Archive | Transportation Planning

RSS feed for this section

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.

 

Development of a Bicycle Tourism Plan

Franklin County’s reputation for first class bicycling continues to grow as the sport becomes more and more popular. In fact, the area was recently considered a potential Olympic venue while Boston was pursuing a chance to host the games.  Low volume back roads through the New England countryside allow cyclists enjoy the beauty around them without the conflict of city traffic.  A wide variety of terrain allows them to choose their level of activity – challenging in the hilltowns of our region, or more leisurely up and down the flatter Connecticut River valley.  Triathlons, dirt off-road races, long distance rides from ice cream stand to ice cream stand are becoming more common in our region.  Family rides along our bikepaths provide additional opportunities for all levels of riders.

canalside-trail-riders

Bicyclists enjoy the Canalside Trail in Turners Falls, a flat trail welcoming to bicyclists of all levels.

It has long been reported that bicyclists come from far and wide specifically to ride in Franklin County. Along with them comes the opportunity to enhance economic development and bring tourism to our area. Across the country, Planners are keying in on just how much the bicycling community can contribute to your town’s economy.  To that end, the FRCOG is kicking off creation of a Bicycle Tourism Plan.  This Plan will bring together many different stakeholders in the bicycling and tourism areas, and will conduct an economic analysis of what bicyclists currently contribute to our economy, as well as identify areas we can target to bring in more business.  Over the last decade the FRCOG has worked diligently to enhance the safety and ability of bicyclists to get around our region, from installing trailblazing signs, to producing free maps of potential routes throughout the County and beyond.  We are excited to use that backdrop to launch our next phase of bicycle planning for the area.

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

FRCOG Program Updates

Interested in learning a bit more about what has been happening here at the FRCOG in the last three months? Check out the updates presented to our Council members on July 21:

Click here for July 2016 Updates