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On the Trans Blog
Dewey Square Farmers Market Near South Station

The Boston Public Market Association celebrates the official opening of the farmers market at Dewey Square near South Station on Tuesday, June 22nd.

Ceremonies at 12:15 will include a cooking demonstration and live music while celebrating a State grant that makes possible electronic Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly the Food Stamp Program) payments. The farmers market is located at Dewey Square on the Greenway at the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and Summer Street, directly between South Station and the Financial District.

The Boston Public Market at Dewey Square opened in June of 2006 as the first activation of the Rose Kennedy Greenway.

The farmers market at Dewey Square is held Tuesdays and Thursdays in 2010 through November 23 from 11:30AM to 6:30PM.

MBTA Commuters "Dump the Pump"

MBTA commuters took part in the National "Dump the Pump" Day this week and took public transportation to work in Boston. Ten candidates were chosen and provided a free 10-day commuter pass along with free parking at an MBTA lot.

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:

Charlton West:
Friday, Saturday & Sunday
June 18, 19 & 20
9 AM - 4 PM

Charlton East:
Friday, Saturday & Sunday
June 18, 19 & 20
9 AM - 4 PM

Ludlow East:
Friday, Saturday & Sunday
June 18, 19 & 20
9 AM - 4 PM

Westboro:
Friday, Saturday & Sunday
June 18, 19 & 20
10 AM -4 PM

The Road to Reform

Major Announcement Moves South Coast Rail Forward

As part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's commitment to the South Coast Rail economic development and transportation project, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has closed on the legal transaction with CSX Transportation to acquire the rail lines necessary for the restoration of commuter rail service between Boston and the South Coast region.

"Helping this region realize the promise of South Coast Rail has been our focus since day one," said Governor Deval Patrick. "While others have stopped at talking about this project, we are making it happen. This agreement is another important example of our commitment to bringing this project one step closer to reality. "The Governor made the announcement today along with Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray, Senator John Kerry, Congressman Jim McGovern and Secretary Jeff Mullan. The full announcement can be read here.

In another major milestone for South Coast Rail, a new request for proposals was released on June 10 for the reconstruction of three rail bridges in New Bedford. In February, the Obama Administration awarded MassDOT $20 million in competitive stimulus TIGER funds to replace the deteriorating railroad bridges. Bridge construction will begin in the fall.

For additional information on how the Patrick-Murray Administration's agenda has led Massachusetts out of a global recession sooner and stronger than the rest of the nation, visit www.mass.gov/governor/agenda.


Governor Highlights Neponset River Bridge Repairs

Governor Deval Patrick this week joined local leaders at the Neponset River Bridge to highlight state investment in repairs to the bridge as part of the Administration's Massachusetts Works program promoting job growth and long-term economic recovery. The $35 million rehabilitation of the Neponset River Bridge, now underway, is funded by the Governor's historic eight-year, $3 billion Accelerated Bridge Program (ABP) for repairing deficient and obsolete bridges across the Commonwealth.

"The Neponset River Bridge is a lifeline for tens of thousands of commuters and another example of how we are committed to making up for the decades of neglect facing our roads and bridges," said Governor Patrick. "The reconstruction of this important bridge will improve public safety and be a lasting symbol of our renewed investment in Commonwealth infrastructure for decades to come."

"We are not only repairing one of our most important and busiest bridges but are doing so while working very closely with state and City officials to manage traffic as efficiently as possible in order to reduce the impact on commuters and area residents during the construction period," said MassDOT Transportation Secretary Jeffrey Mullan. Launched in April 2010, the Neponset River Bridge Phase II project will provide a full deck replacement, with the new bridge built to last 75 years. The project also includes improved pedestrian and bicycle access. Working in conjunction with the cities of Boston and Quincy, MassDOT implemented a traffic management plan that provides a third northbound lane across the majority of the bridge during the weekday morning commute. MassDOT held public meetings in Dorchester and Quincy to present the traffic plans prior to beginning of the work. To view a YouTube video of MassDOT engineers explaining the traffic management plan, click here. Since the inception of the Accelerated Bridge Program (ABP) in 2008, the number of structurally deficient bridges has dropped from 543 to 494, a decline of more than 9%. As a result of ABP alone, 13 bridge projects are already complete, with another 62 bridge projects scheduled for construction this coming season. Over the course of the program, at least 200 bridges will see active construction.

