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MassDOT is seeking input on the 2020-2024 Capital Investment Plan

MassDOT is currently preparing the next five-year Capital Investment Plan (CIP).  The CIP is a spending plan that will guide investments in our transportation system between 2020 and 2024. The CIP prioritizes all transportation projects across the Commonwealth, including highways, municipal projects, regional airports, bike, pedestrian, rail, and transit projects (including the MBTA and Regional Transit Authorities).

MassDOT is holding a series of public meetings and looking for input about priorities for transportation projects both local and statewide. Please attend one of the meetings listed below and record your input about your transportation needs and capital priorities.

CIP Public Meeting Schedule

    • BOSTON – Tuesday, May 21st at 6:30 p.m., Trans. Building, 10 Park Plaza, Board Room
    • DANVERS – Tuesday, May 21st at 6:00 p.m., Danvers Senior Center, 25 Stone St.
    • FALMOUTH – Wednesday, May 22nd at 6:30 p.m., Falmouth Library, 300 Main St.
    • BRAINTREE – Thursday, May 23rd at 6:30 p.m., Thayer Public Library, 798 Washington St.
    • FALL RIVER – Thursday, May 23rd at 6:30 p.m., Fall River Library, 104 North Main St.
    • PITTSFIELD – Tuesday, May 28th at 6:00 p.m., Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, 1 Fenn St, #201
    • NATICK – Wednesday, May 29th at 6:30 p.m., Natick Town Hall, 13 East Central St.
    • LOWELL – Thursday, May 30th at 6:30 p.m., Pollard Library, 401 Merrimack St.
    • LEOMINSTER – Monday, June 3rd at 6:30 p.m., Leominster City Hall (Auditorium), 25 West St.
    • ROXBURY – Tuesday, June 4th at 6:30 p.m., Bolling Municipal Building, 2300 Washington St.
    • WORCESTER – Wednesday, June 5th at 6:30 p.m., Worcester City Hall (South Meeting Room), 455 Main St.
    • SPRINGFIELD – Thursday, June 6th at 6:00 p.m., Springfield Library (Mason Square Branch), 765 State St.

If you are unable to attend a meeting, you will be able to post ideas on the CIP website, www.mass.gov/cip or email comments to masscip@state.ma.us

Public Comment Period Open for the Draft 2020-2024 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and Amendment #1 to the 2019-2023 TIP

On April 23, 2019, the Franklin County Transportation Planning Organization released a Draft Amendment #1 to the 2019-2023 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) as well as a Draft 2020-2024 TIP. There will be a 21-day public comment period on the draft TIP documents from Monday, April 29 through Monday, May 20, 2019. Comments may be submitted in writing via email to lscarbrough@frcog.org or via mail to Franklin Regional Council of Governments, 12 Olive Street, Suite 2, Greenfield MA 01301. Links to the draft TIP documents are below:

Draft Amendment #1 2019-2013 FCTPO TIP (Full Text)
Draft Amendment #1 2019 FCTPO TIP Highway Project List
Draft 2020-2024 FCTPO TIP (Full text)
Draft 2020-2024 FCTPO TIP Highway Project
Draft 2020-2024 FCTPO TIP Transit Project List

 

Erving Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Plan is Available for Review and Comment

The Town of Erving’s draft Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Resiliency Plan is available for public review and comment. Click here to read the MVP Plan and/or attend the Erving MVP public meeting, held in conjunction with the Erving Select Board meeting on March 25th at 6:35 pm at Erving Town Hall.  Public comments will be accepted during the meeting as well as during a public comment period from March 18th through April 1st. You may hand in your comments at the public meeting or submit them online at www.erving-ma.gov/emergency-management/pages/municipal-vulnerability-preparedness.

