Friday, May 28, 1999
Area towns prioritize transportation projects for state funding
The Minuteman Advisory Group on Interlocal Coordination (MAGIC) got some good news and bad news at their monthly meeting in Stow last week. The good news was that Deputy Secretary of Transportation Ned Corcoran, who met with MAGIC representatives last month to discuss plans for widening Route 3, agreed to a land-use study of the Route 3/128 interchange area. This was not in the original plans for the Route 3 project and its inclusion was positively received since all towns in the Route 3 corridor are apprehensive about the impact on local traffic from vehicles diverting from the anticipated bottleneck at the junction of Routes 3 and128.
Carlisle not on list
The Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) list is used by the board, selecting transportation projects from those submitted by communities with specific requests, to decide which projects should receive funding. The TIP list is for multiple years, various stages of projects, and different modes of transportation. Projects for the years 2000 to 2005 are currently being considered. Forty million dollars are available for sub-region use, and local input is solicited in prioritizing the projects on the list.
For the past two months, MAGIC representatives have been sent forms to prioritize town transportation requests, with the May 20 meeting set as the time to review them with Metropolitan Area Planning Commission (MAPC) planner Barbara Lucas. The bad news was that there were no Carlisle projects on the working list being prioritized, although it is possible that requests from previous years are still in line for final approval. Selectman Vivian Chaput, who represented Carlisle at the May 20 meeting, said she had not seen the list of Carlisle projects and did not know who was working on it. Town manager David DeManche did not know who was handling the list or if there were any current requests. Gary Davis, superintendent of the department of public works, did not know of the meeting to prioritize town requests and was unable to fumish a list of submitted projects before the Mosquito went to press.
Judy Allard, the MAPC coordinator for MAGIC, said that if a town had pressing needs for a particular project that did not have current approval, that project could still be considered. MAGIC plans to review the list in July.
Shuttle service study
The good news from CTPS (Central Transportation Planning Staff), featured guests at MAGIC's May meeting, was that CTPS representatives would carry to their board the urgent request for a shuttle service in this area and a decision on whether to fund a study on the need for such service by September. The western suburban area has more jobs and people than all but two other subregions, but less public transportation. Also, the northwest population is mushrooming while other areas are decreasing. New area industries are "dying for people" but will lose out if they can't get employees from the rail line to their place of work, and the message from area representatives is that the area will lose jobs if transportation cannot be provided. Stratus, in Maynard, has over 3,000 employees, and has a shuttle service for its employees, but smaller businesses moving out along the Route 495 corridor have unmet transportation needs.
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito