Regionally Significant Transportation Investments (RSTI)
Regionally Significant Transportation Investments support Priority Development Areas (PDAs) while avoiding significant adverse impacts to Priority Preservation Areas (PPAs). This section of the Toolkit provides resources to support transportation improvements to increase transportation choices, improve efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and enhance regional interconnectivity.
The 495/MetroWest Development Compact Plan identifies seven categories of priority transportation investments:
- Commuter and Freight Rail providing alternatives to highways
- Regional Transit Authorities (RTAs) and Transportation Management Associations (TMAs) including enhancing connections among the region’s 5 RTAs and with the MBTA
- Highway Interchanges: Several improvements to existing interchanges are needed for safety and capacity
- Bridges: Maintenance and replacement of deficient bridges, accommodating multiple modes of travel where appropriate
- Connector Roadways to I-495 are important feeders to many PDAs; measures are needed to manage congestion and support transit, pedestrian, and bicycle access.
- Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Connections need to be enhanced to provide alternatives to automobile travel
- Rail and Roadway Interactions: Some at grade crossings may need to be separated or otherwise improved.
Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) coordinate short and long term transportation plans and allocation of federal funds within each region. Find your MPO.
Improving Transportation to PDAs
The Town of Littleton received a $1.8 million grant through the MassWorks Infrastructure Program for traffic mitigation measures, which will enhance transportation to a PDA. Combined with $442,000 in traffic mitigation from a developer, this is an example of public-private partnership in providing the infrastructure necessary to support priority development projects.
- GreenDOT. MassDOT’s comprehensive environmental responsibility and sustainability initiative is “greening” the state transportation system through reduced greenhouse gas emissions, promotion of walking, bicycling, and public transit, and smart growth development. MassDOT coordinates planning at the state level for all modes of transportation including highways, rail, transit, and aeronautics.
- The Program for Mass Transportation(PMT) is the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s(MBTA) long-range plan providing a 25-year vision for public transportation in the region. The Capital Investment Program (CIP) is a 5-year implementation plan.
- MassWorks Infrastructure Program provides a one-stop shop for municipalities and other eligible public entities seeking public infrastructure funding to support economic development and job creation.
- Massachusetts Infrastructure Investment Coalition tracks infrastructure investment needs including transportation, water resources, energy, and housing.
- Federal Transportation Enhancement Program funds community transportation infrastructure enhancements including bicycle and pedestrian facilities and streetscape improvements.
- The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy supports the development of multi-use trails on former rail lines.
There are 5 regional transit authorities in the 495 Region, providing bus routes, connections to the MBTA, and transportation for the elderly and disabled.
Transportation Management Associations (TMAs)
This TMA serves over 25 businesses in the MetroWest area, providing alternative modes of transportation including carpooling, vanpooling, public transportation, walking, and biking.
- Transportation Management Associations (TMAs) are nonprofit associations of businesses that provide carpooling, shuttles, and many other options for commuters.
- MassRides is a statewide travel options program, providing information about carpooling, bicycling, walking, public transportation, teleworking, and vanpooling.
Communities can promote and support alternative modes of transportation such as transit, bicycling, and walking through local land use regulations and design standards and by providing infrastructure such as bike and pedestrian paths, friendlier street designs, and reduced emphasis on parking.
- APA Green Communities Research Center, Planning for Sustainable Communities
- Complete Streets Guide. The National Complete Streets Coalition seeks to fundamentally transform the look, feel, and function of the roads and streets, to plan, design, and build with all users in mind.
- Neighborhood Road Design Guidebook. Sustainable design for local residential roadways, accommodating pedestrian and bicycles and using low impact development techniques.
- Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization
- Central Massachusetts MPO
- MassWorks Infrastructure Program
- Massachusetts Infrastructure Investment Coalition
- Transportation Enhancement Program
- Massachusetts Regional Transit Authorities
- MassCommute (Transportation Management Associations)
- Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
- American Planning Association
495/MetroWest Development Compact
The Patrick-Murray Administration through Executive Office of Housing & Economic Developmentpartnered with Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, the MetroWest Regional Collaborative, the 495/MetroWest Partnership, and Mass Audubon to engage the region in the preparation of a comprehensive land use and development plan.