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For Immediate Release: 09/30/2013
CONTACT: 857-368-8500

MassDOT Implements New Healthy Transportation Policy Directive; Prioritizes Inclusion of Bicycle, Transit, Walking Options

Directive Builds on GreenDOT Plan, Healthy Transportation Compact

 

BOSTON- Friday, September 20, 2013- Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey today announced a forward-thinking  shift in MassDOT’s approach to project development. MassDOT’s Healthy Transportation Policy Directive will require all state transportation projects to increase bicycling, transit and walking options. This new Directive is intended to promote multimodal access for our transportation customers.     

“This policy directive is the next step in putting into daily practice our commitment to build a healthy, sustainable transportation system that meets all our customers’ needs,” said MassDOT Secretary Davey. 

“This exciting transportation policy will play an important role in offering opportunities for healthy living through walking, biking and increased use of public transit,” said Department of Public Health Commissioner Cheryl Bartlett, R.N. “We applaud MassDOT and Secretary Davey for taking a leadership role in creating healthier communities.” 

The Directive builds on the goals established in the GreenDOT Implementation plan and MassDOT’s mode shift goalThe mode shift goal announced by Secretary Davey in October 2012 calls for tripling the share of travel in Massachusetts by bicycling, transit and walking by 2030.  Together, these initiatives seek to improve service to our customers while improving the health of our public and natural environment.

“This is a vital next-step in taking mode shift from policy to reality," said David Watson, executive director of the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition (MassBike). "Secretary Davey and his team are making it clear that we must give everyone in Massachusetts the opportunity to bike, walk, or take transit instead of driving."

As part of policy directive implementation, all MassDOT Divisions will review all projects currently in design to ensure they are consistent with Directive goals. 

“WalkBoston is very pleased to see MassDOT's growing commitment to walking, and the role that walking will play in meeting the state's mode shift goal. Since at WalkBoston we think of transit as ‘the middle leg of a walking trip’, it is especially heartening that the new Healthy Transportation Policy Directive mandates attention to those critical walking-transit connections,” said Wendy Landman, WalkBoston Executive Director.

Other elements of the Directive include: 

  • All MassDOT facilities will consider adjacent land uses and be designed to include wider sidewalks, landscaping, crossing opportunities and other features to enhance healthy transportation options.
  • Reviews will be conducted of cluster sites where incidents have occurred with healthy transportation users.
  • MassDOT will develop a guide to assist communities proposing Shared Use Paths on or along rail beds in order to accelerate the path design process. 

The Healthy Transportation Policy Directive and MassDOT’s GreenDOT comprehensive environmental responsibility and sustainability initiative may be viewed on the GreenDOT web page: http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/GreenDOT.aspx

For transportation news and updates visit MassDOT at our website: www.mass.gov/massdot, blog: www.mass.gov/blog/transportation, or follow MassDOT on twitter at www.twitter.com/massdot and Facebook at www.facebook.com/massdotinfo.

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MassDOT’s annual Healthy Transportation Conference will be held at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel on Wednesday, October 23, 2013.  To register go to www.mass.gov/baystateroads.

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