The 2020 Moving Together Conference
Date: 11/17/2020 7:45 AM - 11/17/2020 4:30 PM
2020 Moving Together Conference
• Attend sessions that highlight current pedestrian, bicyclist and public transportation topics
• Network with colleagues representing diverse interests from the public, academic and private sectors
• All new site virtual visits led by engineers and bicyclist/pedestrian advocates.
We're Going Virtual!
November 17-19, 2020
Registration and session information coming soon!
The History of the Moving Together Conference
In 1998, both the statewide bicycling action plan and the statewide pedestrian action plan, called for the establishment of an annual statewide conference for educational and networking purposes. The first two of these conferences were held in Worcester, MA in 2000. In May, at Clark University, 50 people gathered to discuss only walking issues. Later in the year, at the Worcester Holiday Inn, 50 people focused only on bicycling issues.
In 2005, the conference moved to Boston. The first several years, the conference was held at the Marriott Courtyard on Tremont Street. Interest continued to grow until attendance hit approximately 250 persons and the conference moved to a larger venue at the Back Bay Sheraton.
The conference continued to grow and in 2013 the conference was held for the first time at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel. Transit joined the conference as a featured mode. In 2014, more workshops than ever were offered along with the addition of site visits. Over 650 people attended the event. In 2016, the conference sold out for the second year straight! Each year the conference continues to bring together transportation leaders and individuals involved in the areas of planning, public health, bicyclist and pedestrian safety, transit, advocacy, elected office, law enforcement and education.
This event is accessible to people with disabilities and individuals with limited English proficiency. If you need a reasonable accommodation (such as American Sign Language Interpreters, assistive listening devices, handouts in alternate formats, etc.) and/or language assistance (such as translated documents or an interpreter) to fully participate, please contact Cindy Schaedig at 413-577-2762 or email@example.com at least 14 days prior to the event. Such services are provided free of charge.
Baker-Polito Administration Announces $4 Million in MassTrails Grants
BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded $4 million in MassTrails Grants to 55 local trail projects throughout the Commonwealth. The grants will support the state’s vast network of trails with projects dedicated to the construction, maintenance, and improvements for a variety of public trails, including hiking trails, bikeways, and shared-use paths.
“Massachusetts has an extensive network of public trails connecting communities and regions while offering excellent recreational opportunities,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “By supporting local trail projects, our Administration is dedicated to building on that network and ensuring residents and visitors can hike, bike and run on safe, well-maintained and accessible trails.”
“Trails are important resources that improve our quality of life by providing great access to parks, reservations, forests, and other public properties throughout Massachusetts,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “The MassTrails Grants Program serves as a critical funding source for our many local partners who are working to improve infrastructure, create new segments, and enhance existing trails for the public to enjoy.”
MassTrails Grants focus on the improvement of existing trails, the construction of new trails, and the maintenance of the statewide trail system. This year’s projects include:
• The installation of trail facilities and amenities and facility landscaping;
• The completion of trail design and engineering plans;
• The installation and maintenance of directional and interpretive trail signage;
• The development and creation of GIS mapping and trails guides;
• The purchasing of trail maintenance equipment; and,
• The upgrading of existing trails to accessible trail standards.
“Local trails are excellent resources that not only enrich our lives by providing increased opportunities to explore nature, but also enable us all to commit to healthy, active lifestyles,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “The MassTrails Grants Program is a great example of the Baker-Polito Administration’s dedication to investing and enhancing the Commonwealth’s natural, cultural, and recreational resources, and we look forward to celebrating the completion of these 55 projects.”
“The MassTrails Grant Program invests in path improvements and construction which allow for more access to important destinations, giving residents safe, healthy, and low carbon travel options as well as options for active recreational activities,” said Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “Now more than ever, the public is seeking transportation options due to the pandemic and this funding creates, enhances, and maintains networks of multimodal, shared-use pathways which help people get to where they need to go while reducing their carbon footprint and lowering pollution.”
