Mass. Pike Exit 17 to be Closed for Walk for Hunger

The following information was provided by MassDOT:

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has announced that the I-90 westbound Exit 17 off-ramp in Newton will be closed to all vehicular traffic on Sunday, May 5, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. This temporary off-ramp closure is necessary to facilitate the annual Walk for Hunger. MassDOT encourages the public to be mindful of this traffic impact. Those traveling through the area should reduce speed and use caution. The schedule for this work is weather dependent and subject to change without notice. For more information on traffic conditions, travelers are encouraged to:

Dial 511 and select a route to hear real-time conditions.Visit www.mass511.com, a website which provides real-time traffic and incident advisory information and allows users to subscribe to text and email alerts for traffic conditions.Follow MassDOT on Twitter @MassDOT to receive regular updates on road and traffic conditions.Download MassDOT’s GoTime mobile app and view real-time traffic conditions before setting out on the road.

OP-ED: Sen. Brownsberger’s Update on Proposed MBTA Bus Changes

The following piece was provided by State Sen. Will Brownsberger, who represents Watertown, Belmont and parts of Boston. The MBTA has been listening carefully to public feedback about the 47 cost-neutral bus route changes that service planners are proposing across the region. At their meeting on April 8, the MBTA’s board offered a “sense of the board” supporting 36 of the proposals. Board members deferred final approval to give themselves time to review in full detail the equity analysis for the whole package. When final approval is provided, as appears likely, the package will be the most significant set of route changes in memory.

Marathon Monday Transportation Tips from the MBTA

The 123rd Boston Marathon will take place on Patriots’ Day, April 15, 2019. The MBTA provided information about getting around during the marathon, and getting to the finish line in Copley Square. See the info below. The Boston Marathon draws thousands of runners and spectators each Patriots’ Day—the third Monday in April. The 123rd Boston Marathon is April 15, 2019.

Proposed Changes to Buses in Watertown, Fare Hikes Discussed at MBTA Meeting

Residents learned about proposed changes to MBTA service in and around Watertown on Monday night at the Watertown Police Station. MBTA officials visited Watertown Monday night to talk about changes to bus routes, increasing T fares and offering new ways for riders to pay fares. Those who attended the open house at the Watertown Police Station’s Community Room were eager to see ways the public transit system could be improved. Changing Routes

One of the biggest topics of interest was the MBTA’s proposals to change to routes in efforts to make them more efficient and reliable. Among the routes that are part of the Better Bus Project are the 70/70A and the express buses that come and go from Watertown Yard.

Snowfall Wednesday Night Could Impact Evening Commute, See MassDOT Info

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is advising the public that the National Weather Service is forecasting snowfall to spread from west to east across the Commonwealth beginning late this afternoon and into Thursday morning with accumulations of several inches in some areas. The forecast is for dry weather by Thursday afternoon. “Everyone traveling should monitor the forecast and expect to travel at slower speeds when the snow is falling,” said MassDOT Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “We advise people to drive the conditions during the storm which means keeping a safe distance behind other vehicles and allowing for plenty of time to slow down, and reducing speeds when making turns or traveling on highway on and off ramps.”

MassDOT’s snow and ice operations will be deployed throughout the Commonwealth as conditions necessitate. Highway Districts always conduct preparation activities in advance of new weather systems and are able to pretreat roadways with brine and Magnesium Chloride when necessary. In the most severe storms, MassDOT’s Highway Division is able to utilize up to 700 personnel to perform snow and ice removal operations on more than 15,000 lane miles of roadway throughout the Commonwealth.

MBTA to Talk About Fare Proposals, Buses at Watertown Meeting

The MBTA will discuss proposed fare increases and the Better Bus Project at a meeting in Watertown. The following information came from the MBTA:

A series of community meetings are being held to discuss the MBTA fare proposal. A 6.3% average fare increase has been proposed, which would take effect on July 1, 2019. Comments regarding the fare proposal can also be emailed to fares@mbta.com or mailed to MBTA, Attn: Fare Proposal, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116. The Better Bus Project and Automated Fare Collection 2.0 will also be discussed at a number of these meetings.

MBTA Announces Extra Subway Service for Snow Storm

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is advising the public that weather forecasters are expecting a winter storm to impact travel across the Commonwealth throughout Tuesday, February 12. Snow is expected to begin falling during the Tuesday morning hours in Western Massachusetts and the storm will move eastward during the day, with snowfall rates at some times of one inch per hour, and with snow changing over to sleet in most regions. Members of the public are advised to minimize travel, use public transportation if possible, consider working from home if that is an option, or consider leaving work early on Tuesday. Driving conditions will become hazardous in Western Massachusetts around 10 a.m., Central Massachusetts around 1 p.m., and in the Boston area and Eastern Massachusetts around 3 p.m.

“We are asking people throughout the Commonwealth to make smart, safe decisions on Tuesday such as taking advantage of public transportation, working from home if possible and leaving early for their afternoon commute,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “Everyone should check a weather forecast and travel conditions before heading out to avoid hazardous driving conditions, as there will be varying types of precipitation in all regions of Massachusetts, including snow, sleet, and freezing rain throughout the daytime and evening hours. The MBTA will be running subway lines in the Boston area at increased capacity starting at noon and all motorists should consider leaving early for their commute home and allowing plenty of extra time to travel.”

“MassDOT is currently conducting preparation activities for the deployment of snow and ice crews in advance of Tuesday’s winter weather,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver.

Input Sought at Meeting on Improving the T’s 70/70A Buses

MBTA bus. The Watertown Transportation Task Force sent out the following information:

If you support improving this bus line, make your voice heard at the MBTA’s community meeting Tuesday, February 12, 6-8 pm, at the Watertown Free Public Library. The MBTA’s Better Bus Project has recently completed proposals for improvements in bus services.  Most important for Watertown riders is a long-awaited change in 70/70A service that should make the bus come on time and more often to those of us who ride it. Specifically they are proposing to de-couple the 70 from the 70A and increase the frequency of service down Main Street, Arsenal Street and all the way on to Cambridge.  The new route 70A would operate only between North Waltham and Waltham Center. Route 70 would run a little more often and with a more consistent schedule that will finally allow people to plan their commutes with confidence.