FRAMINGHAM, MA - On May 20, 2009 the Metrowest Legislators announced that the Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) has approved a Route 126 Corridor Transportation Improvement Study that will encompass the towns of Bellingham, Medway, Holliston, Ashland and Framingham. Work is set to begin immediately.
The objectives of the study are to identify mobility, access, safety, and other transportation-related problems at selected locations along Route 126 and to identify and evaluate multimodal transportation solutions to the problems, with the goal of improving accessibility to the towns' shopping, commercial, educational, and service centers.
"Route 126 is extremely important to the towns included in this study, as well as the greater MetroWest region, connecting as it does to 1-495, Route 16, Route 109, Route 135, and Route 140," stated Senator Karen Spilka. "This study is great news for these towns and the region as a whole, as we continue our efforts to grow smart and grow strong."
The first step in the project will be the formation of an advisory task force that includes town officials, affected residents, members of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), the Massachusetts Highway Department, and the Executive Office of Transportation and Public Works, as well as local Senators and Representatives. This task force, which is scheduled to meet once in mid-June and once again within twelve months, will participate in the study by offering advice and input on data, study location selections, and recommendations.
"The Route 126 corridor is a main thoroughfare in the Town of Framingham," stated Representative Pam Richardson. "It is a crucial component in the economic development and revitalization of our downtown. I am looking forward to working on the task force, the outcome of the study and the subsequent improvements to this important corridor."
The end result of the study will be recommendations for geometric, traffic control, and other changes for improved traffic operations, with special emphasis on the effective and safe accomodation of pedestrians and bicyclists. Bus service improvement recommendations may also be developed. A long-term vision for the Route 126 corridor compatible with the land use and economic development in the area is also expected.
"The development of Route 126 is a quality of life issue for the people of my district" stated Representative Tom Sannicandro. "The jobs and economic development that will come from these proposed transportation improvements will not only transform much of Ashland and Framingham, but all of Metro West."
All results will be presented for discussion and input at the second meeting of the advisory task force. A final report documenting all of the project's tasks and products, including its recommendations, will be submitted to the Transportation Planning and Programming Committee of the MPO for final approval.