Bicycle and pedestrian advocates across Massachusetts are excited and encouraged by Governor Patrick’s and MassDOT’s efforts to ensure long term investments in infrastructure that encourages more bicycle and pedestrian trips in the Commonwealth.
Earlier this month, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) released its draft Capital Investment Plan (CIP) for the 2014-2018 fiscal years. Within the plan, bike and pedestrian capital funding is set to increase from around $4 million in FY 2014 to over $17 million in FY 2015, with investment totaling $130 million over the plan’s five year period.
The good news is that this $130 million in proposed investment represents a huge opportunity for Massachusetts residents to see many long dreamed-of projects come to life. This funding will be used for construction and reconstruction of bikeways and bike paths, including rail trails and scenic byways. There is also room for funding of bicycle facilities within roadway and bridge spending. Additionally, the CIP outlines significant investments in transit projects around the Commonwealth.
In the coming weeks, MassDOT will be hosting series of public meetings throughout the Commonwealth to gather input on the CIP. We strongly encourage you to attend the meeting closest to you to let MassDOT know how important it is that the proposed bicycle and pedestrian investments are included at their full levels in the finalized CIP. And, if you have questions about why certain projects were included – or not included – in the CIP, now is the time to ask. We can, and should, thank MassDOT for proposing significantly increased investment in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, while at the same time letting them know we want them to do even more!
What’s in the CIP
Bicycle and Pedestrian: $130 million over five years for rail trails, bikeways, multi-use paths and related projects. Some highlights include portions of the Cochituate Rail Trail in Framingham, segment 7 of the Blackstone River Bikeway in Worcester, segments of the Columbia Greenway in Westfield, and much more. We encourage you to read the full list within the draft CIP.
Transit: $3.5 billion over five years including flagship projects such as the Green Line extension to Medford, South Coast rail expansion, making Cape Cod rail service permanent, and more. This investment will encourage multimodal trips that include a combination of bicycling, walking, and transit.
When and Where
- 6:00 PM Public Meeting: Boston, MassDOT Capital Investment Plan
- 6:00 PM Public Meeting: Worcester, MassDOT Capital Investment Plan
- 6:00 PM Public Meeting: Amherst, MassDOT Capital Investment Plan
- 6:00 PM Public Meeting: Pittsfield, MassDOT Capital Investment Plan
We understand that the draft CIP document is very dense and full of information. If you have any specific questions about understanding which projects are included in the draft plan, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.