Friday, March 5, 1999
Heavy commuter traffic warrants study
Area towns have asked MAPC (Metropolitan Area Planning Council) for a feasibility study which would delineate the need for transportation resources to this area, although funding for such a study is still not definite. One member said, "We want some real numbers here" when discussing the proposed study at MAGIC's February meeting.
A group of selectmen and planners from MAGIC (Minuteman Advisory Group on Interlocal Cooperation ) voted unanimously to support the motion to ask MAPC to sponsor such a study. MAGIC members have been concerned for some time with development in the Route 495 corridor and the need for transportation. Since commuter rail is the most feasible public transportation from the central metropolitan area to the 495 area, one major goal of MAGIC towns is to maximize its use. This, however, involves adequate parking facilities at train stations, or park and ride areas along the main routes from Boston to the western suburbs. Larger industries can and do run shuttle busses from their site to rail services, and this has been demonstrated to be more cost effective than developing on-site parking areas.
Information which will document where people live, how they can get from there to work and at what times these needs exist, can define to what extent specific needs exist in the towns affected. The proposed study would generate this information in Bedford. For example, there are six jobs to every house; Stow has two jobs to every house, which means that out-of-town traffic is using existing roads not designed for such heavy use. The rapid development of the 495 area and the certainty of the increasing need for better transportation to the western suburbs has been a major focus for MAGIC this past year.
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito