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Massachusetts Statewide Bicycle Transportation Plan Update Underway

MassDOT is currently updating the statewide Bicycle Transportation Plan. Check out MassDOT’s website to see how you can provide input and help create safe, comfortable, and convenient bike networks to advance bicycling for everyday travel.  Take a quick on-line survey to provide your input (survey link).  There is also an interactive map that allows you to enter routes, and provide comments and concerns about bicycling conditions statewide.  Here is the link to the interactive map.

 

The draft 2018-2022 State Transportation Improvement Program and 2018-2022 Capital Investment Plan are posted to MassDOT website

The Draft FFY 2018-2022 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), the federally-aided highway and transit portion of MassDOT’s FY 18-22 Capital Investment Plan (CIP), has been posted to the MassDOT website http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/planning/Main/StatewidePlans/StateTransportationImprovementProgram.aspx for public review and comment through May 30th.  With assistance from the MPOs, this marks the first year that the STIP development and programs align with the MassDOT CIP. We appreciate the cooperation in the development of your respective TIPs and this Draft FFY 2018-2022 STIP.

MassDOT to hold a Public Meeting on the Draft Capital Investment Plan in Greenfield

The Draft MassDOT & MBTA Capital Investment Plan (CIP) Update for fiscal years 2018–2022 is a multi-billion dollar program that makes long-term, multi-modal investments across the Commonwealth. The CIP covers all MassDOT highway and municipal projects, regional airports, rail and transit, including MBTA and Regional Transit Authorities as well as the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

MassDOT will hold a series of public meetings across the Commonwealth to present and discuss the Draft Capital Investment Plan Update. One of the meetings is scheduled for Monday, May 22nd at 5:30 p.m. at the John W. Olver Transit Center, 12 Olive Street, Greenfield, MA.  Please join us as we present the Draft CIP Update to seek additional public comments and answer your questions. Your participation is critical to its success!

If you are unable to attend a meeting, a copy of the presentation will be available at www.mass.gov/massdot/cip 
Public comments may be submitted by email to masscip@state.ma.us.

CIP Public Meetings Flyer

Draft 2018 Unified Planning Work Program Released for 21-Day Comment Period

The Franklin County Transportation Planning Organization approved the release of the Draft 2018 Unified Planning Work Program for public review and comment on April 25, 2017. There will be a  21-day comment period from Friday, April 28 through Friday, May 19, 2017. The Draft 2018 UPWP is linked below. Please provide any comments Megan Rhodes at mrhodes@frcog.orgor by mail to 12 Olive Street, Suite 2, Greenfield, MA 01301.

DRAFT Franklin 2018 UPWP

FRCOG will hold a Bike Breakfast on Tuesday, May 16th at the John W. Olver Transit Center in Celebration of Bay State Bike Week

 

As part of Bay State Bike Week, the Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG) will host a breakfast on Tuesday, May 16th, from 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at the John W. Olver Transit Center located at 12 Olive Street in Greenfield.  There will be coffee, juice and light breakfast fare.  The event is a fun opportunity to meet other bicyclists and share thoughts on bicycling.  The Franklin Regional Transit Authority will have a bus that is equipped with a bicycle carrying rack available to try loading and unloading.

FRCOG bike breakfast flyer

For further information please contact Senior Transportation Planner II, Elizabeth Giannini at giannini@frcog.org.

 

21 Day Public Comment on the Proposed Critical Rural Freight Corridors (CRFCs) and Critical Urban Freight Corridors (CUFCs)

The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) directed the FHWA Administrator to establish a National Highway Freight Network (NHFN) to strategically direct Federal resources and policies toward improved performance of highway portions of the U.S. freight transportation system. The NHFN is made up of four components:

  1. The Primary Highway Freight System (PHFS): The most critical highway portions of the U.S. freight transportation system.
  2. The Remaining portion of Interstate roads not included in the PHFS.
  3. Critical Rural Freight Corridors (CRFCs): Public roads not in an urbanized area which provide access and connection to the P,FS and the Interstate with other important ports, public transportation facilities, or other intermodal freight facilities
  4. Critical Urban Freight Corridors (CUFCs): Public roads in urbanized areas which provide access and connection to the P,FS and the Interstate with other ports, public transportation facilities, or other intermodal transportation facilities

Massachusetts is allocated 150 miles of Critical Rural Freight Corridor (CRFC) mileage and 75 miles of Critical Urban Freight Corridor Mileage (CUFC). Of this mileage, Franklin County has been allocated 33.39 miles of CRFC and 0.72 miles of CUFC. This is based on Franklin County’s centerline mileage as a percentage of Massachusetts as a whole. States and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) are responsible for designating public roads for the CRFC mileage and CUFC mileage in accordance with the FAST Act.

