Welcome to the North Shore TMA's November newsletter!
I hope that everyone is enjoying this fall and will have a safe and very happy holiday season. I am pleased to welcome new Communications Manager, Lisa Fox to our TMA team. Many of the future communications you will receive will come from Lisa's email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, so please make sure to include her email address in your approved list of email recipients. Lisa brings significant communications experience to the TMA. I am excited about the opportunity to work with Lisa to enhance our communications in order to better support our members and their employees.
In News from North Shore TMA you will find useful information about happenings within the TMA service area, TMA programs and services, and transportation infrastructure improvements that will impact your commute. We look forward to continuing our services to assist you with any questions, comments, or concerns related to your commute. We're here to help.
Andrea Leary, Executive Director
North Shore TMA
The Great Race 2
A Guest Column by Terry Cowman, Vice President, Oxford Global Resources, Centerpoint Division
It was a rainy night in Beverly...The idea - see if cyclists or cars would be faster making the trek to the Topsfield Fair during prime commute and fair time.
The challenge - four riders and one driver in a mighty Tundra left the Axcelis parking lot in Cherry Hill Park, North Beverly, shortly past 5:00PM. Two riders took the same route as the truck, while the 2 other riders made their way on the bike path. All would end where the bike path and the fairgrounds intersect nearly 5 miles away.
In a pure time-trial effort, the boys with helmets pressed the attack, hoping that the cinder track would carry them past the truck, perhaps stalled in Fair traffic. Despite their rapid pace, this year the bikers would get no assistance from throngs packing in to see the world's biggest pumpkin; rain diluted the attendance & the traffic!
Just as the bike path was about the end, the Tundra could be seen taking a left into the parking area, arriving less than a minute ahead of the bikes (which did five miles in well under 15 minutes, including stop lights and plenty of dirt!). The intrepid riders on the bike path - including one novice rider, arrived shortly thereafter. However, the driver had to fork over $10 to enter the parking lot; the bikes were free! $10 can buy a lot of fried dough!!
Case in point - cycling in less than optimum conditions is just about as fast as driving short distances in good conditions. And the parking is FREE!
We look forward to the next bike vs. car challenge. The Tundra is going down!
State Hosts Series of Public Meeting to Identify Transportation Priorities
To encourage public input, MassDOT is currently holding a series of statewide discussions to help generate ideas and prioritize initiatives on the future of transportation in the state. The meetings will provide direct input from constituents about the transportation infrastructure they consider vital to allow for access and economic development in their communities. A meeting for North Shore constituents will be held on December 5th, at Lynn City Hall, City Council Chambers - Floor 4 from 6pm-8pm. Click HERE to view the complete public meeting schedule.
After reviewing the information gathered from the public meetings, MassDOT will develop a plan for future transportation infrastructure investment. The plan will identify the cost of these improvements as well as how to pay for them. The Transportation Finance Plan will be sent to the legislature for their consideration in early 2013.
Once the Transportation Finance Plan is submitted to the legislature, the North Shore TMA and the North Shore Alliance for Economic Development have discussed opportunities to host a forum to present the plan to representatives from local businesses and institutions with the goal of gathering and providing feedback to our local legislative delegation.
Salem's New MBTA Parking Garage
The new MBTA Salem Station and Parking Garage is moving forward. Construction on the $37 million dollar project is set to begin in the spring of 2013 and the facility is scheduled to open in October 2014.
In June of this year, Salem's Mayor Kimberley Driscoll announced that an additional $5M in funding was secured for the project. The additional funding added a 5th floor to the garage, increasing parking spaces in the garage, and will also add the opportunity to increase aesthetic improvements to the original plan. The plan also now includes restoration of the historic signal tower near Bridge Street.
Preliminary work on the site began in early November of 2012 to start archaeological fieldwork to excavate and document the remains of the historically significant Salem roundhouse buried under the current parking lot. The lot will temporarily lose 225 spaces during the dig.
In a November 13, 2012 public meeting on the 60% design of the new garage, MBTA officials announced the addition of a waiting area for the facility. There will be a subsequent loss of parking spaces, but the garage will still hold just under 700 spaces.
The next public meeting on the MBTA project will be held in March.
Route 128-62 Interchange in Danvers
The North Shore TMA continues to work with MassDOT's project manager to keep abreast of the steps being taken to alleviate the congestion and confusion at the busy Route 128-Route 62-Route 35 interchange in Danvers, MA.
Work items that are currently being completed include lane striping, landscaping items, setting survey boundaries, minor driveway and apron work, general site-clean up and removal of remaining barriers, drums and traffic control devices. Completion of the busy interchange has been complicated by the additional restrictions caused by the twenty-plus repaving projects in Beverly and Danvers.
In an October 25th article in the Boston Globe North, Sara Lavoie, a spokesperson for MassDOT, reported that the work at the sites will be finished in November and that traffic should flow better as the state works to synchronize traffic patterns and lights. "We are finalizing the design of the last of the traffic signal modifications that resulted from a revised analysis based on updated traffic counts," said Lavoie. "We hope to have the majority of that work implemented sometime in November."
December 5th - 19th
'Tis the season to GREEN your commute!
Participate in this year's holiday promotion and be eligible to win one of two $100 grand prizes just in time for holiday shopping!
CLICK HERE for details!
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Make Your Voice Heard on our
State's Transportation Future!
"Your Vision, Our Future: A Transportation Conversation" Hosted by MassDOT
December 5, 2012 from 6:00pm - 8:00pm at Lynn City Hall, Lynn, MA.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is hosting a public discussion to help shape a funding plan which will be presented to the Legislature in January of 2013. Be sure to join the conversation! If you can't make the meeting in Lynn, a schedule of the full series of meetings is available online.
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