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.

Three MTBA Bus Drivers Test Positive for Coronavirus

The following announcement was provided by the MBTA (Note the Cabot bus facility is located in South Boston):

Following three confirmed employee cases of COVID-19, the MBTA took immediate steps to protect its workforce and riders by enacting its facility maintenance protocols to clean and disinfect all exposed work areas, vehicles, and equipment at the T’s Cabot bus facility. The three confirmed cases are MBTA Bus Operators and were reported yesterday. “We ask the public to keep our employees in their thoughts, and I continue to express my deep gratitude to the women and men of the MBTA workforce who are serving a vital purpose in combatting COVID-19,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “To ensure we can protect the health and safety of our workforce, we strongly urge essential travel only, and we will continue our enhanced protocols for cleaning and disinfecting all vehicles, equipment, and surfaces.”

Consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), the MBTA has enacted its COVID-19 outbreak plan. We are disinfecting the employees’ workspace, vehicles, and equipment that they may have come into contact with. 

Through the public health tracing process, public health officials alert close contacts of the individuals who tested positive and will provide them with instructions for self-quarantine. Under health information privacy laws, the MBTA is prohibited from providing identifying information about a particular employee’s medical status.

RMV Extends Deadlines for Vehicle Inspections, Commercial Licenses & Permits

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is announcing today that it will be implementing a 60-day extension to Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDLs) and Commercial Learner’s Permits (CLPs) expired or expiring in March and April, and that the Service Centers in Milford and Wilmington are reopened to exclusively perform commercial license/permit transactions. These initiatives recognize the importance of commercial vehicle drivers to the supply chain during the State of Emergency declaration, and will continue to prioritize reducing customer volumes in physical locations. All commercial licenses or permits with an expiration date between March 1, 2020 and April 30, 2020, will have the 60-day extension applied to that customer’s credential. The RMV implemented a similar extension for residents with Class D, Class M and Class DM driver’s licenses, ID cards, and Learner’s Permits on March 16 with the exception of customers whose end of stay in the United States is the same as the expiration date on their driver’s license, ID card, or Learner’s Permit. Customers eligible for these extensions should wait to visit an RMV Service Center to renew until after the State of Emergency has concluded.

Lane Closing on Mass. Pike for Overnight Bridge Repair

The following information was provided by MassDOT:

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is announcing that it will be conducting overnight bridge deck repairs on I-90 westbound at exit 15 in Newton. This work is scheduled to take place from 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 21, through 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 22.  

The bridge repair operations will require the temporary closures of right travel lanes on I-90 westbound. At 8:00 p.m., one right travel lane westbound will be temporarily closed.  At 11:00 p.m., two right travel lanes westbound will be temporarily closed.