The Franklin County Transportation Planning Organization released a list of proposed CRFCs and CUFCs for public review and comment on April 25, 2017 (link below). There will be a  21-day comment period from Friday, April 28 through Friday, May 19, 2017. Please provide any comments to Laurie Scarbrough by email at lscarbrough@frcog.org or by mail to 12 Olive Street, Suite 2, Greenfield, MA 01301.

Critical Freight Corridors – Revised Submission Franklin 4-26-17

FRCOG Bicycle Parking Program is Taking Requests

The FRCOG Bicycle Parking Program will provide bike racks for public use free of charge to towns in Franklin County. Towns will be able to select the bike racks that they prefer.  The racks will be ordered by the FRCOG and delivered to towns on a first come, first-served basis. In order to be able to provide bike racks at no cost, the FRCOG must have a commitment from each participating town that they will be promptly installed. For information on how to receive free bike racks, see the Bicycle Parking Program information page.

This opportunity to receive bicycle racks is made possible through a contract with MassDOT, which will reimburse the FRCOG for the cost of bike racks through the Federal Highway Administration Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program.

 

Final East County Transit Study Available

The East County Transit Study examined the feasibility of initiating fixed route transit service to the East County region, which includes the communities of Leverett, New Salem, Shutesbury, and Wendell.  Currently, there is no fixed route transit service to or from this area of the county, nor are there connections to other transit routes or providers.  A survey was conducted of all households in the four-town area, with a very strong response rate.  While it does appear that there is potential demand for a form of transit service, current funding levels do not support start-up at this time.

East County Transit Study

$155K Grant Awarded for River Corridor Planning

The FRCOG Planning Department received $155,000 from the MassDEP’s 319 Nonpoint Source Pollution Competitive Grant Program, one of only nine awards made for stormwater projects across the state, for a project to improve the resiliency of the Deerfield River Watershed.  FRCOG’s project will look at innovative ways to map and protect river corridors in the Deerfield River Watershed, which experienced major flooding and erosion during Tropical Storm Irene.  Although the Deerfield River and many of its tributaries are healthy in terms of their high water quality, these same rivers are very unstable in their response to intense rain events.  This instability results in erosion and flooding, which threatens infrastructure, homes, businesses and agricultural lands.  The rivers are highly reactive to intense rain events for a number of reasons, one of which is the disconnection of the rivers from their floodplains, which provide a “safety valve” during flood events.  FRCOG’s project will develop cost-effective river corridor mapping protocols, work with several towns to adapt a model River Corridor Protection Overlay District developed by FRCOG under a FEMA-funded project for the South River Watershed, and develop a model River Corridor Conservation Restriction.  For more information, contact Kimberly Noake MacPhee, P.G., Land Use & Natural Resources Program Manager at 413-774-3167 x130 or kmacphee@frcog.org.

 

MassDOT will Hold Public Hearings about the new All Electronic Tolling and Fare Structure on the Mass Pike

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is convening public hearings on toll structure changes within the Massachusetts Turnpike, and the Metropolitan Highway System, which includes the Boston tunnels and the Tobin Memorial Bridge. The proposed changes include changes in the toll collection gantry locations and rates through the implementation of all electronic tolling along the Massachusetts Turnpike and the Metropolitan Highway System. Public hearings will be held on the dates and at the locations stated in this notice.

Interested parties will be given an opportunity to present comments orally or in writing at the hearings. In addition, written comments will be accepted for 2 weeks following the hearings, until 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 29, 2016.

One of the public hearings will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 14th at the Springfield City Hall, 36 Court St., Springfield, MA 01103. For further information on the public hearings please see the following flyer.

MassDOT All Electronic Tolling Public.Hearing.Schedule (3)