Welcome to October's Pioneer Valley Progress Report! It's been another busy month here at the planning commission, where we've been advocating for, and helping local communities implement programs and policies that make our quality of life better.
This month we were happy to hear that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation has secured a consultant to advance the East-West passenger rail study called for in the Commonwealth's statewide rail plan. 

While we obviously love planning here at the PVPC, we do so only because we know that it's the critical first step towards making real improvements for real people in the Valley, like the myriad of examples PVPC Principal Transportation Planner Gary Roux outlines below as we reflect on what was accomplished over the past four years as a result of our region's own transportation plan that is once again ready for an update. 

The Connecticut River Stormwater Committee hopes you'll make a plan for how best to keep your lawn neat during leaf season, while protecting our region's waterways.

Lastly, we are all in for the upcoming 2020 U.S. Census's success and will be hosting a Complete Count meeting this upcoming month that we hope you plan on attending. 
We are so excited to present some of our best accomplishments over the last month on behalf of the 43 cities and towns of Hampden and Hampshire counties.
-Team Pioneer Valley Planning Commission
Getting to Work on East-West Rail

MassDOT has hired a consultant to conduct the feasibility study of East-West passenger rail prescribed in the Commonwealth's most recent Statewide Rail Plan. 

We are confident this new study will echo its predecessor, the Northern New England Intercity Rail Initiative (NNEIRI) report, which called for enhanced service in the Valley, both North-South and East-West, to serve as an inland crossroad serving the over 2.7 million people who reside between Greenfield and New Haven, Connecticut. 
Speaking of Transportation Planning...

PVPC Transportation Section staff
are currently working on the 2020 update to the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). 

Over the next few months, draft versions of the RTP will be available for public review and comment. This process will begin in November with the convening of focus groups and continue into May of next year when a draft plan will be available for public review and comment.

Do our Region's Stormwater a Solid, Would Ya! 

The leaves are falling in full force these days and the Connecticut River Stormwater Committee - staffed by the PVPC's Environment & Land Use Section - are hoping you'll consider leaf litter's impact on our waterways next time you're out in the yard. 

Can the Census Count on You?

The PVPC will once again be working tirelessly in partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau, Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin's office, and our local partners to ensure each Pioneer Valley resident is counted once and in the correct place. 

If you are interested in joining that effort the Census Bureau is currently hiring Partnership Specialists in our region. 

Additionally, those who are able to assist our Complete Count efforts in their current roles or as citizen volunteers are invited to join us Wednesday, November 14th at 1PM here at 60 Congress Street, Springfield. To RSVP or get more information, please contact PVPC Data Manager and Analyst Allison Curtis.
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