Funding for MassTrails Grants comes from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation’s (DCR) capital budget, and from the motor fuel excise tax on off-road vehicles including ATV’s and snowmobiles, which is provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Surface Transportation Act, in coordination with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). All MassTrails Grant applications have been reviewed in consultation with an inter-agency MassTrails Team and the Massachusetts Recreational Trails Advisory Board (MARTAB).
“The Baker-Polito Administration continues to foster public-private partnerships in an effort to attain mutual goals that directly benefit the public,” said DCR Commissioner Jim Montgomery. “The 2020 MassTrails Grants Program will assist our partners in protecting and enhancing many of the Commonwealth’s natural and recreational resources, including closing gaps within the state’s network of trails, strengthening infrastructure, and making significant improvements.”
“These grants support our tremendous inventory of remarkable open spaces and the communities that host them. North Reading now has significant state support to examine converting an abandoned rail-line into a rail trail,” said State Senator Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester). “Funding from MassTrails not only advances this opportunity, but it also helps bring more recreational access for people across the state to enjoy outdoor spaces and improve our quality of life.”
“Visitors from all around the world come to Western Massachusetts for its beautiful outdoor recreational opportunities all of which improve our quality of life and are important parts of our communities,” said State Senator Adam Hinds (D-Pittsfield). “The MassTrails Grants Program provides critical funding for improving and supporting our public trails for all to enjoy.”
Additionally, each recipient matches awarded grants with a minimum of twenty percent in funding or in-kind services for the designated project. This year’s total investment, including matching funds, is approximately $7 million. In order to meet their funding obligation, an organization is able to utilize a variety of methods to fund at least twenty percent of the project’s total cost to receive the grant. Methods include in-kind labor and professional services, material donations, use of equipment, or a cash match. Funding is made available to registered non-profits and municipal, state, and federal agencies.
“I would like to thank the Baker-Polito Administration for supporting local trail programs through the 2020 MassTrails Grants Program,” said State Representative Frank Moran (D-Lawrence). “I am joyful to learn that Groundwork Lawrence has been awarded this grant which will allow them to continue their work in increasing access to the Merrimack River Trail for all residents of the Commonwealth. The 17th Essex District will benefit substantially from this grant, given that it will bring more connectivity to all three communities: Lawrence, Andover and Methuen.”
“Funding and maintaining our local trails and paths, especially at a time when it can be hard to get out of the house, is crucial to communities we serve,” said State Representative Josh Cutler (D-Pembroke). “Thanks to grants like MassTrails and the Baker Administration, Hanson can help foster outdoor recreation for its’ citizens to enjoy.”
“The people of Clinton take great pride in the town’s surrounding natural beauty,” said State Representative Harold Naughton (D-Clinton). “The parks and trails are treasured by locals and visitors alike, and I am thrilled that the Commonwealth is investing in the spaces that make our community such a special place to live.”
“I am excited to learn that Ashland has received a grant through the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s MassTrails program,” said State Representative Jack Patrick Lewis (D-Framingham). “I am grateful to the Baker-Polito Administration and Commissioner Montgomery for their further support to enhance and expand Ashland’s vibrant trails.”
MassTrails Grant projects are located within the following municipalities: Ashland, Adams, Arlington, Ashburnham, Athol, Barnstable, Becket, Belchertown, Bourne, Braintree, Brookline, Chelmsford, Cheshire, Clarksburg, Clinton, Concord, Dalton , Dartmouth, Egremont, Fitchburg, Florida, Franklin, Great Barrington, Greenfield, Groton, Hanson, Hatfield, Hawley, Hinsdale, Holyoke, Hopkinton, Lanesboro, Lawrence, Lee, Lenox, Lowell, Mattapoisett, Medfield, Monterey, Mount Washington, Natick, Needham, New Ashford, New Bedford, Newburyport, Newton, North Adams, North Reading, Northampton, Northfield, Peabody, Pittsfield, Plainfield, Plymouth, Sandisfield, Savoy, Sheffield, Southampton, Springfield, Sturbridge, Sudbury, Templeton, Townsend, Tyringham, Wareham, Washington , Williamstown, Windsor, and Yarmouth. A full list and brief description of each of the 55 projects receiving a grant can be found on the MassTrails Grants webpage. Article written by Klark Jessen, MassDOT Blog.
