MassDOT Sets Public Session on Transportation Plans
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The state Department of Transportation will hold a public feedback session on the five-year capital investment plan, including funding for passenger rail from Pittsfield, on Monday, Feb. 3, from 6 to 8 at the Berkshire Atheneaum.
The state has recently released two transportation planning documents for public review: a Long-Range Transportation Plan, "weMove Massachusetts (WMM): Planning for Performance," and the first draft of the Capital Investment Plan (CIP) for fiscal 2014-18. The meeting in Pittsfield is one of six being held across the state.
The $12.4 billion CIP program makes long-term investments that are designed to create growth and opportunity and represents the first unified, multi-modal capital investment plan covering all MassDOT highway and municipal projects, regional airports, rail and transit, including the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and Regional Transit Authorities.
Among the projects:
• Renovation of the Springfield Station, including platforms, safety systems and passenger amenities, and the replacement of fiber optic signal and communication systems and track rehabilitation on the Springfield to New Haven service.
• Expansion of the so-called 'Inland Route" connecting Boston to Springfield. Funding will cover planning, permitting and rehabilitation of the route, including widening bridges, signal upgrades, purchasing passenger rail equipment and upgrading stations.
• Rehabilitation of along the Housatonic Railroad, including tunnels, tracks and signals, connecting North Adams, Pittsfield and other North Berkshire towns to Springfield and New York City. A total of $35 million in preparation of the state's eventual acquisition of the rail line.
• Also in the plans is $130 million toward shared-use bike and pedestrian paths statewide and $43 million for 17 municipal road projects in District 1.
"The five-year plan will invest in projects identified in The Way Forward and confirmed by the outreach MassDOT conducted on the weMove Massachusetts project," said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey in a statement. "WMM continues MassDOT's commitment to improve performance for every mode of travel. It is based on national performance data, MassDOT policies, and robust civic engagement."
The centerpiece of the weMove Massachusetts Report is the Planning for Performance tool, which can be used to calculate the performance outcomes that would result from different funding levels available to MassDOT. The tool also begins to incorporate important policy initiatives, such as mode shift and sustainability, in the planning process.
WMM analyzes key components of the transportation system: bridges, roadways, buses and trains, railroad tracks and signal, and bike paths. Going forward, the Planning for Performance tool will allow MassDOT to connect its policies, investments and funding to its customers' needs for a safer and more effective transportation system.
Tags: highway, MassDOT, passenger rail, public input, state officials,