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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.

FRCOG signs the Stigma Pledge

Massachusetts is in the midst of a heartbreaking crisis of addiction and overdose, and one of the most important things we can all do to prevent further deaths is reduce the stigma experienced by people with substance use disorder. Only 1 in 12 people people with this disorder seek treatment — can you imagine if numbers were similarly low for diabetes?
FRCOG’s staff have signed the Boston Medical Center Stigma Pledge and will work to make sure we use non-stigmatizing language. Join us!

To learn more about the Pledge, click here.

To review an “Addictionary” of stigmatizing and non-stigmatizing language, click here.

The Spring Scoop: Updates from the FRCOG

Interested in new initiatives and our progress on current FRCOG projects?  Check out the link below for quarterly updates presented to the FRCOG Council in April.

The Spring Scoop: News from the FRCOG

FRCOG 2017 Annual and Town Reports Are Here!

The FRCOG is pleased to present the 2017 Annual and Town Reports, highlighting the work and accomplishments of our programs and Franklin County communities.  Please click on the image above or this link to access the reports.

 

How many employees do Franklin County businesses have?

According to the latest U.S. County Business Pattern data, 73% of our region’s private sector employers (i.e. not government establishments and not self-employed) had less than 10 employees.  Interested in more of this data? Contact Jessica Atwood, Economic Development Program Manager at the FRCOG.

 


New Census Data on local population

The latest population estimate by county shows that Franklin County’s population declined from 2000 to 2017 by about 670 people (or <1%), while the state and nation grew by 4.8% and 5.5% respectively.  Of the fourteen counties of Massachusetts, Franklin County along with Berkshire County and Barnstable County (which is Cape Cod) declined in population.

 

Geography 2010 Census Population Population Estimate 2017 2010-2017 Difference 2010-2017 Change
Berkshire County 131,219 126,313 -4,906 -3.7%
Barnstable County 215,888 213,444 -2,444 -1.1%
Franklin County 71,372 70,702 -670 -0.9%
Hampden County 463,490 469,818 6,328 1.4%
Hampshire County 158,080 161,834 3,754 2.4%
Bristol County 548,285 561,483 13,198 2.4%
Worcester County 798,552 826,116 27,564 3.5%
Plymouth County 494,919 515,142 20,223 4.1%
Norfolk County 670,850 700,322 29,472 4.4%
Dukes County 16,535 17,325 790 4.8%
Essex County 743,159 785,205 42,046 5.7%
Middlesex County 1,503,085 1,602,947 99,862 6.6%
Nantucket County 10,172 11,229 1,057 10.4%
Suffolk County 722,023 797,939 75,916 10.5%
Massachusetts 6,547,629 6,859,819 312,190 4.8%
United States 308,745,538 325,719,178 16,973,640 5.5%

 

New Heating Oil Requirements improve air quality, sulfur emissions

FRCOG’s Fuel Bids for FY19 now dictate Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel instead of #2 Heating Oil.  This phased-in law goes into full effect as of July 1, 2018.  In our state alone, distillate oil contributed nearly 30,000 tons of SO2 emissions in 2008; the new regulation will reduce this amount to less than 1,000 tons in 2018 – reducing the allowable amount of sulfur from 500 parts per million in 2014 to only 15 ppm as of July 1 of this year.   Costs are estimated to be slightly higher – perhaps 2-3 cents per gallon.  The cleaner burning fuel will reduce service/cleaning costs in equipment which should mitigate the overall cost increase.  The reduction of these fine sulfur particles will impact our respiratory and cardiovascular health, especially for the elderly and children, and  significantly improve visibility (haze).   FRCOG Fuel Bids will open on May 14 and there are 23 participants for FY19.  More info on FRCOG Collective bids is at https://frcog.org/bids

Draft Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) Released for 21-day Public Review

On April 24, 2018, the FCTPO released a Draft Franklin 2019 UPWP. There will be a 21-day public comment period on the draft UPWP from Friday, April 27 through Friday, May 18, 2018. Comments may be submitted in writing by email to mrhodes@frcog.org or by mail to Franklin Regional Council of Governments, 12 Olive Street, Suite 2, Greenfield MA 01301.

DRAFT Franklin 2019 UPWP

Public Comment Period Open for the Draft 2019-2023 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and Amendment #3 to the 2018-2022 TIP

On April 24, 2018, the FCTPO released a Draft Amendment #3 to the 2018-2022 TIP Highway Project list as well as a Draft 2019-2023 Transportation Improvement Program. There will be a 21-day public comment period on the draft TIP documents from Friday, April 27 through Friday, May 18, 2018. Comments may be submitted in writing by email to lscarbrough@frcog.org or by mail to Franklin Regional Council of Governments, 12 Olive Street, Suite 2, Greenfield MA 01301. Links to the draft TIP documents are below:

Draft 2018-2022 TIP Highway Amendment #3:  Draft 2018-2022 TIP Highway Amendment 3

Draft 2019-2023 TIP Highway Project List:  Draft 2019-2023 TIP Highway Project List

Draft 2019-2023 TIP Transit Project List:  Draft 2019-2023 TIP Transit Project List

Draft 2019-2023 TIP Full Text:  Draft 2019-2023 TIP Full Text

Watershed-Based Resiliency Plan for the Deerfield River Completed

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.