Sen. Brownsberger Surveying Residents About COVID-19 and the MBTA

State Sen. Will Brownsberger

State Sen. Will Brownsberger’s latest survey seeks to find out how the COVID-19 outbreak has impacted how people work and if they are using public transportation. Brownsberger, who represents Watertown Belmont and parts of Boston, posted the survey on his website on Tuesday evening. Questions include what people’s work situations are (working from home, going into work, unemployed), what people did before the outbreak and their plans for when the state reopens. Also, how much people are using the MBTA now, previously, and plans in the future. There are also questions about Massachusetts’ response to the Coronavirus and how financially secure people are feeling.

MBTA Closing Green Line from Lechmere for One Year, Replacing with Buses

The following announcement was provided by MassDOT:

Today the MBTA reminded customers that Green Line service between Lechmere and North Stations is replaced with shuttle buses every day beginning at the start of service on Sunday, May 24, for approximately one year to accomplish work as part of the Green Line Extension project (GLX) and the Green Line Transformation Program (GLT): the closure, relocation, and complete replacement of Lechmere Station and work to demolish, relocate, and reconstruct sections of the Lechmere Viaduct. During the Green Line diversion, GLX crews will remove the existing Lechmere Station, reconstructing a brand new Lechmere in a new location in Cambridge. The GLX team has also closely collaborated with the GLT team to close and replace the existing Lechmere Viaduct, which carries Green Line trains from Lechmere across the Charles River and into Downtown Boston. When complete, upgrades made to the Lechmere Viaduct will allow more trains to pass over the bridge, serving the new Lechmere Station and six new Green Line stations in Somerville and Medford constructed as part of GLX. Starting May 24, shuttle bus service will replace Green Line trains between Lechmere and North Stations every day, including weekdays and weekends.

MBTA Riders Required to Wear Face Coverings

Riders of MTBA buses, subways and other public transportation must wear face coverings as part of the Governor’s order to stop the spread of COVID-19. The following announcement was provided by MassDOT:

Effective Wednesday, May 6, MBTA customers must wear face coverings when using the MBTA. This requirement is pursuant to the Executive Order issued on May 1, which takes effect tomorrow. The Executive Order applies to any person over the age of two who is in a place open to the public, and expressly requires masks or face coverings when using public transportation or when in an enclosed or semi-enclosed transit stop or waiting area. The Department of Public Health notes that mask use by children two years of age and up to the age of five is encouraged but also at the discretion of the child’s parent or guardian with full information available via the Department of Public Health.

Traffic Death Rate in Mass. Doubled in April, Despite Fewer People on the Roads

The following information was provided by MassDOT:

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is reporting that the rate of fatalities on Massachusetts roadways doubled in April: with 50 percent less traffic recorded on major highways, 28 individuals died in crashes, compared with the month of April 2019 when there were 27 deaths on roadways in the state.  The high fatality rate last month, underscores the importance of not exceeding the posted speed limit, wearing a seatbelt, driving sober, and obeying the hands-free law. “Our traffic and safety engineers continuously monitor roadways across the Commonwealth and have identified a dangerous trend that has led to the doubling of the vehicular fatality rate in Massachusetts for the month of April,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver.  “During the pandemic, everyone in the Commonwealth has sacrificed and used disciplined actions to keep themselves, their loved ones, and our community safe.  We ask that all residents use this same dedication to safety and reduce their speeds when driving.”

“Reduced traffic volume is no excuse for excessive speed,” said Jeff Larason, Director of Highway Safety for the Executive Office of Safety and Security. “We’re reminding everyone to drive responsibly, wear a seat belt, and watch the road for cyclists and pedestrians.” Stacey Beuttell, Executive Director of WalkBoston, added, “With the stay-at-home advisory still in place, everyone should expect to see more neighbors walking, rolling, or running in the street as they try to maintain six feet of physical distance on narrow sidewalks. If you are driving, be prepared to yield to people walking and drive slowly. Empty streets are not a license to drive faster. Please consider every street a shared street and stay safe.”

Road Construction Closing I-95 Lanes & Ramps in Weston, Newton

The following information was provided by MassDOT:

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is announcing that there will be overnight roadway construction operations on Interstate 95 northbound and southbound from exit 21 to exit 26 through Weston, Wellesley and Newton. The work, which will be conducted during overnight hours, will begin on Sunday, April 26, and continue through Thursday, April 30. The roadway construction operations will require temporary overnight lane and ramp closures to facilitate guardrail repair, line striping and other related work as follows:

Temporary lane closures will be in place nightly from 7:00 p.m., until 5:00 a.m.Temporary ramp closures will be in place nightly from 11:00 p.m., to 5:00 a.m.

Appropriate signage, law enforcement details, and advanced message boards will be in place to guide drivers through the work area. Drivers who are traveling through the area should reduce speed, and use caution. 

All scheduled work is weather dependent and may be impacted due to an emergency. 

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.

Temporary Lane Closures Planned on Mass. Pike in Newton

The following information was provided by MassDOT:

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is announcing that it will be implementing a left lane closure on Interstate 90 eastbound and westbound at Commonwealth Avenue and Woodland Road in Newton starting April 20, and continuing through April 30. These closures will establish temporary work zones to support concrete substructure repair work. The work will be nightly as follows:

·         A left lane closure on I-90 eastbound from 7:00 p.m., to 5:00 a.m.

·         A left lane closure on I-90 westbound from 8:00 p.m., to 5:00 a.m.

In order to allow crews to safely and effectively conduct this operation, a typical work zone will be implemented. Appropriate signage, law enforcement details, and advanced message boards will be in place to guide drivers through the work area. Drivers who are traveling through the area should reduce speed, and use caution. 

All scheduled work is weather dependent and may be impacted due to an emergency. 

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.

RMV Extends Deadlines for Vehicle Registrations

The following information was provided by the Registry of Motor Vehicles:

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is continuing to take several important steps following Governor Charlie Baker’s declaration of a State of Emergency the week of March 9 and to complement the work that has been underway for weeks across state government to keep residents safe and healthy. 

Effective today, April 1, 2020, all of the passenger plate registrations that have expired in March or will be expiring in April have been extended for 60 days. Registrations that expired in March have been extended until May 31 and registrations that expire in April have been extended until June 30. Registration renewals can continue to be performed online at Mass.Gov/RMV during this time. Customers seeking to do so in-person will not be able to make an appointment and should delay their visit to a Service Center at this time. In addition, the RMV recently has implemented key changes to service delivery and organizational protocols as follows:

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the RMV has implemented a strict no walk-in policy at a limited number of Service Centers that remain open to the general public.

Mass Pike Allston/Brighton Exit Closed Overnight for Bridge Repairs

The following information was provided by MassDOT:

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is announcing that there will be overnight bridge deck repairs on I-90 eastbound at exit 18 in Allston/Brighton. The exit 18 off ramp will be closed to facilitate this work from Tuesday, March 31, at 10:00 p.m., until Wednesday, April 1, at 5:00 a.m.  All traffic will be detoured to exit 22, Copley, and re-directed to exit 20 westbound.   

Lane closures will also be put in place in this area to allow crews to safely and effectively conduct bridge deck repair operations. 

Appropriate signage, law enforcement details, and advanced message boards will be in place to guide drivers through the work area. Drivers who are traveling through the area should reduce speed, and use caution. 

All scheduled work is weather dependent and may be impacted due to an emergency. 

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.