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On the Trans Blog
Green Line Extension: June Workshops

Posted by Kate Fichter, Green Line Extension Project Manager

We are pleased to announce that MassDOT and the MBTA will be hosting a series of Station Design Workshops in June. These workshops will provide you with an opportunity to participate in the design of the future Green Line Extension stations in a hands-on, interactive way. Please join us to share your vision for the future stations on the evenings listed on the complete blog post.

Please also remember that the next meeting of the Green Line Extension Design Working Group will take place on Thursday, May 26th from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm at 51 Winthrop St. in Medford. Accessible parking is available next to the building.

In addition, we are pleased to announce that a new Green Line Extension Project Fact Sheet has been posted to the Green Line Extension website.

495/MetroWest Public Forums Set

The Patrick-Murray Administration's Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development is partnering with Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, the MetroWest Regional Collaborative, the 495/MetroWest Partnership, and Mass Audubon to engage the 495/MetroWest region in preparing a comprehensive land use and development plan.

The public is invited to contribute to the vision for the 495/Metrowest region at two upcoming public forums:

Wednesday, June 15, Westborough High School
90 West Main Street

Tuesday, June 21, Boxborough Holiday Inn, 242 Adams Place

View the complete 495/MetroWest blog post

The Road to Reform

Memorial Day Travel

MassDOT encourages travelers to plan ahead for Memorial Day holiday weekend travel. Drivers should make travel plans to avoid peak traffic volumes where possible. Traffic is especially heavy at the I-84 interchange at Exit 9 in Sturbridge and at Exit 11A, I-495, which handles cars headed south to Cape Cod and north to New Hampshire and Maine.

MassDOT will suspend all construction work on major arterial roadways from 12:00PM Noon on Friday, May 27 through the start of normal business on Tuesday, May 31.

Use MassDOT traffic resources available to assist motorists. Before you travel, check the interactive live Traffic Cameras web page to view current traffic.

Sign up at the 511 Traveler Information Service to receive personalized travel information alerts via email, text or telephone. MassDOT as always reminds drivers to avoid using cell phones while driving. Call into the 511 service before departing.

A reminder that the Massachusetts Safe Driving Law took effect in September 2010, banning texting while driving and cell phone use while driving by 16 and 17 year old drivers. Drivers are reminded to travel safely and avoid distracted driving such as using cell phones. Check out the USDOT Distracted Driving page for tips and news.

To save time, money and gas, motorists who have not yet done so are encouraged to join FAST LANE to avoid waiting in line at cash toll booths.

Free coffee will be served at the 18 MassDOT service plazas from 10 pm Monday night through 5 am Tuesday morning. In addition, the annual Farmer's Market program is back in full swing. For the Memorial Day weekend, Farmer's Markets will be open during daytime hours at the following days and locations:

  • I-90 Framingham - Friday, Saturday & Sunday, Monday, 9am-6pm
  • I-90 Charlton West - Friday, Saturday & Sunday, Monday 9am-6pm
  • I-90 Charlton East - Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday, 9am-4pm

Massachusetts: More and More "Bike Friendly"

Massachusetts has vaulted into the TOP TEN among states for being Bicycle Friendly, vaulting ten places, from 19th in 2009 to become the 9th Most “Bicycle Friendly State” for 2010, in an announcement by the League of American Bicyclists.

In addition, the League's staff and local reviewers also recognized Massachusetts with a special Bronze level award. Both are prestigious national honors and recognize all the changes implemented since MassDOT began on November 1, 2009. Important innovations include implementation of the Healthy Transportation Compact with a stated target of making Massachusetts a Top Ten Bicycle Friendly State and implementation of the GreenDOT policy, MassDOT’s comprehensive sustainability initiative that includes promoting walking, bicycling, and public transit as one of its central goals.

Key to these honors has been the teamwork across divisions in recognizing and promoting the value of bicycling. The RMV, MBTA, Highway and Aeronautics Divisions have made important contributions to bicycling as MassDOT becomes a truly multi-modal DOT focused on customer service and safety. We are proud of our regional, municipal and advocate partner relationships which have allowed us to work together statewide to act on MassDOT’s Sustainability and Livability Policy Framework.

MBTA Blue Line: State Street Station

MBTA General Manager Rich Davey this week joined local officials to celebrate the $68.3 million State Street Station modernization project. The station now has two new fully accessible entrances and provides a seamless connection between the Blue and Orange Line.

The Blue Line State Street Station project is a major renovation including the lengthening of platforms to accommodate six-car trains. The work required relocation of all existing street utilities, demolition of abandoned city foundations, and the construction of 300 feet of additional station tunnel.

To bring the station into ADA compliance, two new fully accessible entrances and accessible corridors along State Street were constructed. The entrances include new stairs, elevators, and station support spaces with underground access, and automated fare collection equipment. In addition, a new accessible corridor connects the inbound platform of the Blue Line to the outbound platform of the Orange Line providing access to the newly installed elevator system that connects all levels of the station for ADA compliance.

In 1989, to comply with the American Disabilities Act (ADA), the MBTA initiated the Light Rail Accessibility Project to make the transit system accessible to all persons with disabilities. ADA requires that certain key stations be made accessible. The MBTA Key Station Plan, which was approved by the Federal Transit Administration, includes 80 key stations that must be in compliance with ADA guidelines. Today, 78 MBTA key stations are in compliance including State Street.

Approximately 12,500 customers travel through State Street station each weekday. Reconstruction and beautification improvements to the streetscape continue with completion slated for November 2011.

MassDOT June Public Meeting

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors will hold its next regular public business meeting on Wednesday, June 8, 1:00pm, 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.