You may also mail comments to:

Franklin Regional Council of Governments
12 Olive Street, Suite 2
Greenfield, MA 01301
Attention: Kimberly Noake MacPhee

A Framework for Resilience: Responding to Climate Change in the Deerfield River Watershed report just released

A Framework for Resilience is the first watershed-based climate change resiliency plan in the Commonwealth.  The Deerfield River Watershed includes all or a portion of fourteen Franklin County towns: Ashfield, Buckland, Bernardston, Charlemont, Colrain, Conway, Deerfield, Greenfield, Hawley, Heath, Leyden, Monroe, Rowe and Shelburne.    A watershed can provide a framework for understanding the interconnectedness of natural systems and the built environment as well as how climate change stressors can affect several towns simultaneously.  FRCOG’s report provides the 14 towns of the Deerfield River Watershed with information about how the climate change stressors – Changes in Precipitation, Rising Temperatures and Extreme Weather – will likely impact three important sectors – Natural Resources & Habitat, Human Health & Welfare, and Local Economy & Infrastructure.  The recommendations described in FRCOG’s Plan were designed to be:

  • Achievable (within the power of towns and individuals to implement);
  • Address multiple climate stressors and benefit multiple sectors; and
  • Build resiliency at multiple scales (property, town, and watershed).

The reality of private land holdings and fourteen town boundaries in the Deerfield River Watershed require watershed-scale approaches to climate resiliency.  Working in partnership with their watershed neighbors, towns can build a coalition of resilience that improves not only the climate resiliency of each watershed town, but over time, creates a more resilient Deerfield River Watershed.  FRCOG will be reaching out to stakeholders and convening a Resilient Deerfield River Watershed (Resilient DRW) coalition to work across town boundaries to build resiliency at the watershed scale. This project was completed with grant funding received from the Baker-Polito administration’s FY17 Community Compact Program’s Efficiency & Regionalization Grant Program. For further information contact Kimberly Noake MacPhee at kmacphee@frcog.org.

Framework for Resilience in the Deerfield River Watershed

 

Public Review of the Draft Massachusetts State Bicycle Plan until January 31, 2019

The Massachusetts State Bicycle Plan is currently out for public review and is accepting comments until January 31, 2019.  Please visit the MassDOT website for further information and links to the full version of the Plan.

MassDOT is focused on making the Commonwealth’s transportation system more sustainable – to make it safe for people to choose to walk, bike, and take transit for more of their daily trips.  The Plan is important because residents, members of the business community and visitors choose to use a bicycle for daily trips, choosing bike to work, to school, to run errands, for recreation or to reach transit locations.

The Draft Plan defines a vision for Massachusetts in which all people have a safe and comfortable cycling option for short trips.  The goal is to have a plan which presents an action-oriented strategy which will lead to increased use of trails for short trips made by bicycling.  Travel on designated bike and pedestrian thoroughfares will also lead to safer conditions, helping to prevent injuries and fatalities.  The draft plan goes into further detail about the state of biking today.

In addition to the Plan, a companion document was created, called the Municipal Resource Guide for Bikeability, in recognition of the important role local cities and towns play. The purpose of the guide is to support cities and towns in their efforts to improve bikeability as the vast majority of roadways and shared use paths statewide are under local ownership. A draft guide was released in November of 2018 and an updated version will be published with the final Bicycle Plan early next year.

For more information on the Bicycle Plan and to provide feedback: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/bicycle-plan.

Notice of Public Comment regarding Transportation Enhancements Funding

The Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG) intends to use a portion of Transportation Enhancements funding originally approved in the 2009 Transportation Improvement Program for the Mohawk Trail and the Connecticut River Scenic Byway, on the Route 112 Scenic Byway instead.  The funding will be used for land protection as originally intended. This notice invites all interested parties who wish to comment on this change to submit them to the FRCOG during the public comment period running from December 21, 2018 to January 14, 2019.  For further information, or to submit comments, please contact the Franklin Regional Council of Governments, located at 12 Olive Street, Suite 2, Greenfield, MA, by calling (413) 774-3167 ext. 125, or emailing giannini@frcog.org.

Reports of High Risk Stream Crossings in the Deerfield River Watershed are now available.

