We conducted several safety studies along Main Street (Route 28) and identified safety issues including high crash rates and high travel speeds. Main Street has 2.5 times more vehicle-vehicle crashes than similar roadways in the region, and excessive vehicle speeding above the speed limit. High speeds along the undivided four-lane corridor make left-turns difficult and dangerous and increase the risk of severe crashes.
In 2018, MassDOT identified that Main Street/Route 28 in Reading needed to be repaved and restriped. In 2019, we added two layers of new pavement and installed temporary paint markings on South Main Street between the MBTA railroad crossing and the I-90 interchange. That section of South Main Street needs one more layer of new pavement to complete the resurfacing process. North Main Street between the North Reading/Reading town line and Charles Street also needs to be repaired with new paving and paint striping.
As part of the resurfacing work, we will pilot a road diet with new paint markings and lane configurations to improve safety and access along the corridor.
Our project goals include:
Maintaining a state of good repair along Route 28
Improving safety for people using Main Street
Calming vehicle traffic
Improving accessibility for pedestrians
Meeting MassDOT Complete Streets and Healthy Transportation policies
The repaving and road diet pilot will take place in two sections on North and South Main Street:
- The North Section begins at the Reading/North Reading town line and continues south to Charles Street
- The South Section begins at the MBTA Haverhill Commuter Rail tracks and continues south to the I-95 interchange
- This work does not include Reading Square
Pilot Lane Configuration Changes
During the road diet pilot, pavement markings will be reconfigured to better meet the needs of all road users. The road diet pilot will reallocate space within the existing roadway and simplify turning movements for cars by creating a center turn lane. This will reduce parts of North and South Main Street from 4 lanes to 3 lanes to improve safety for people traveling along the corridor.
Today, Main Street has two 10.5' travel lanes in each direction. During the road diet pilot, the lane configurations will vary along Main Street. The most typical pilot configuration will include an 11' travel lane and 5' shoulder on both sides of the road and a 12' center left-turn lane.
Learn more about road diets on our What Are Road Diets page.
The project began in the project in March 2020 with traffic signal preparation. Final pavement markings will be installed in June 2021.
- Traffic Signal Preparation: From March to April, we will make upgrades and improvements to four traffic signals along the project area. This work will take place during the daytime.
- Milling and Repaving: In April and May, we will mill and repave along the project area. Milling on South Main Street will take place overnight. Milling on North Main Street will take place during the daytime.
- Road Diet Pilot and Evaluation: The road diet pilot will be in place from Spring 2020 through Winter 2020/2021. During this time, we will conduct observations and analysis to evaluate the impacts to safety and operations.
- Sidewalk and Driveway Construction: From May through October, we will repair and reconstruct sidewalks and driveways along the project area. This work will take place during the daytime.
- Determine and Install Final Pavement Markings: After we announce final lane configurations in March 2021, we will complete final resurfacing work in April and May. The final pavement markings will be installed overnight in June 2021.
Public Outreach and Involvement
In keeping with CDC and Massachusetts statewide guidelines and orders for public gatherings, in-person public meetings and site walks have been put on hold for the time being. While public meetings are on hold, we are working to continue to raise awareness and answer questions about the project through virtual methods. We expect these to include virtual public meetings with presentations and Q&A sessions online, while the pilot lane configurations are in place.
Members of the public are invited to share their comments with us:
- Use our interactive online map and comment form
- Email the project team
We want to hear about your experiences traveling on Main Street. Your input and feedback during the road diet pilot will help MassDOT determine the final pavement markings.
Boston, MA 02116