Mass Central Rail Trail Feasibility Study - 2021
On behalf of the MassTrails Team, MassDOT has completed a feasibility study of the 68.5 mile mid-state section of the Mass Central Rail Trail (MCRT) between Belchertown and Berlin. The current ownership, condition, and existing use of the original railroad corridor along this Central MA stretch varies greatly. Some sections have been converted to a shared-use path; some sections are in public ownership with an intact railbed. Other sections are active railroads while still others are now in private ownership and the original railbed has been obliterated or converted to different uses.
The vision for the MCRT is to convert as much of the original 104-mile rail corridor as possible to an east-west, off-road, shared use path/greenway connecting Northampton to Boston. Mapping the entire corridor in the field utilized the latest in GPS technology coupled with data entry taking place on location via smart tablet. Field data was then combined with the latest statewide environmental and transportation layers through geoDOT resulting in a state-of-the art set of nearly 100 maps.
The MCRT has been identified as a high priority for the Commonwealth’s trail and greenway system in numerous visions and statewide planning documents, and MassTrails welcomes feedback from the public. Please click here to view the full report and to access the overview presentation.
Westfield River Crossing Study - 2019
This study examined the conceptual costs, potential economic benefits, and environmental impact related to the re-establishment of a bridge crossing of the Westfield River in Woronoco Village in the Town of Russell.
Cape Cod Canal Transportation Study - 2019
MassDOT conducted a study to examine the existing and future multimodal transportation conditions around the Cape Cod Canal. This conceptual planning study developed and evaluated alternatives, and recommended improvements to enhance connectivity and mobility throughout the area.
Berkshire Flyer Study - 2018
The Berkshire Flyer Study evaluated using a New York rail route to establish a seasonal passenger rail service between New York City and the Berkshires, based on the successful example of the CapeFLYER. MassDOT assembled a working group with the expertise to study the potential new service. The Office of Transportation Planning presented the Berkshire Flyer Feasibility report to the working group on March 26, 2018. The working group has used the report to do a follow-on study and identify next steps.
Lower Mystic Regional Working Group - 2019
The Lower Mystic Regional Working Group was established to assess the impact of new projected growth in the Sullivan Square area on travel conditions. The Working Group examined potential solutions and developed recommendations relative to transit services, land use policy, infrastructure, coordination, and cost.
Red Blue Connector - 2018
In 2018, MassDOT conducted analysis to revisit assumptions from the 2010 Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for a project to extend the Blue Line from Bowdoin to Charles/MGH under Cambridge Street to create a transfer to the Red Line. The analyses posted here focused on constructability of the tunnel and the changes in land use, demographics, and ridership.
The Office of Transportation Planning presented to the FMCB and MassDOT Boards on the findings from the market analysis on September 17, 2018 and the constructability analysis on October 15, 2018.
I-91 Viaduct Study - 2018
MassDOT conducted a study of the elevated portion of Interstate 91 (I-91) known as the Viaduct, which parallels the Connecticut River in the City of Springfield. This study developed and evaluated conceptual alternatives, and recommended near- and mid-term improvements throughout the project corridor.
Arsenal Street Corridor Study – 2017
This study examined future multimodal conditions along Arsenal Street between Watertown Square and the Charles River, which has recently been the focus of much residential and commercial development. Alternatives were formulated and evaluated relative to transit services, vehicular operations, bicycle and pedestrian use, and costs, with short, medium, and long-term improvements recommended. Please click below to view the Final Report.
Central Corridor Passenger Rail Feasibility Study – 2017
The Central Corridor Line is a freight rail line running north-south approximately 100 miles between Brattleboro, VT and New London, CT, including through the communities of Amherst and Palmer, MA. MassDOT conducted a feasibility study to examine potential intercity passenger rail service along the Central Corridor.
Kendall Square Mobility - 2017
The Kendall Square Mobility Task Force process was established in 2015 to take a comprehensive look at mobility issues in the Kendall Square area of Cambridge. In recent years, the City of Cambridge, MassDOT, the MBTA, institutions, and private organizations have documented the need for improved mobility in Kendall Square through a series of studies and initiatives. Special focus was placed on meeting the increasing need for high quality service for pedestrians, cyclists, and transit users. The existing mobility issues, coupled with planned growth in Kendall Square and East Cambridge, has created a need to develop a transportation strategy to address local and regional mobility needs. Task Force produced a report outlining policy and project recommendations focused primarily on public transit and shuttles over the short, medium, and longer term time frames. The Task Force process has been led by the City of Cambridge since early 2017 and information can now be found at http://www.cambridgema.gov/CDD/Projects/Transportation/kendallsquaremobilitytaskforce
Route 107 Corridor Study - 2016
A 4.3 mile stretch of Route 107 in Lynn and Salem was studied to find operational improvements, improve safety, identify transit enhancements, and create a more welcoming pedestrian and bicycling environment. This study outlined a plan for short, medium, and long-term transportation improvements.
