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On the Trans Blog
Green Line Extension Workshops
Posted by Kate Fichter, Green Line Extension Project Manager
Over the past two weeks, the Green Line Extension Project Team has held Land Use Workshops in Medford and Cambridge. Attended by more than 150 people, the Workshops were opportunities for members of the public to articulate their ideas and concerns about the areas around the proposed Green Line Extension stations.
Next Scheduled Event:
Click for more information about the Green Line Extension Project. All public input gathered at the Workshops will be posted to the website.
Team MassDOT Bike Week Success
The results are in, and MassDOT is leaner, greener, and a little wealthier this week after bicycling over 6,000 miles during Bay State Bike Week! MassDOT employees commuted 3,098 miles by bicycle and logged 2,961 non-commuting miles during the week-long celebration. In all, 144 employees participated and led team MassDOT to a 4th place finish among the 5,000+ employer category.
The MassDOT Team in Highway Division District 4 included, left, Tom Navarro, Thomas Weil, Chris Leahy, Brian McKenny, Mike Formichella, and Scott Kelloway.
When I Grow Up, I Want to Be....
When 22 boys and girls age 4 to 10 years visited a MassDOT construction site in Lanesborough earlier this spring, District Resident Engineer Charlie Najimy and the construction crew gave them an unforgettable learning experience - and then gave them an assignment.
Weekend Farmers Markets
MassDOT's annual Farmer's Market Program is underway and continues 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.
This weekend's Farmers Markets include:
The Road to Reform
MassDOT Launches GreenDOT
MassDOT this week launched GreenDOT, a comprehensive environmental responsibility and sustainability initiative that will make MassDOT a national leader in “greening” the state transportation system. GreenDOT will be driven by three primary goals: reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; promote the healthy transportation options of walking, bicycling, and public transit; and support smart growth development.
GreenDOT calls for MassDOT to incorporate sustainability into all of its activities, from strategic planning to project design and construction to system operation. The initiative includes greenhouse gas reduction targets mandated under the Global Warming Solutions Act, signed by Governor Patrick in 2008. This law requires an economy-wide 2020 emissions reduction mandate of between 10 and 25 percent by January 1, 2011, the first step toward a required 80 percent reduction by 2050. The transportation sector generates more than one-third of the total greenhouse gas emissions produced in Massachusetts.
GreenDOT sets a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions over 2 million tons by 2020, a reduction of about 7.3 percent below 1990 transportation sector emission levels. If left unchecked, 2020 transportation emissions would increase by 19.0 percent over 1990 levels. Instead, the GreenDOT initiative, combined with other state and federal government policies, is expected to reduce 2020 transportation emissions by almost 30 percent below this “business as usual” level.
The GreenDOT initiative will achieve the greenhouse gas reductions through a range of measures. In cooperation with regional planning agencies, MassDOT will set statewide greenhouse gas reduction targets, and meet these targets by balancing highway system expansion projects with other projects that support smart growth development and promote public transit, walking and bicycling. Example include transit and rail projects, complete streets planning that includes bicycle and pedestrian accommodations, and investments in greener, more efficient fleet vehicles and renewable power.
GreenDOT was designed in response to several existing state laws, Executive Orders, and MassDOT policies. These include the 2009 Transportation Reform Law that created MassDOT and established the Healthy Transportation Compact that promotes improved public health through active transportation; the Global Warming Solutions Act, which calls for measurable and enforceable economy-wide greenhouse gas reductions; and MassDOT’s Complete Streets design approach that calls for appropriate accommodation of all transportation system users.
Photo Credit: Natalia McKittrick, Pedal Power Photography, 2010
RMV Customer Service: Road Test Online Booking
MassDOT Registrar Rachel Kaprielian this week announced that road tests can now be booked online at www.mass.gov/rmv. The newest customer convenience to the RMV online branch could help reduce the demand on the call center by approximately 260,000 callers a year. In the last 18 months, MassDOT RMV has made the online branch the busiest by adding a dozen new website transactions which resulted in 39% more customer traffic.
