Comment to the Fiscal Management Control Board Regarding Commuter Rail Contract Renewal

Comment to the Fiscal Management Control Board Regarding Commuter Rail Contract Renewal

Dear MBTA Fiscal Management Control Board,

The commuter rail contract being considered must allow flexibility in providing improved service on the commuter rail lines, especially those that will be bearing the brunt of construction activities on highways. Certain commuter rail services may be called upon to help commuters when highway construction brings reductions in lanes available and congestion for vast numbers of commuters. Case in point Рthe Worcester branch, where planning for mitigation of highway construction on the Turnpike in the Allston interchange area should be underway and planned for implementation prior to the construction on the highway. In this way an option will be provided for commuters to avoid the highway by using a rail alternative during the construction period and hopefully afterward as well.  Along with this heightened attention to commuters should be a commitment to construction of new services, including an early opening of a new station at West Station, a critical component of the Allston planning. Pedestrian access to this and other stations must be considered as well to assure access to the newly improved services and to workplaces in the city. This pedestrian access includes the proposed pedestrian way along the south border of the project adjacent to Wadsworth  sand Platt Streets, and along the proposed Cambridge Street Bypass, which provides additional access to West Station on air rights above the rail lines (and which has not been included in MassDOT projections of traffic, despite a long-term need for the new street leading to West Station.)

Sincerely,

Bob Sloane
Senior Project Manager
WalkBoston

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