MBTA: Four-Year Extension of Commuter Rail Contract with Keolis Approved
June 15, 2020 - With the goal of incentivizing better service now and providing cost certainty in a challenging market among other objectives, today the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board approved of a four-year extension of the Commuter Rail Operating contract between the MBTA and Keolis Commuter Services, LLC, through June 30, 2026.
“Our main goals are to provide continuity and the best possible service for our Commuter Rail customers, as well as provide adequate time to plan for a future transformational procurement. With this extension in place, we look forward to continuing this partnership with Keolis,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “This extension includes a number of additional benefits for riders, including further incentives for on-time performance, measures to address fare evasion, and flexibility and cost certainty in a challenging market.”
“We’re pleased the MBTA recommended and the board voted to extend Keolis’ contract for four years, exercising the full term of the contract options,” said CEO and General Manager of Keolis Commuter Services David Scorey. “This extension balances taxpayer and passenger needs as it keeps costs low while also enhancing the passenger experience, including a focus on providing more capacity, further increasing on-time performance and accelerating capital delivery. On behalf of our Keolis Boston team, we look forward to continuing our collaborative work with the MBTA and building upon the successful initiatives we’ve delivered together for the Commonwealth and our Commuter Rail passengers.”
Keolis Commuter Services is the MBTA’s contracted Commuter Rail operating partner with Keolis currently providing all mechanical, transportation, and engineering services. The eight-year contract that began July 1, 2014, and is set to expire June 30, 2022, included options for two two-year extensions through 2024 and 2026. The MBTA’s contract with Keolis is performance-based with the contract including a fixed price for a certain level of service and penalties related to on-time performance and passenger comfort. In collaboration with the MBTA during the current contract period, Keolis has added 10,000 more trains per year compared to 2014, including new weekend train service, piloted routes, and other services; deployed customer improvements that include technology that allows passengers to pay for tickets onboard with credit and debit cards; and reinforced safety management protocols that include an expanded and updated Safety Department.
This four-year extension now also includes a number of additional benefits that include:
• Incentives for improved Commuter Rail service immediately through performance payments for on-time performance, train crew staffing, and seating capacity, which are designed to achieve service outcomes and promote continuous improvement. These incentives related to performance are worth a potential total of $5 million per year in fiscal years 2021-2026.
• Measures to address fare evasion/non-collection through the continuation of the Revenue Share Agreement for fiscal years 2023-2026, including the installation of automated fare gates that will significantly reduce ticketless travel. Train crew staffing incentives will also result in additional conductors onboard trains to check tickets.
• Investments in MBTA railroad infrastructure and assets, including incentives to accelerate capital investments that include early phases of Rail Transformation.
• Increased fleet availability and reliability through improved management of Mechanical Parts in fiscal years 2022-2026;
• Flexibility and time to develop transformational successor contract, with the possibility of re-procurement as early as 2025;
• Cost certainty in a challenging market with the MBTA paying less than the current market price for this contract;
• Extending this contract also avoids a potentially disruptive transition that might come with a re-procurement and followed by an uncertain multi-year transition to a new operator.
The four-year extension of commuter rail operating agreement with Keolis has been approved for contract years 9 through 12 (FYs 2023-2026) with the MBTA given the ability to opt out after option year 3 (FY 2025). The agreement accounts for contractual cost growth with inflation rates reflecting current railroad industry relevant cost increases.