Everett Transit Action Plan - 2016
The Everett Transit Action Plan was an initiative to develop solutions to improve transit for the residents and workers of Everett. Despite being less than two miles from downtown Boston, the City of Everett lacks direct access to rapid transit, commuter rail or direct bus connections to central Boston. Several recent planning initiatives in and around the City have made the need for a comprehensive analysis of future needs, and how best to serve them, even more imperative. The Plan sought to develop specific, feasible and implementable recommendations to address existing and foreseeable transit issues, grounded in concrete analysis and direct community feedback. The process included a thorough review of existing service and the underlying markets that it served. With robust community feedback, taken in multiple venues, MassDOT viewed the public transportation system with an Everett lens, to understand the challenges faced by residents, employees and visitors. The final plan, which was released in November 2016, has already resulted in the implementation of the region’s first new dedicated bus lane since the Silver Line Washington opened more than a decade earlier.
Northern New England Intercity Rail Initiative – 2016
This study examined the potential for expanded passenger rail service along the Inland Route (between Boston and Springfield, continuing south to New Haven, CT) and the Boston-to-Montreal Route (between Boston and Springfield, continuing north through Vermont to Montreal, Quebec).
New Bedford-Fairhaven Bridge Corridor Study – 2015
MassDOT conducted a study of the New Bedford-Fairhaven Bridge Corridor, a bridge that spans New Bedford Harbor. The swing bridge connecting the communities of New Bedford and Fairhaven is functionally obsolete, constrains marine traffic, and its opening results in extensive vehicle delays. The study evaluated transportation and associated land use issues, developed potential solutions, and recommended improvements along the Route 6 corridor.
I-90 Boston Ramps Study – 2015
Four alternatives to add on- and off-ramps to the Massachusetts Turnpike in the Back Bay neighborhood were explored, as well as four alternatives to alter or remove the Bowker Overpass, were evaluated in this study which was finished in fall 2015. Reduction of traffic on local streets, improved vehicular access to the highway, and impacts on Environmental Justice populations were analyzed.
South Boston Waterfront Sustainable Transportation Plan – 2015
At the heart of the City of Boston, the South Boston Waterfront is home to an active, growing industrial port; first class convention, cultural and recreational resources that attract visitors from throughout the nation and around the world; and, an emerging center for innovation in the finance, legal, biomedical research, and technology sectors. However, the accelerated pace of growth in the Waterfront in recent years with increased tourism, commercial traffic, and residential populations has led to congestion and mobility challenges. The South Boston Waterfront Sustainable Transportation Plan is both a strategic plan – providing a blueprint for the transportation system improvements over a 20 year planning horizon – and an action plan defining more immediate/short-term strategies to address existing transportation and mobility issues, capacity constraints, transit, pedestrian and bicycle needs, and operational enhancements. The completion of the plan with its articulated goals, objectives, and recommendations, marks the first step towards fulfilling the long-term vision for the South Boston Waterfront.
Route 79/Davol Street Corridor Study – 2014
The Route 79/Davol Street Corridor Study reviewed the long-term direction of the Route 79/Davol Street corridor in Fall River, which runs along the eastern bank of the Taunton River. Revitalization of the Fall River waterfront has long been a goal of the city. This study identified and evaluated the corridor’s impact on economic development along the waterfront, as well as other regional transportation impacts, economic and land use feasibility, environmental constraints, and coordination with the South Coast Rail project. Recommendations from this study placed a strong emphasis on improving quality of life and enhancing mobility, connectivity, and safety for all transportation modes and users in surrounding neighborhoods, Fall River, and throughout the region as a whole.
Beyond Boston Transit Study – 2012
There are 15 regional transit authorities (RTAs) operating in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, not including the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. These agencies serve a total of 262 communities and provide over 29 million trips annually. The combination of a constrained fiscal environment and an evolving market for transit services means that it has become increasingly important that limited resources available for RTAs are used as effectively as possible. The Beyond Boston Study inventoried the strengths and weaknesses of how MassDOT and RTAs deliver public transportation services in Massachusetts. Ten initiatives were selected which aimed to improve service and better determine service needs, improve efficiency and the use of funds, and improve collaboration. Moving forward these initiatives will support a more robust transit network that better meets the needs of the Commonwealth’s residents, workers and visitors.
Grounding McGrath: Determining the Future of the Route 28 Corridor – 2013
This conceptual planning study examined and evaluated the feasibility, benefits, impacts, and costs of removing the McCarthy Overpass viaduct on Route 28 in Somerville and replacing it with an at-grade roadway network and intersections. In coordination with a study Working Group - a plan of short, medium and long-term improvement alternatives was recommended.
Ethanol Safety Study – 2013
As required by state law MassDOT completed an analysis of the potential safety impacts of ethanol transport by rail through the cities of Boston, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Revere, and Somerville. The Ethanol Safety Study was carried out in response to a proposal by the terminal operator Global Petroleum to have ethanol delivered by rail to its facility on the Revere - East Boston line on the East Boston Branch.
