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Draft 2020 Unified Planning Work Program Released for Public Comment

The FRCOG has released the draft 2020 Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) for public comment.  Comments on the Draft UPWP will be accepted from Friday, June 28, until Thursday, July 18, 2019.

Franklin 2020 UPWP revised draft

For more information, to submit comments, or to request a hard copy of the UPWP, please contact Megan Rhodes, Senior Transportation and Land Use Planner at mrhodes@frcog.org or (413) 774-3167 extension 132.

 

 

Draft 2020 Regional Transportation Plan Released for Public Comment

The FRCOG has released the draft 2020 Long Range Regional Transportation Plan for public comment.  Comments on the Draft Plan will be accepted from Friday, June 28, until Thursday, July 18, 2019.  The Draft 2020 Regional Transportation Plan can be viewed here. A summary of the Plan can be viewed here.

There will be 2 public forums on Tuesday, July 16th at the JWO Transit Center in Greenfield (12 Olive Street) at 12:00 pm and 5:00 pm to review the draft recommendations of the Plan and to gather public comments.

For more information, to submit comments, or to request a hard copy of the Plan, please contact Megan Rhodes, Senior Transportation and Land Use Planner at mrhodes@frcog.org or (413) 774-3167 extension 132.

Vision Zero/Distracted Driving Report Available

Vision Zero/Distracted Driving Report

In recent years, a movement has grown that aims to achieve a highway system with no fatalities or serious road traffic injuries; this movement is known as Vision Zero. Vision Zero urges communities and policymakers to embrace new methodologies to eliminate roadway injuries and death. The current Massachusetts Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) adopts the Vision Zero principle with its long-range goal of zero traffic fatalities.

Distracted driving is a particular focus area of Vision Zero, as it is a problem that may be solved by technology, including the driver assist features of new cars on the road today, and the driverless, autonomous vehicles of the future. In 2019, the FRCOG completed a report on distracted driving crashes in Franklin County. The report found that distracted driving was a factor in 105 of motor vehicle crashes in Franklin County; it identified the most common sources of driver distractions and makes recommendations to support messaging about the dangers of distracted driving and support infrastructure improvements that will accommodate the adoption of driver-assistance technology and other autonomous vehicle systems, known as self-driving cars.

Distracted Driving Crashes Report FINAL

Appendix DD Crashes 2014-2016

For further information please contact Laurie Scarbrough at LScarbrough@frcog.org.

 

 

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 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