Callers who want to book a road test represent less than one percent of the 2.4 million calls RMV customer service agents answer a year. But the majority of those callers seek road tests during the summer, so the impact on the call center is expected to be immediate in reducing the time a caller has to wait on hold. In addition, MassDOT announced last week that 42 new customer service representatives will be added to front-line registry services which will include six new call center agents.
MassDOT RMV examiners conduct 2,500 road tests a week at 29 locations throughout the state. During a two week test launch of the new online feature, more than 1042 permit holders booked a road test through www.mass.gov/rmv. Those who prepay for the exam when they book online also save themselves a trip to an RMV branch once they’ve completed the road test.
MassDOT RMV Division serves more than 4.6 million drivers at 30 branch locations and online. In the past two years, the RMV has added more than a dozen internet transactions to the website enabling customers to apply online for a first time license or convert an out of state license and then schedule a branch appointment; renew a license, ID, and registration; order a driving record, police crash report and Fast Lane transponder; view the status of a license, registration, driver education certificate and title; sign up for a license renewal reminder and organ and tissue donation as well as cancel a registration plate.
Greenfield Storm Clean Up: MassDOT, MBTA Helping Out
MassDOT crews assisted state Emergency Management with clean up following the severe storm that downed trees and blocked streets and roads in Greenfield and Franklin County.
MassDOT provided five crews equipped with chain saws, wood chippers and dump trucks to assist on state roadway cleanup in the area. Two MBTA tree crews were also dispatched at the request of Emergency Management officials. The goal is to open roadways for emergency vehicle and other access as quickly as possible.
According to MassDOT Emergency liaison Bob Ward, "the crews deployed overnight met their objective and the communities couldn't have asked for more, and the community Emergency Management Directors couldn't convey enough praise for all of the crews efforts.
"Our assistance will enable them to hold special events they believed would not happen over the weekend. Outstanding!"
Thanks to all MassDOT and MBTA crews and all state and local emergency responders for prompt work in restoring road access and electricity for residents in Franklin County.
MassWorks: Springfield State Street Corridor
Governor Deval Patrick Thursday met with business leaders and community representatives and joined U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, Congressman Richard Neal and Mayor Domenic Sarno along with local state legislators to highlight federal and state investment in the State Street Corridor improvement project in downtown Springfield.
The $18.2 million transportation project spans 3.5 miles of State Street from Interstate 91 to Berkshire Avenue and includes roadway resurfacing, traffic signal upgrades and coordination, pedestrian sidewalks and crosswalks, and lighting and streetscape improvements. The project covers 19 intersections along with transit accommodations including bus stops, bus bays and the implementation of a bus priority system.
The project, funded with 75-percent federal and 25-percent state money, will support the redevelopment and revitalization of the State Street corridor including the $60 million federal courthouse construction project between Spring and Elliot Streets and the recently renovated $71 million MassMutual Convention Center. The corridor also serves other major cultural, educational, business and neighborhood assets.
The State Street Corridor project is one of more than 385 road and bridge projects ongoing across the Commonwealth this summer. The Patrick-Murray Administration's investment in roads and bridges totals more than $1 billion and will sustain more than 10,000 jobs. These road and bridge projects are a part of the more than $4 billion infrastructure investments being made as part of the Administration's Massachusetts Works initiative putting nearly 20,000 people to work across the Commonwealth this construction season.
A MassDOT Accelerated Bridge Program project is underway nearby - the $2 million rehabilitation of the State Street Bridge over Roosevelt Avenue. The Patrick-Murray Administration's Accelerated Bridge Program will reduce the inherited and growing backlog of structurally-deficient bridges in Massachusetts. The Accelerated Bridge Program has already reduced the number of structurally deficient bridges in the Commonwealth by nearly 10% in two years.
Learn more about Massachusetts Works.
MBTA: Customer Service Campaign
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 visits a selected station or bus depot to listen to customers concerns, and promote public transportation.
MBTA managers are 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 is the date and location for the next session.
Visit MBTA on the web for news and updates.
MassDOT Board July Public Meeting
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors will hold its next public business meeting on Wednesday, July 14, 1:00pm, in Lowell. 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.
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