Massachusetts Travel Survey – 2012
The Massachusetts Travel Survey was a large-scale effort to collect information on residents' travel patterns, preferences, and behavior to help build a more complete and accurate picture of statewide transportation needs. Between June 2010 and November 2011, MassDOT contractors asked over 15,000 households to identify where and how they traveled on a specific, designated travel day (24 hours). In order to ensure a sample that was representative of the Massachusetts population, each household was asked a series of detailed questions about their socioeconomic characteristics and access to transportation.
This effort provided data necessary to define travel patterns on the Commonwealth's highway and transit networks, and is used for projections of expected future highway traffic and transit ridership throughout the state. The information has helped MassDOT prioritize its investments and fulfill federal requirements to ensure compliance with air quality standards in Massachusetts.
Publicly available data is summarized by geographic area and general socioeconomic categories, and can be found in the final report and appendices below. The Survey was completely confidential for participants, as personal identifying information was separated from all responses collected before the results were provided to MassDOT.
Grand Junction Transportation Feasibility Study - 2012
The Grand Junction Transportation Feasibility Study evaluated the potential for MBTA Commuter Rail service along the Grand Junction Railroad, which provides the only direct connection between Boston's North and South Stations through Brighton, Cambridge, and Somerville. Rerouting additional MBTA Framingham/Worcester Line trains via the Grand Junction to North Station would allow for new connections and destinations and help reduce congestion at South Station. This study assessed the feasibility, benefits, and impacts of this idea by developing potential future service plans and testing the ridership effects of changes in frequency, travel speed, and for new station construction in Kendall Square.
Roxbury-Dorchester-Mattapan Transit Needs Study – 2012
The Roxbury/Dorchester/Mattapan Transit Needs Study fulfilled a MassDOT commitment to complete a community-driven public transit needs assessment in this large section of Boston currently underserved by direct rapid transit. The study made a series of 19 recommendations for improving the customer experience and efficiency of MBTA service in these neighborhoods. These recommendations ranged from short-term improvements that could be implemented at low or no cost, to long-term aspirational goals that will require both an increase in system-wide funding for public transit and project-specific planning and design efforts in order to become reality.
I-495/Route 9 Interchange Improvement Study
The I-495/Route 9 Interchange Improvement Study, completed in 2011, aims to address traffic congestion and safety issues surrounding the I-495, I-90, and Route 9 interchanges as a result of employment and population growth in surrounding communities. The study identified a number of issues associated with:
- Peak period travel
- High volumes of commuter traffic.
- Congestion at the interchanges.
- Geometric and safety deficiencies.
- Limited public transit options.
- Poor pedestrian and bicycle access.
- Lack of capacity to accommodate future growth.
A broad range of alternatives were developed to improve safety, reduce congestion, provide alternatives to travel by single-occupancy vehicle, and support future commercial and industrial growth in the area. It was determined that no single alternative alone addressed all of the study area issues; rather, a multi-modal solution, consisting of highway, transit, pedestrian and bicycle improvement strategies, was recommended.
I-95 South Corridor Study - 2010
The addition of a lane along I-95/Route 128 through Dedham and Westwood combined with plans for an improved I-95/I-93 interchange in Canton, have the potential to change travel patterns and encourage further growth in the communities along I-95 south of Route 128.
The Department of Transportation ordered the I-95 South Corridor Transportation Study to begin an analysis and evaluation of the long-term impact that potential growth would have on the area’s transportation infrastructure. The study resulted in a complete evaluation of the I-95 and Route 1 corridors, south of Route 128 that included a recommended plan of short-term and long-term improvements based on the analysis and input of many stakeholders. For additional information, please contact: Bob Frey, Director of Project-Oriented Planning.
Route 110 and 113 Methuen Rotary Study - 2008
Completed in April of 2008, the purpose of this conceptual planning study was to evaluate and address transportation issues at the Route 110/113 Rotary Interchange at I-93 in the City of Methuen and surrounding region. The study also examined transportation issues related to industrial development along Route 113 in Dracut, as the related traffic uses the rotary to access the interstate system. In coordination with the Study Advisory Committee, a plan of short and long-term improvement alternatives was recommended. Included in this plan were two potential long-term alternatives that would reconstruct the Exit 46 interchange to improve mobility and safety. In July of 2008, MassDOT’s Highway Division began the project development process to identify and move forward with a preferred alternative.
I-495 Corridor Transportation Study - 2008
In 2008, the I-495 Corridor Transportation Study was completed by MassDOT Planning. The study evaluated transportation issues in the I-495 corridor through the Merrimack Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization and Northern Middlesex Metropolitan Planning Organization regions. Specifically, the study area extended from Exit 32 (Boston Road in Westford) at the southern end, to the I-495/I-95 interchange in Salisbury at the northern end.
The study process developed the following alternatives to analyze:
- Multimodal option improvements
A recommended plan of near, mid, and long-term transportation improvements based on the alternatives analysis, is included in the final report. For additional information, please contact: Bob Frey, Director of Project-Oriented Planning.