Reports of High Risk Stream Crossings in the Deerfield River Watershed are now available. The information in the reports and maps is from a pilot project completed by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (UMass) that assessed the vulnerability of road-stream crossings to precipitation events. FRCOG planning staff compiled this information for each Franklin County town within the watershed as part of the FY18 Franklin Region Unified Planning Work Program. The purpose of the maps and reports are to help municipal officials and public works staff prioritize bridge and culvert upgrades in their town. The reports also provide information on how to make road-stream upgrades more resilient to current and projected precipitation conditions, and lists potential funding sources for upgrading crossings. The town reports are available here.

FRCOG Wants to Hear Your Thoughts on Transportation in the Region!

The FRCOG is currently updating the Regional Transportation Plan.  This plan is updated every 4 years and examines the current state of the transportation system in the region, including all modes of transportation – such as driving, walking, biking, and riding the bus or train.  The plan also identifies the long-term transportation needs of the region and prioritizes projects and activities. This plan will give Franklin County the opportunity to identify needed projects; address environmental and safety concerns; and meet the growing economic development needs of the region.

As part of the planning process, the FRCOG wants input from Franklin County residents and employees.  There will be 4 public meetings around the County to get feedback on transportation needs and priorities (see dates below). If you are unable to attend a meeting, please take our survey to let us know your thoughts: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2019RTPsurvey.

  • Tuesday, December 11th ( 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.) Town of Colrain Highway Garage, 55 Main Road, Colrain, MA (snow date December 12th)
  • Tuesday, January 8th (5:30 – 7:00 p.m.) Erving Senior Center, 1 Care Drive, Erving, MA (snow date January 9th)
  • Wednesday, January 9th (12:00 – 1:30 p.m.) John W. Olver Transit Center, First Floor Meeting Room, 12 Olive Street, Greenfield, MA (snow date January 10th)
  • Wednesday, January 16th (5:30 – 7:00 p.m.) Sunderland Library, 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA (snow date of January 17th)

Regional Transportation Plan Outreach Meetings Flyer

For more information, please contact Megan Rhodes, Senior Transportation & Land Use Planner at mrhodes@frcog.org or (413)774-3167 x 132.

2018 Evaluation of Franklin County Park and Ride Facilities is Completed

The FRCOG Staff evaluated the existing park and ride facilities in Franklin County to determine how well they are being utilized.  In addition, FRCOG Staff conducted surveys of the park and ride users to better understand where people were coming from and how they were using the lots.  The study shows that the use of the Whately and Sunderland park and ride lots continue to increase in popularity and that many users of the Sunderland lot are parking there in order to access public transit. For more information, contact Megan Rhodes, Senior Transportation and Land Use Planner, at mrhodes@frcog.org.

Park and Ride Study 2018

Shelburne Falls Receives American Planning Association (APA) Great Places Designation

The Franklin Regional Council of Government is thrilled to celebrate the designation of the village of Shelburne Falls as one of the American Planning Association’s 2018 Great Places and congratulates the Towns of Buckland and Shelburne.  The village of Shelburne Falls is a 19th-century industrial village that spans the Deerfield River in the towns of Shelburne and Buckland, Massachusetts.  While industry is no longer a significant part of the economy of Shelburne Falls, it remains the historical backdrop of this culturally and community rich village. Shelburne Falls has the structures and layout of a well preserved 19th-century industrial village with a mix of commercial, institutional, and residential land uses. The village has a strong sense of community (the estimated population of the village of Shelburne Falls is 1,632), and a well-established business and cultural center and a destination for visitors to the area. The village is located in Franklin County, a rural region of Massachusetts that is characterized by its scenic landscapes and quality of life. Shelburne Falls is being recognized by the APA as a great neighborhood.  It has been shaped and maintained by many proactive and positive planning initiatives involving both of the towns that share the village. While Shelburne and Buckland are separate towns, in many instances the planning initiatives are completed collaboratively.

For more information on the APA’s Great Places program and Shelburne Fall’s designation see the links below:

https://www.planning.org/greatplaces/

https://www.planning.org/greatplaces/neighborhoods/2018/shelburne/