The Official Website of The Massachusetts Department of Transportation
Road to Reform Newsletter
Home > Information Center > Weekly Newsletters > Road to Reform Newsletter 05/24/2013
 
Mass.gov
Massachusetts Recovery

MassDOT June Board Meeting

Wednesday, June 19
MBTA Board Room
Suite 3830
10 Park Plaza, Boston
Full Meeting Schedule

On the Trans Blog

MassDOT McGrath Highway Recommendations

MassDOT has recommended that the McCarthy Overpass portion of McGrath Highway be grounded and the roadway developed into a Boulevard that reconnects East Somerville, Union Square and Brickbottom. Project managers released the recommendation during a May 15 public meeting in Somerville to discuss the Grounding McGrath Study. A multiyear planning study examining multiple alternatives concluded this approach best balances local and regional needs in the McGrath Highway corridor and area neighborhoods. The recommended plan preserves continuity at Washington Street, while enhancing pedestrian and bicycle connections. This option will also create a new connection from McGrath Highway northbound to Somerville Avenue and Union Square, providing full access in all directions at that location. The removal of the overpass will allow for wider sidewalks, bicycle paths, added green space that will help spur redevelopment and enhance existing uses along the corridor.

View the entire McGrath Highway Recomendations blog post.


05/24/2013

MassDOT: Revolutionize Toll Collection
alt text

MassDOT announced plans are underway to implement on the Tobin Bridge All Electronic Tolling (AET), a form of toll collection that saves drivers from both stopping and slowing down to pay their toll. MassDOT has scheduled a series of informational meetings to inform North Shore commuters and answer questions about the upcoming transition.

“With the implementation of this innovative form of toll collection we are saying to our customers that their time is valuable,” said MassDOT Secretary & CEO Richard A. Davey. “We are also increasing safety and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by cutting congestion and the time spent idling at the cash booth.”

Beginning early in 2014, motorists will no longer have the option to stop at a toll booth and pay cash for their Tobin Bridge toll. Tolls will be collected electronically in one of two ways: either through the motorist’s E-ZPass transponder or via a program in which a camera captures the license plate and the vehicle’s registered owner is billed by mail. A contractor has been selected to install the gantry or overhead collection system and work is beginning to support the technical back-office operations.

The informational meeting series will include timeframes and the benefits of AET such as reduced congestion, increased safety and cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Motorists will be able to sign up for an E-ZPass transponder on-site.

MassDOT is encouraging motorists to join E-ZPass in advance of the transition and making it easier than ever for new customers to join E-ZPass. MassDOT is planning a new North Shore Customer Walk-In Center as well as putting a new mobile E-ZPass registration vehicle on the road this summer to reach those motorists still using cash.

E-ZPass transponders are now available at 17 AAA branches and 20 Registry of Motor Vehicles branches. You can also order a transponder online: www.Mass.gov/EZPassMA.


MassDOT, AAA Promote E-ZPass
Secretary Davey speaking at the E-Z Pass promotional meeting

MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey and Registrar of Motor Vehicles Rachel Kaprielian this week joined AAA of Southern New England to announce the availability of E-ZPass transponders at 17 AAA branches across the Commonwealth.

E-ZPass transponders are now available to AAA members at AAA branches across Massachusetts, including in: Auburn, Boston, Burlington, Framingham, Haverhill, Lawrence, Leominster, Lowell, Newburyport, Newton, North Andover, Peabody, Plymouth, Rockland, Saugus, Waltham and Westwood.

E-ZPass users can forget about keeping cash and change on hand as they skip the line at the cash booths and travel, instead, through dedicated lanes without stopping. As residents begin to plan summer travel, it is important to note that E-ZPass is accepted on toll roads from Maine to Virginia and west to Illinois. Non-AAA members may obtain a transponder by visiting our customer service centers in Auburn, East Boston or Natick, at select Registry branches or by joining online.

Customers may be familiar with the AAA and MassDOT partnership through MassDOT’s Registry of Motor Vehicles Division. The Registry offers AAA members select transactions, such as license and registration renewals in Boston, Framingham, Saugus, South Dennis, West Springfield and Worcester.


Salisbury: Gillis Rail Trail Connector Opens
opening

MassDOT Highway Administrator Frank DePaola joined state and local officials, as well as bicycling and walking advocates to celebrate Bay State Bike Week 2013 with the opening of the Gillis Rail Trail Connector in Salisbury. The connection links existing bicycling and walking paths in Salisbury and Newburyport.

The completion of the $1 million project adds a new piece to the Bay State Greenway, which is a growing network that hopes to establish 788 miles of bicycling facilities across the Commonwealth. So far, more than 150 miles have been established.

The project also supports MassDOT’s GreenDOT and Mode Shift policies, as well as the Healthy Transportation Compact. The policies and initiatives work to balance the needs of all transportation users, expand mobility, improve public health, support a cleaner environment and create stronger communities.

Later this year, MassDOT will begin construction to replace the Whittier Bridge on Interstate 95. While construction will use innovative, accelerated techniques to better accommodate vehicle traffic, the project also allows for the construction of the first separate shared use path for pedestrians and bicyclists on an Interstate in Massachusetts and will provide a direct bicycling and walking link to the park & ride facility on Route 133.