State Discussing Renumbering of Highway Exits at Virtual Meeting

The following information was provided by MassDOT:

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is announcing an upcoming virtual Public Information Meeting for MassDOT’s Statewide Exit Renumbering Project on Thursday, Sept. 24 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. This project is converting all existing exit numbers on freeways to a milepost-based numbering system, per Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) requirements. The public meeting will cover information about the project, the construction schedule, and the project team will be there to answer questions. The meeting link is available through registration at this site. Construction is scheduled to begin on this project in mid-October of this year and is anticipated to end in the Summer of 2021.

Lane on Mass Pike Closing for 6 Months Due to Overpass Project

The following announcement was provided by MassDOT:

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is announcing that beginning late tonight the left travel lane of I-90 eastbound and westbound will be closed in the area of the Massachusetts Avenue overpass due to the establishment of a work zone for an air rights project at 1001 Boylston Street. As outlined at recent public meetings, the left travel lanes for a distance of approximately one mile will be closed 24/7 for a period of approximately six months. After six months, the left travel lanes will reopen and the right travel lanes in each direction will be closed. The air rights project work zone requires one lane in each direction to be closed during peak travel times. Meanwhile, there will be temporary off-peak hour lane restrictions beginning in July 2021 and lasting approximately six months. In addition, in 2021 there will be several weekend diversions on the MBTA Worcester Commuter Rail Line, anticipated to occur over four weekends during the summer months. Samuels & Associates is building the Parcel 12 Air Rights project at 1001 Boylston Street and transportation impacts associated with the project are being managed by Howard Stein Hudson, with consultation from MassDOT. More information and updates can be found at the developer’s project website:  www.buildp12.com.

7 Bluebike Stations Being Installed in Watertown

Watertown will be getting seven Bluebike stations, with the first few being installed in early August. The first few of the seven Bluebike stations coming to Watertown will be installed with in the next few days. Steve Magoon, Assistant Town Manager and Director of Community Development and Planning, welcomed Bluebike’s expansion into town. “This is an exciting opportunity to bring bike share to Watertown, and provide connections to the other communities and to the T, with a consistent program throughout the region,” Magoon said. “The experience for the public will be seamless and much more functional.”

Watertown Transportation Planner Laura Wiener said the first station is due to be installed in Coolidge Square on Friday, July 31.

RMV Expanding Hours, Providing More Flexibility

The following announcement was provided by MassDOT:

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is announcing new initiatives to provide additional flexibility to its customers during the COVID-19 pandemic, including expanded appointment hours at open Service Centers, additional Service Center reopenings, an online Learners’ Permit test and exclusive permit appointment hours, online license renewal incentives, new road test and in-car observation protocols for students, and limited supervised driving privileges for eligible teenagers who have turned or are turning 16 between March and June 2020.                                                                                    

 “The RMV appreciates the public’s continued patience and understanding throughout this pandemic as we have expanded many credential deadlines and worked to provide essential in-person services in accordance with all public health and safety guidelines,” said Acting RMV Registrar Jamey Tesler. “Today we are announcing additional steps to help customers, including more appointment hours, flexible guidance for supervised driving, an online learner’s permit test, and an incentive to renew their licenses online now instead of waiting to obtain a REAL ID.”

The RMV is announcing the following additional service offerings: 

Additional Appointment Capacity at Open Service Centers:  customers will now be able to make appointment-only reservations between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. at the Service Centers currently open [including Watertown] to the general public. The RMV anticipates reopening the South Yarmouth Service Center for appointments on Monday, June 22.  

Learner’s Permit Tests Restart Online with Exclusive Permit-Only Center & Hours:  effective this week, customers have been able to make an appointment to once again take their Learner’s Permit exam. Applicants will be required to take their Learner’s Permit test online at home up to 60 days after completing their appointment in a Service Center. Historically, customers have been required to remain at the Service Center to take the test on classroom computers.

Mass. Registry of Motor Vehicles Extends Deadlines for Licenses, Permits

The following information was provided by MassDOT:

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is announcing today it will be implementing further extensions to the renewal timelines for expiring motor vehicle inspection stickers, passenger plate registrations, professional credentials, and driver’s licenses and learner’s permits, including Commercial Driver’s Licenses and Commercial Learner’s Permits (CDLs / CLPs). While the RMV has previously announced extensions for most credentials, passenger plate registrations and inspection stickers expired or expiring in March, April, and May, today’s action will apply an additional extension to those credentials and an extension to some credentials expiring in June, July, and August. These extensions replicate the ongoing measures the RMV has taken to reduce the need for customers to physically visit an RMV Service Center or one of its business partners’ facilities, allowing for ‘social-distancing’ by decreasing non-essential travel and customer volume. Additional, longer-term extensions will also allow the RMV to ensure ‘social-distancing’ guidelines are met as demand for in-person service and renewals resumes during the Commonwealth’s reopening phases. The new changes to expiration extensions will be in effect as follows:

Driver’s licenses and ID cards, including Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDLs), that expired or will expire in March, April, and May 2020, will now expire in September 2020 and do not need to be renewed at this time. Driver’s licenses and ID cards that will expire in June have been extended until October 2020, those that will expire in July have been extended until November 2020, and those that will expire in August have been extended until December 2020 and do not need to be renewed at this time.   The specific expiration date typically coincides with an individual’s birth date.

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.