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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/

Public Comment Period for the Massachusetts Pedestrian Transportation Plan is now Open

 

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has announced that the Draft Massachusetts Pedestrian Transportation Plan is now available for public comment. You can review the plan and provide feedback online here.  

MassDOT is focused on making the Commonwealth’s transportation system more sustainable – to make it safe and comfortable for people to choose to walk, bike, and take transit for more of their daily trips. The Plan defines a vision for Massachusetts in which all people have a safe and comfortable walking option for short trips.  For more information on the Pedestrian Plan and to provide feedback:  https://www.mass.gov/service-details/pedestrian-plan.

In addition to the Plan, a companion document was created, called the Municipal Resource Guide for Walkability 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 walkability as the vast majority of roadways and sidewalks statewide are under local ownership. A draft guide was released in September of 2017, and an updated version will be published with the final Pedestrian Plan later this year.

 

 

Look Who’s Walking!

The FRCOG is thrilled to announce that we have updated our popular Walk Franklin County maps! Every Franklin County town has its own map that highlights scenic walking routes ranging from one to four miles with points of interest marked along the way.

In celebration of these new maps, we are challenging you to grab a map, take a walk and tell us about it.  We will be raffling off great prizes to participants who tell us about their walk.  The prizes include a Fitbit and great accessories to keep you walking into the Fall and Winter seasons.  See the attached flyer with details.

Look Who’s Walking Flyer

Digital versions of the new maps are posted at the link below.

Walk Franklin County Maps

 

21- Day Public Review and Comment Period for the 2016 Long Range Transportation Plan’s Air Quality Conformity

The FRCOG will open a 21-day public review and comment period for an amendment to the 2016 Long Range Regional Transportation Plan’s Air Quality Conformity. Comments will be accepted from Monday, August 6, 2018, until Tuesday, August 28, 2018.  A copy of the draft amendment is available for review here.  A hard copy can be requested by emailing mmullaney@frcog.org or calling (413) 774-3167 x 129.

 

Buckland and Whately Complete Streets Prioritization Plans

Buckland and Whately Complete Streets (CS) Prioritization Plans are nearing completion.  By completing a CS Prioritization Plan, Towns become eligible to apply for up to $400,000 per year to construct the improvements that are identified in the Plan.

See the projects that are included in the plans in the Story Maps below.
Buckland Story Map
Whately Story Map

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

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.

 

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%