The projected net total new cost per contract year, which assumes a minimum of $100 million in capital work per contract year or a minimum general and administrative expense fee of $6 million, is an estimated $16,273,987 for CY7 / FY21; an estimated $34,704,927 for CY8 / FY22; an estimated $35,063,511 for CY9 / FY23; an estimated $43,398,524 for CY10 / FY24; an estimated $46,833,816 for CY11 / FY25; and an estimated $48,144,883 for CY12 / FY26.
During this four-year extension, the MBTA will continue to plan for the future of the Commuter Rail with a new contract developed upon the completion of contract study and the development of additional contract objectives. The Rail Transformation capital plan will continue to be developed based on objectives for future Commuter Rail service with critical investments beginning to be made in infrastructure and rolling stock to better position the MBTA for a more competitive procurement. A new contract model will be identified based on information gained from the contract study, market sounding, and the commuter rail capital plan. Following the release of an RFI and a six-month public procurement, a new contract will be awarded by January 2026 that allows for at least six months of transition between contractors.
For more information, please visit mbta.com.
Article written by Klark Jessen, MassDOT Blog
MassDOT Announces Funding Program to help cities and towns create Shared Streets and Spaces
June 11, 2020 - MassDOT in partnership with the Barr Foundation, is announcing Shared Streets & Spaces, a funding program to provide technical and funding assistance to help Massachusetts cities and towns conceive, design and execute shared streets and spaces projects and engage their residents and businesses in that process.
The quick-launch/quick-build grant program will provide grants as small as $5,000 and as large as $300,000 for municipalities to quickly launch or expand improvements to sidewalks, curbs, streets, on-street parking spaces and off-street parking lots in support of public health, safe mobility and renewed commerce in their communities. These improvements can be intentionally temporary, in the style of tactical urbanism, or can be pilots of potentially permanent changes to streets and sidewalks.
“This funding program will help cities and towns create safe spaces outside to help with physical-distancing as we reopen our economy and continue to fight the spread of COVID-19,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The more we can do to increase shared spaces, the safer it will be to resume activities such as taking public transportation, going shopping and dining out.”
“Like Complete Streets, the Shared Streets & Spaces program will create safe ways for people to walk, bike, and use transit as they take advantage of reopening restaurants and retail locations in their communities,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “This program will quickly provide flexible funding that will allow communities to launch projects within weeks and see the benefits this summer and fall, whether nicer areas for outdoor dining or safe routes to school for students who may prefer to walk or bike when it’s time to return to classrooms.”
Types of projects may include:
• Shared Streets and Spaces: supporting increased rates of walking and/or biking by increasing safety and enabling social distancing
• Outdoor Dining and Commerce: calming roadways, modifying sidewalks and streets, and/or repurposing on- or off-street parking to better support curbside/sidewalk/street retail and dining
• Better Buses: supporting safer and more reliable bus transit, including expanded bus stops and lanes dedicated for bus travel, (extra scoring credit will be granted for dedicated bus lanes)
• Safe Routes to School: creating safe routes to schools (and childcare and programs for children and youth), including safer walking and biking networks with lowered vehicle speeds
Shared Streets & Spaces grants will be made expeditiously and on a rolling basis. Once awarded, funding will be made available as simply and quickly as possible so that projects can be built and used this summer and fall. MassDOT has allocated $5 million for this 100-day program. Applications will be accepted from June 22 through September 29 and projects must be mostly or completely implemented by October 9. Although projects of all types and sizes are welcome and may be funded, preference will be given to projects that can be operational within 15-30 days of award, projects in designated Environmental Justice areas and projects that show strong potential to be made permanent.
“Streets and sidewalks, parking spaces and parking lots are public spaces that can be re-imagined and repurposed to serve as a key ingredient in the reopening and economic recovery process, as well as to help make our communities more resilient for the future.” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. Secretary Pollack also thanked the Barr Foundation for partnering with MassDOT to provide technical assistance to cities and towns interested in experimenting with shared streets and spaces, adding, “We encourage every city and town to make use of this technical assistance and apply for funding. Somewhere in every community there is an opportunity to better share streets and sidewalks to make walking, biking and bus use safer and more socially distanced and to repurpose streets and parking to support ‘Main Street’ restaurants and retailers.”
