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On the Trans Blog
Pedestrian Bridge Project Moves Forward

MassDOT this month will begin demolition work as part of the Magazine Beach Pedestrian Bridge Replacement Project in Cambridge.

The pedestrian bridge is now closed. Pedestrians crossing Memorial Drive at the Magazine Street intersection will use the new signalized crosswalk with push buttons. Demolition of the Pedestrian Bridge approach ramps is scheduled to begin next Monday, September 13. Night work required for the removal of the midspan of the bridge over Memorial Drive is scheduled for the last week of September.

The pedestrian bridge replacement is funded by the Patrick-Murray Administration’s $3 billion Accelerated Bridge Program. The project will replace the existing pedestrian bridge over Memorial Drive with a new structure that includes accessible ramps and handrails. The project also includes installation of an over height detection system and temporary signals as well as site restoration. Completion is scheduled for spring 2011.

For more information please contact Stephanie Boundy at
(617) 973-8049
or through
project feedback e-mail.

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.
  • 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

Governor Announces "Real-Time" MBTA Bus Location Information

Governor Deval Patrick this week announced the availability of real-time bus location and arrival information for all 187 MBTA bus routes serving 47 Massachusetts cities and towns and launched mbta.com/apps, a resource for customers seeking applications and services that provide real-time bus arrival information. The Governor made the announcement at Ruggles Station.

"We are taking the guesswork out of the daily commute for thousands of people who rely on T service across the region," said Governor Patrick. "By creating innovative and practical customer solutions, we are ensuring transportation reform is working for the commuter - exactly who we intended it to work for."

"As we focus on improving customer service, a critical component of our administration's transportation reform, this new feature will assist commuters in their daily travels when they depend on any of the MBTA buses," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray.

Following a project to equip more than a thousand MBTA buses with Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) technology in 2009, dispatchers in the MBTA's Bus Operations Control Center were able for the first time to pinpoint the location of every MBTA bus in real-time. As of today, that same information is available to T bus riders, regardless of route.

Less than ten months ago, MassDOT launched the first phase of its open data initiative by releasing real-time information for five bus routes. The data released to software developers included real-time GPS locations of buses and arrival countdown information for every bus route. Within just one hour of releasing this data, a developer built an application showing real-time bus positions. Within two months, more than a dozen applications had been created including websites, smart phone applications, SMS text message services, and 617-phone numbers. All of these applications were created at no cost to MassDOT or the MBTA.


RMV Customer Service: E-Checks

The Patrick-Murray Administration this week introduced another online convenience that will make it easier for Massachusetts drivers to go online for MassDOT RMV services and avoid waiting in line at branches.

Online customers at www.mass.gov/rmv can now pay by electronic check to renew their license, order a duplicate license or MA ID, order a driving record or crash report and pay for a road test exam.

"This newest feature on our website means a sizeable population of our customers will no longer be forced to visit a branch for these registry services because they don't have a credit card," said MassDOT Registrar Rachel Kaprielian. "The new payment option is secure and as easy as writing a check."

Customers will only need to enter their checking account and bank routing numbers to complete the e-check transaction online. The feature is expected to be especially useful for drivers who often wait until their license has expired and believe they have to go to a branch to renew. E-mail confirmations of online payments can also serve as proof they have renewed their license in case they are stopped for a motor vehicle violation.

Go Online Instead of Waiting in Line-Electronic checks is just one of more than a dozen new services added to the MassDOT RMV website in the last two years increasing customer transaction traffic by 40%. In addition to renewing a license or registration, customers can also complete all license paperwork online and make an appointment to complete the application in a branch as well as register to be an organ tissue donor, book a road test and sign up for a free reminder service.


East Longmeadow Rail Trail Celebrated

U.S. Representative Richard E. Neal joined MassDOT, state and local officials in a ribbon-cutting to celebrate completion of the East Longmeadow “Redstone Rail Trail.” MassDOT constructed the shared use path along the abandoned Boston & Maine Railroad corridor between Maple Street and Denslow Road.

Congressman Neal helped to secure $1,077,000 in federal transportation funding for the project.

The East Longmeadow Redstone Rail Trail project will provide valuable local transportation and recreation benefits for residents and visitors throughout the community. With its ample connections to neighborhoods, shopping, work places and recreational parks, the project will provide improved mobility and opportunities for active, healthy transportation. Learn more about MassDOT's Healthy Transportation Compact.

The trail is located immediately adjacent to businesses representing over 3,500 workers and offers convenient access to 90 percent of the area's retail establishments.

The East Longmeadow High School has direct access to the trail from its athletic fields, offering students improved access to school by foot and by bike.


MassDOT Making a Difference

By Daniel Hermanski, MassDOT District One, Adopt A Highway Coordinator

On Route 7 in the Town Of Sheffield sits a large, shaded rest area right next to the Housatonic River. For the past several years, this rest area has been adopted by a group from Berkshire Meadows of Housatonic, a special education residential school that helps children and young adults with severe developmental disabilities increase their independence and enhance the quality of their lives.

When MassDOT District One was looking for a rest area to place two handicapped accessible picnic tables, it was decided that Berkshire Meadows and their Sheffield rest area would be the best location for the tables. Facilities Engineer Dave Sherman saw to it that the tables were anchored on concrete pads with wheelchair ramps leading to the tables.

On August 26, eighteen people descended upon the Sheffield rest area to check out the new tables and pickup litter. Snacks and juice were served at the tables. Donna Platt, Program Manager at Berkshire Meadows was impressed by the new tables and was already planning a pizza party for their next outing at the same location. In speaking with a staff member, Chelsea, from Berkshire Meadows, she mentioned "how just being outside picking up litter helps relieve the stress of her client."

The group picked up 5 bags of litter this day. Among those participating were Tina, Janice, Nichole, Casey, Stephanie, Trevor, Maria, Jamieson, and Lori. Berkshire Meadows staff members included Donna Platt, Emily Chasse, Joe Joe Andenmatten, Amanda Tayer, Julio Munoz, Chelsea Palmer, Jorge Pineda, Sandra Cornejo and Claudiane Silva.


MassDOT Board October Public Meeting

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors will hold its next public business meeting on Wednesday, October 7, 1:00pm, Brockton. 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.