To learn more about Massachusetts Works, visit www.mass.gov/governor/massworks. For additional information on how the Patrick-Murray Administration's agenda has led Massachusetts out of a global recession faster and stronger than the rest of the nation, visit www.mass.gov/governor/agenda.


Green Line Extension: Environmental Report

Posted by: Kate Fichter, Green Line Extension Project Manager

I am pleased to report that MassDOT this week submitted a Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) for the Green Line Extension project to the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs. The document will be noticed in the June 23, 2010 Environmental Monitor, which triggers a 30-day review of the project. In January, the Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs issued a Certificate on the Green Line Extension Draft Environmental Impact Report that required MassDOT to produce a Final Environmental Impact Report with a limited scope covering the following topics:

  • Environmental analysis of the "Option L" and "Mirror H" vehicle maintenance and storage facility alternative locations
  • Narrative discussion clarifying air quality modeling procedures
  • Description of potential impacts associated with the use of College Avenue Station as a terminal station for the Extension
  • Refined conceptual design of Lechmere Station
  • Summary of overall project impacts and mitigation measures

Complete reference copies of the FEIR are available at public libraries and city clerk's offices in Cambridge, Somerville and Medford and online at the project website. An Executive Summary of the document is also available on the website, along with a project fact sheet.

A public meeting on the FEIR will be held on Wednesday, June 30th at 6 PM at the Somerville High School Auditorium. The meeting will provide an opportunity for members of the public, agency representatives, and other project stakeholders to learn about changes to the project and ask questions.

The comment period for the document will be for 30 days. All comments will be due to the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) Office by July 23, 2010. All written comments must be submitted to:

Secretary Ian Bowles,
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
MEPA Office,
Attn: Holly Johnson, MEPA Analyst EEA #13886
100 Cambridge Street,
Suite 900, Boston MA 02114
Fax: 617-626-1181.
Email: Holly.S.Johnson@state.ma.us

You may also send comments to Katherine Fichter,
Office of Transportation Planning,
10 Park Plaza, Room 4150,
Boston, MA 02116


RMV License Plate Lottery

MassDOT's Registry of Motor Vehicles will begin accepting applications for the 2010 Low Number License Plate Lottery on Monday, June 14, 2010. Applicants in this year's drawing will be vying for 179 of the most sought after Massachusetts license plates, including R12, F17 and 55A.

Applications will be available in all RMV branches and online at www.mass.gov/rmv . All entries must be mailed and postmarked by August 9, 2010. Postcard entries will not be accepted. Only one entry per applicant will be accepted. Winners who do not register their vehicle with their winning lottery plate by December 31, 2010 will automatically forfeit their plate. All forfeited plates will be offered to a list of 25 alternate winners who will be chosen at the drawing.

Winners will be selected at a live drawing that will be held at 11am, Saturday, August 28 at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum located at 15 Newton Street in Brookline. Admission to the museum and its current exhibit "Curve Appeal" featuring aerodynamic vehicles from the streamlining era of industrial design will be free to applicants. Applicants should check the Registry website for official drawing details and a complete list of the plates up for drawing. Lottery winners will be posted on the RMV website on Monday, August 30 following the drawing.

Visit MassDOT's busiest RMV branch - online.


Morton and River Street Bridges Meetings

Posted by Matt Hopkinson, Project Manager

If you live in Mattapan or Hyde Park, you've probably heard about the upcoming replacement of the bridges that carry Morton Street and River Street across the MBTA tracks. At both locations, Governor Patrick's Accelerated Bridge Program (ABP) will use revolutionary accelerated bridge construction techniques in order to minimize disruptions to traffic and other community impacts. The replacement bridges will be built in nearby staging locations, eliminating the need for months of lane closures (and the resulting traffic bottleneck). Once the replacement bridges are complete, they will be moved into place using specialized equipment during a ten-day period in which each bridge will be closed. Overall, the accelerated techniques the ABP is using will eliminate years of traffic delays for each project.

MassDOT will hold public meetings for both of these projects this month. Public meetings are a valuable opportunity for people to learn about a project; ask and get answers to questions; and provide feedback to MassDOT.

Public meeting times and locations are as follows:

Morton Street over MBTA RR (Mattapan/Dorchester)
Mildred Avenue Community Center
5 Mildred Avenue, Mattapan
June 21, at 6:30pm

River Street over MBTA RR (Hyde Park)
Boston Police Station
Area E-18 Community Room
1249 Hyde Park Avenue
Boston, June 28, at 6:30pm

Go to MassDOT's website and use the calendar feature to see the meeting notices for these and other projects.


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.