“Now is the time to respond to our communities’ immediate needs in ways that make our streets and public spaces more accessible and equitable for people,” said Mary Skelton Roberts, co-director of Climate at the Barr Foundation. “We understand the urgency of the moment and the fact that we will need to rapidly create more space that allows physical distancing once we re-open large parts of the Commonwealth. Barr is pleased that we can help communities across Massachusetts get their projects implemented by this fall with the goal of opening street space for people to move around safely and for local business to benefit from the increased foot traffic. For us, this kind of partnership is ideal. It works for people, supports small businesses, and is good for the environment.”
The Shared Streets & Spaces emergency funding program is modeled after the Baker-Polito Administration’s Complete Streets Funding Program, created in February 2016, which, as of January 2020, had awarded a total $46 million to cities and towns for municipal projects improving infrastructure to improve safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and public transportation customers. The Administration included $20 million for the Complete Streets Program as part of the Administration’s $18 billion transportation bond bill which was filed in July 2019.
Written By: Klark Jessen, Article from the MassDOT Blog
MassDOT Announces Annual Safe Routes to School Awards
June 8, 2020 - MassDOT through the Massachusetts Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program, today conducted its annual Massachusetts Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Awards Ceremony virtually to recognize SRTS partner schools and community champions in their efforts in administering programs for students to safely walk and bike to school.
“I would like to thank our school and community partners for their collaboration in providing safe routes to schools across the Commonwealth,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “The Safe Routes to School Program is even more important than ever in our world today, because due to the pandemic, people are seeking new ways to travel to their destinations and walking and bicycling are appropriate choices, as long as there are sidewalks, traffic signals and other infrastructure which can ensure that the trips are safe.”
The annual event honors schools, community collaborators, and individual stakeholders who help make Massachusetts a healthier, greener state by fostering strong SRTS initiatives in their local neighborhoods. The awards are open to all partner schools, alliance partner representatives, and community stakeholders. At the event, level achievement certificates will be distributed to partners and honors will be announced, including, the Exemplary Program Award, Community Collaboration Award, and the Nikki Tishler Memorial Award.
The following school and community partners were recognized at this year’s awards ceremony:
Exemplary Programs by Region Winners:
Lee Elementary School, Lee
Roberts Elementary School, Medford
Parthum Elementary and Middle Schools, Lawrence
Nathaniel Morton Elementary School, Plymouth
Exemplary Programs by Region Honorable Mentions:
Clarksburg School, Clarksburg
Miller Elementary School, Holliston
Roger Clap Elementary School, Dorchester
Marguerite E. Small Elementary School, Yarmouth
Shape Up Somerville (Winner)
Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission (Honorable Mention)
Nikki Tishler Memorial Award:
Emily Schiavoni, North Adams Public Schools
Sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and with funds from the Federal Highway Administration, the Massachusetts SRTS Program promotes safer routes for students to get to school through a focus on the six E’s—Education, Encouragement, Evaluation, Enforcement, Engineering, and Equity.
The Program hosts annual flagship events such as Massachusetts Walk, Bike, and Roll to School Day. The Program also offers pedestrian and bicycle training activities, walk and bike assessments, and arrival/dismissal observations at schools. SRTS works with schools and their local communities to help customize safety-focused activities, provide resources to help facilitate safe student travel, and offer one-on-one assistance for each school’s specific needs. By fostering partnerships between advocacy groups, municipal officials, law enforcement, education leaders, and public health departments, the program can serve over 920 public elementary and middle schools in over 225 communities across the Commonwealth. You can learn more about Safe Routes to School by visiting www.mass.gov/safe-routes-to-school.
Written By: Klark Jessen, MassDOT Blog
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