The Mass. Department of Transportation provided the following information:
To accommodate attendees of the parade celebrating the 2018 Boston Red Sox World Series victory, the MBTA will operate enhanced service on Wednesday, October 31, 2018. The MBTA will operate subway service at rush-hour levels from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. Additional Commuter Rail capacity will be added to lines that are expected to experience higher-than-normal ridership. On the Green Line, the nightly shutdown of trolley service on the D Branch has been cancelled, meaning regularly scheduled D Branch service will continue until the end of service on Wednesday night. “Because the parade coincides with Halloween, we fully expect Wednesday to be a busy day in Boston and around the region,” said MBTA General Manager Luis Manuel Ramírez.
Changes to sections of Mt. Auburn Street will go into effect early next week which will change the traffic patters for drivers, bus riders and bicyclists. The Town of Watertown and City of Cambridge have teamed up to create a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) pilot with the goal to create faster and more reliable bus service for more than 12,000 daily MBTA bus riders and shuttle passengers and improve traffic flow for all users of Mt. Auburn Street. The pilot is being funded with a grant from the Barr Foundation and is being done in conjunction with the MBTA and the Department of Conservation and Recreation.
The following information was provided by the MBTA and Town of Watertown:
Beginning the week of Oct. 15, the Town of Watertown, the City of Cambridge, the MBTA, the Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, and the Barr Foundation will roll out a bus priority pilot funded by a grant from the Barr Foundation to bring elements of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) to the Mount Auburn Street Corridor, serving MBTA routes 71 and 73, as well as employee shuttles. The project will feature painted bus and bicycle only lanes – primarily on Mount Auburn Street between Cottage Street and Coolidge Avenue in the inbound direction – as well as signage and signal changes to create faster, more reliable service for 12,000+ daily bus riders while improving traffic flow for everyone. The partners will host an official launch event with speaking program on the morning of Oct.
State Sen. Will Brownsberger, (D – Belmont) who represents Watertown, provided the following piece:
MBTA bus arrival predictions should get better as of today and further improvements can be expected over the next few months. Representatives Jon Hecht and Dave Rogers and I learned a lot at a recent meeting with MBTA management about bus service complaints that we had received from riders. Most regular bus riders now rely on mobile phone apps to get predictions of when the next bus will arrive. Here is how those predictions are generated and how the technology is changing. Each MBTA bus is equipped with a device that transmits its location back to the MBTA’s control center.
The MBTA recently released its “Focus 40 Investment Plan.” On pages 13-19 of that plan, the MBTA gives an overview of which communities it considers “Priority Places” in its Focus 40 investment plan. https://cdn.mbta.com/sites/default/files/projects/focus40/2018-07-30-focus40-draft-plan-digital.pdf
I believe that Watertown (East Watertown in particular) deserves the “Priority Place” designation because it’s fits many of the criteria for a Priority Place listed on page 14 including:
“• Lack rapid transit service, but bus usage exceeds available capacity
• Face traffic congestion that compromises the performance of MBTA buses in mixed traffic
• Host major centers of activity or dense residential populations, but lack efficient public transit access
• Feature population or employment densities that support higher frequency transit”
I urge Watertown’s residents and local and state representatives to contact the MBTA to add Watertown to its “Priority Places” so that our small but growing city can get the public transit investments we need for our future,
A variety of projects – from the Community Path to crosswalks to traffic calming – made the first cut in the creation of Watertown’s Complete Streets Prioritization Plan. Town officials, however, still seek input about which should make the final list of 15-20 projects. Wednesday night, consultants hired by the town to create the Prioritization Plan discussed why some of the projects made the grade and others did not. The town will be able to apply for funding from the Mass. Department of Transportation (MassDOT) for projects on the Prioritization Plan.
The Town of Watertown will host a public meeting on planned improvements to public transit on Mount Auburn Street, including new technology for traffic signals and piloting a bus-only lane for the 71 and 73 buses on a stretch of the street. The Department of Public Works sent out the following information:
Please join the Town of Watertown for a Mount Auburn Street project meeting to discuss bus transit planning along the corridor. We will also discuss potential technologies and amenities that could be incorporated into the project to improve bus service and reliability for the more than 5,000 daily riders. At the meeting, we will touch upon an exciting joint bus rapid transit (BRT) pilot project with the City of Cambridge and the MBTA to improve Route 71/73 service between Belmont Street and Fresh Pond Parkway. Although the pilot project will proceed independent of our Mount Auburn Street Complete Streets project, we hope to use the results and data collected from the pilot to inform our design.
Watertown officials announced Wednesday that the Bar Foundation, as part of its BostonBRT initiative, has awarded the community a grant to conduct a pilot project testing bus rapid transit (BRT) features in collaboration with the City of Cambridge and the MBTA. The pilot will seek to create a faster and more reliable commute for more than 12,000 daily bus riders on routes 71 and 73. The pilot, which will take place during 2018, will take bus riders out of car congestion through the creation of all-day dedicated bus lanes for significant segments on Mount Auburn Street between Belmont Street and Fresh Pond Parkway. It will also include inbound “queue jump” lanes to give buses
priority in intersections on Mount Auburn Street and Belmont Street near where they meet, and timed traffic signals where feasible so that buses get more green lights. The pilot is a temporary demonstration.