The Deerfield River, a major tributary of the Connecticut River, is widely regarded as one of the coldest and cleanest rivers in Massachusetts. The watershed supports a wide variety of ecological, recreational, and commercial uses. There are many active stakeholders who have a vested interest in maintaining the high quality and climate change resiliency of the watershed resources, including wetlands, floodplains, riparian corridors, forests and other vegetated open spaces that help to mitigate the impacts from severe storm events and flooding. FRCOG’s comprehensive watershed-based plan identifies mitigation, restoration, preservation and avoidance projects/strategies that address multiple threats to watershed health and resiliency. The recommendations apply to various scales – the Deerfield River Watershed, its ten HUC 12 subwatersheds and the 14 watershed towns in Franklin County. The plan is available here.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has issued a draft of the 2018 State Rail Plan. The plan outlines the Commonwealth’s long-term plan for the statewide rail system. The 2018 State Rail Plan provides an overview of:
- The existing rail system;
- The system’s overall role in the transportation network;
- How the system is financed;
- Near-term priorities; and
- A long-term investment strategy.
The draft is now available on the MassDOT website. Public comments will be accepted until February 19, 2018.
Evaluation of Demand for Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
In 2017, FRCOG Staff assessed the demand for electric vehicle charging stations in the region with the goal of determining if the existing infrastructure is adequate or if additional charging stations are needed. The Study found that existing public charging stations in Franklin County are well used and additional stations are needed throughout the region. The Study and its findings can be found here.
The FCTPO has released a Draft Amendment #2 to the 2018-2022 TIP Highway Project List for public review and comment. Comments on Draft TIP Amendment #2 will be accepted from Tuesday, January 30, until Tuesday, February 20, 2018. Please submit comments to email@example.com. A link to the Draft Amendment follows:
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 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.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org by mail to 12 Olive Street, Suite 2, Greenfield, MA 01301.
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.
For further information please contact Senior Transportation Planner II, Elizabeth Giannini at email@example.com.
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:
- The Primary Highway Freight System (PHFS): The most critical highway portions of the U.S. freight transportation system.
- The Remaining portion of Interstate roads not included in the PHFS.
- 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
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to 12 Olive Street, Suite 2, Greenfield, MA 01301.