The Official Website of The Massachusetts Department of Transportation

Road to Reform Newsletter

Home > Information Center > Weekly Newsletters > Road to Reform Newsletter 08/23/2013

MassDOT September Board Meeting

September 25
MBTA Board Room
Suite 3830
10 Park Plaza, Boston
Full Meeting Schedule

On the Trans Blog

Western Turnpike Tolls Public Hearings Set

In accordance with legislation recently enacted by the Massachusetts House and Senate, MassDOT has devised an implementation plan and scheduled public hearings for the restoration of private passenger vehicle tolls on the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90) between Interchange 1 (West Stockbridge) and Interchange 6 (Springfield/I-291).

The public is invited to participate in the hearings to be held ahead of the planned October 15 restoration. The hearings will be held in Lee and Springfield during the second week of September. The toll restoration is part of a comprehensive transportation finance law passed by the legislature that will fund road and bridge and public transit projects across the Commonwealth.

Hearings are as follows:

Tuesday, September 10
Lee High Schooll
300 Greylock Street

Thursday, September 12
Mass Mutual Center
1277 Main Street

View the entire
All-Electronic Tolling
Blog post


RMV Service Hours Change at 6 Branches
MassDOT Highway Division Logo

MassDOT’s Registry of Motor Vehicles Division this week announced an upcoming adjustment to business hours at six RMV branches.

Beginning Monday, September 9, the following branches will open for business at 9am, instead of the current 8am opening.

  • Brockton
  • Lawrence
  • Milford
  • Springfield
  • Taunton
  • Worcester

Traditionally thought of as a weekday 9 to 5 operation, the 8am branch openings have failed to resonate with customers since the early hours were first introduced in 2010.

"The adjustment is in response to customer behavior and the Registry’s ongoing efforts to better serve our customers," said Registrar of Motor Vehicles Rachel Kaprielian. "Traffic in our branches continues to be heaviest late into the afternoon; this move will help guarantee staffing levels more closely match customer demand throughout the day."

The branches in Brockton, Lawrence, Milford, Springfield, Taunton and Worcester will be open from 9am to 5pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Alternative service hours will be offered at these six branches on Thursdays; the branches will open at 10am and close at 6pm. The adjustment marks the first time services hours will be extended to 6pm on Thursdays in Milford and Taunton.

For additional branch locations, hours and current wait-times, please visit Customers are encouraged to save time by performing their transaction online.

Weston I-90/I-95 Traffic Pattern Pilot Moves Forward

MassDOT Highway Administrator Frank DePaola this week announced the continuation of the congestion relief pilot at the I-90/I-95 Interchange in Weston. Following a successful trial period, MassDOT overnight tonight will take another step toward making the traffic pattern permanent by removing cones and barrels and striping the roadway to further reduce driver hesitation around the traffic pattern.

"The summer results have been encouraging, in terms of reducing traffic delays and cutting associated emissions," said Administrator DePaola. "We have heard from members of the public, and we agree, that we need to evaluate how back-to-school volumes will impact this traffic pattern before a final decision is made to make the pattern permanent."

During the peak morning periods, delays experienced by I-90 Pike eastbound travelers destined for I-95 north have decreased by an approximate average of 20 minutes by the removal of the double merge. As expected, delays experienced by I-95 northbound travelers have increased slightly, by approximately one to two minutes. Field observations suggest that part of that increase is due to driver confusion caused by the cones, barrels, and electronic message boards that were used during the trial phase of this project. By removing the cones, barrels, and boards, and using roadway markings to indicate the lane reduction, MassDOT expects I-95 northbound travel times to decrease slightly improve and return to a level closer to travel times before the trial started.

In this area, I-95 northbound is four lanes wide with the right-most lane carrying through traffic and vehicles that are merging onto I-95 northbound from the Mass Pike and Route 30. This double-merge point causes traffic to back up through the Toll Plaza and onto I-90. By closing the right lane to I-95 northbound travelers, it becomes a dedicated lane for MassPike/Route 30 travelers to merge onto I-95 northbound.

A third of all traffic on I-95 northbound exits at Exit 23-24-25, and a recent traffic count showed 10 percent of vehicles continuing north on I-95 utilize the right lane.

The pilot, which began on July 17, will continue indefinitely and is part of a joint effort with the Federal Highway Administration and local planning agencies to implement low-cost changes to reduce congestion. Roadway user comments are welcomed.

MassDOT Announces Community Transit Grants
train station platform

MassDOT’s Rail & Transit Division has announced the Fiscal Year 2014 award recipients in the MassDOT Community Transit Grant Program.

35 applicants were selected for 55 individual grants totaling more than $14.8 million. These FY14 grants represent the first year federal and state transit funds have been awarded through a newly developed web-based grant application system. This round of funding has been awarded to Councils on Aging, Private Non-Profits, Regional Transit Authorities, and Private for-Profits across the Commonwealth.

View the list of the award recipients from the Community Transit Grants website.

The FTA and the Commonwealth provide financial assistance to states and local recipients through a number of programs to develop new transit systems and improve, maintain, and operate existing systems.

Translation Disabled  | Translation Support