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On the Trans Blog
MBTA Fairmount Line Newmarket Station Moves Forward

The MBTA is taking the next step in transforming the Fairmount commuter rail line, moving forward with a Request for Proposals to construct a new Newmarket Station.

The proposed $12 million Newmarket Station will be located just north of the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge and adjacent to the South Bay Shopping Center. The station will be located in the Newmarket Back Streets district, the largest industrial area within the City of Boston and home to over 1,000 businesses, 16,000 jobs, and $4 billion in annual revenues. The Newmarket Station is therefore being considered a destination station. Construction is expected to begin later this year. Learn more about the project.

Weekend Farmers Markets

MassDOT's annual Farmer's Market Program continues through fall 2010.

This weekend's Farmers Markets include:

  • Lee East on Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 9:30 PM - 5:30 PM.
  • Charlton West on Friday, Saturday & Sunday 9 AM - 4 PM.
  • Charlton East on Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 9 AM - 4 PM.
  • Ludlow West on Friday & Saturday from 9 AM - 4 PM.
  • Framingham on Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 10 AM - 4 PM.

Local farmers or customers who want more information are asked to contact program coordinator Dave Fenton at dave.fenton@state.ma.us or 413-572-3171.

The Road to Reform

Student's Kindness Boosts MBTA Police K-9

MBTA Transit Police K-9 partner Marco is now outfitted with a safety vest, thanks to the kindness and perseverance of 13-year old Madeleine Barowsky of Framingham. Barowsky received a Certificate of Appreciation from Transit Police Chief Paul MacMillan for her efforts.

Madeleine and her mother met Officer Sean McCarthy and K-9 Marco in May, and the Framingham 8th grade student worked for months raising money. Barowsky made dog-shaped fridge magnets, doggie earrings made of clay, and homemade dog biscuits, and placed collection jars at pet stores. She worked through K9 Vested Interest, a non-profit organization.

Her months of efforts and kindness paid off, raising the $750 needed to donate a bullet proof vest to K-9 Marco. Chief MacMillan said, "Madeleine's selfless act of kindness will help protect K-9 Marco as he performs his duties."


Green Line Extension Update

Posted by: Kate Fichter, Green Line Extension Project Manager

Green Line Extension Friends –

The Green Line Extension website has been updated to include some new materials. A comment letter from MassDOT to the U.S. Department of Transportation regarding the Federal Transit Administration's Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the New Starts/Small Starts programs is now available. Materials for this week's Design Working Group meeting are also available on the Current Materials page under the subheading "Green Line Extension Design Working Group."

More information about the Green Line Extension project, including information about upcoming public meetings, can be found at www.mass.gov/greenlineextension. Should you have questions, please contact Kate Fichter, Project Manager for the Green Line Extension, at katherine.fichter@state.ma.us. Kate is also blogging about the project at the MassDOT blog.


Boston Region Pedestrian Transportation Plan

By Eric Bourassa, Transportation Manager
Metropolitan Area Planning Council

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council has released the Boston Region's Pedestrian Transportation Plan. In June 2010, the Pedestrian Transportation Plan was approved by the Boston Region MPO. For over a year, the Pedestrian Transportation Plan was developed in coordination with a Pedestrian Advisory Committee and has been extensively reviewed by numerous planning and transportation professionals.

Both a resource and a guide, the Pedestrian Transportation Plan identifies actions that local governments, advocacy groups, the private sector and individuals should take to increase pedestrian safety and convenience, and to encourage more walking. These actions include changing existing built environments and adopting policies and practices that promote walking. The Pedestrian Transportation Plan is unique in that it contains Best Practices and Action Items. Best Practices are programs or policies already successfully implemented by Boston Region communities. The Action Items serve as a guide for implementing the plan’s policies and practices.

MAPC anticipates the Pedestrian Transportation Plan will be a highly utilized resource for years to come. The Pedestrian Transportation Plan can also be viewed on the MAPC website at: http://www.mapc.org/resources/ped-plan.


Scientists Study MBTA Subway Airflow

MBTA subway commuters may notice scientific equipment and researchers with electronic monitoring devices around the system August 20 -27 as part of a scientific study of airflow in the underground portion of the system conducted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. This is the second phase of a study first conducted in December 2009.

The purpose of the study is to gather data on the behavior of airborne contaminants if they were to be released into the subway—part of Homeland Security's commitment to preparedness and protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure. Commuters may notice a variety of electronic equipment positioned in stations or being hand-carried by researchers.

In order to collect data on the behavior of airborne contaminants, the study involves releasing non-toxic, inert, odorless gas and particle tracers into the subway system. Particle and gas concentrations will be sampled in more than 20 stations and in subway cars across the MBTA subway system. The deliberate release of chemical or biological agents is of primary concern, but the study also helps researchers understand airflow for smoke or unintentional spills of chemicals or fuels. This research can be used by the MBTA in developing evacuation, ventilation, and other incident response plans.


MassDOT Board September Public Meeting

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors will hold its next public business meeting on Tuesday, September 7, 1:00pm, in the MBTA Board Room, Suite 3910, State Transportation Building, Boston. 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.