitors can explore safety tips for bikes or cars, detailed information about state laws or common myths and misconceptions from both bicyclist and motorist perspectives.

MassDOT and the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition (MassBike) have collaborated to make Bay State Bike Week an exciting statewide celebration, with events scheduled throughout Massachusetts.

MassDOT encourages participation in the MassCommuter Challenge, the annual bike commuting derby. The Challenge is a friendly competition among organizations that is designed to increase bicycle commuting. It is open to all bike commuters and this year, MassDOT is a registered team.

Visit masscommuterchallenge.org/register to pledge Bay State Bike Week miles.


MassDOT Developers Post Bike Data

Just in time for Bay State Bike Week, MassDOT has added new data on bicycle facilities to the MassDOT Developers Page. The GIS data is available by visiting the MassDOT Planning section of the page.

The data shows on and off road bicycle facilities across the Commonwealth, including existing, programmed and proposed locations, as follows:

  • The Bay State Greenway proposed 740-mile statewide network of on- and off-road bicycle facilities across Massachusetts along seven connected corridors, some of which has already been constructed.
  • Existing on- and off-road facilities of signed and/or striped bike lanes on roadways or paved shared use off-road paths that have already been constructed.
  • Programmed on - and off-road facilities that MassDOT is currently designing or constructing.
  • Greenways - unpaved off-road accommodations for use by wider-tired bicycles. MassDOT will add additional locations to the data in the future.


Students Study Construction Careers

MassDOT's Highway Division is proud to participate each year in the annual Massachusetts Construction Career Days for high school students. MassDOT provided equipment and volunteers for the 8th annual event, held May 5-6 at the New England Laborer’s Training Center in Hopkinton. The Career Days provide hundreds of high school students from across the Commonwealth an opportunity to spend a day learning about possible careers in the construction industry. The hands-on activities include solving engineering skills challenges and trying out the skills of various construction trades, such as operating heavy equipment, trying out crane, excavator, truck-driving and manufacturing simulators, performing carpentry work, placing concrete, laying bricks, welding and doing a survey level run.

Students also visit booths staffed by colleges, trade schools, and apprenticeship training programs. MassDOT hopes that some of the members of our next generation of construction industry workers could be found at the Career Days, learning about the work and being inspired to pursue a career in construction. Find out more about Career Days on the web.


MBTA: Customer Service Campaign

Newly appointed MBTA General Manager Richard Davey continues his "Join the GM" campaign, a back-to-basics approach that will include regular visits to MBTA station to listen and interact with daily commuters in person. On Thursdays, Davey along with the T's top managers will convene at a selected station or bus depot to listen to customers concerns, and promote public transportation.

Each week, MBTA managers will be available at the stations prepared to listen, respond, and follow up with customer concerns and recommendations. Upon completion of eight weekly sessions, "Join the GM" will continue on a monthly basis system-wide. Below are the dates and locations for future sessions.

Haymarket Station Thursday, May 20 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Ruggles Thursday, May 27 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
North Station Thursday, June 10 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Visit MBTA on the web for news and updates.


MassDOT Board June Public Meeting

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors will hold its next public business meeting on Wednesday, June 2, 1:00pm, State Transportation Building in Boston. Going forward, the MBTA Board will meet first at 1pm, followed by the MassDOT Board. All meetings are open to the public.

The meeting schedule is available on the MassDOT website.