Joan Meschino's Letter on the Draft FFYs 2017-2021 Transportation Improvement Program
David Mohler, Chairman
Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization
10 Park Plaza, Suite 2150
Boston, MA 02116
RE: Comments on the Draft FFYs 2017-2021 Transportation Improvement Program
Dear Chairman Mohler,
Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments concerning the projects being considered for funding in the Draft Federal Fiscal Years 2017-2021 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). I am writing to state my support for several projects that would be beneficial to several towns on the South Shore (Hingham, Hull, Cohasset, and North Scituate) as they work to address traffic problems and maintain roads and bridges. I support funding Red Line and commuter boat improvements. In addition, I ask that the MPO, when evaluating projects, give high value to a project's ability to deliver reductions in greenhouse gases (GHGs).
I ask that the MPO continue to include the following regionally important roadway projects for funding in the Draft FFY s 2017-2021 TIP:
• Arterial and Intersection - Project 607309 - Hingham, Reconstruction and Related Work on Derby Street from Pond Park Road to Cushing Street. This project is needed to address capacity, congestion and safety problems at the Route 3 ramps and along Derby Street. I hope the design will include bicycle and pedestrian elements. Please fund this project, as proposed, for construction in FFY 2017.
• Arterial and Intersection - Project 600518 - Hingham - Intersection Improvements at Derby Street, Whiting Street (Route 53) and Gardner Street. This project is needed to address traffic flow and safety issues with signal and roadway configuration upgrades and accommodations for bicycles and pedestrians. Please fund this project, as proposed, for construction in FFY 2018.
In addition, I ask that the MPO encourage the Massachusetts Department of Transportation Highway Division to make it a priority to advertise the Project 607345 (C-17-002) - Cohasset, Superstructure Replacement and Substructure Rehabilitation at Atlantic Avenue over Little Harbor Project, as currently programmed for FFY 2016. This project is very important to the Town of Cohasset.
Several other projects benefitting South Shore drivers are in the TIP Universe of Projects. Please continue to review these projects and work with Hull and Cohasset to advance them for inclusion in a future TIP. These projects are:
• Project 608007 - Cohasset, Corridor Improvements and Related Work on Justice Cushing Highway (Route 3A) from Beechwood Street to the Scituate town line.
• Project 601607 - Hull, Reconstruction of Atlantic Avenue and Related Work from Nantasket Avenue to the Cohasset Town Line
Regarding public transit, although the TIP does not specify project spending for public transit for the South Shore, I recommend that the MPO approve funding programs that include commuter boat and Red Line projects when the MBTA brings these programs forward for funding in the TIP. The MBTA Capital Investment Program currently includes projects providing the following improvements to these modes for 2016: for Commuter Boats - vessels, improvements at the Hingham Boat Terminal, and for the Hingham Marine Intermodal Center; for the Red Line - system support, station improvements, new signals, and vehicle procurement. These improvements are greatly needed to keep service reliable and accommodate the growing demand for service on these modes.
Finally, I'm weighing-in in support of the Safe Routes to Schools program and hope that the MPO will consider future projects that emerge from working with the municipalities of Cohasset, Hingham, Hull and Scituate.
Thank you again for the opportunity to comment on the Draft FFYs 2017-2021 TIP. Very truly yours,