128 Business Council Transportation Priorities
INTELLIGENT TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS
New and innovative methods for managing traffic congestion are necessary in order to meet the demands of present and future traffic volume on Route 128 and its arterial roadways. Constructing additional roadway capacity is not an option, nor would it solve the fundamental problem facing the Corridor. Instead, planners and policy makers should embrace intelligent transportation systems technologies (ITS) that are utilized nationally and internationally to manage demand. Information collected from loop detectors, cameras, and GPS and cellular data can be used to monitor traffic conditions in real-time. This will allow transportation officials to adjust speed limits, traffic signal timing, and implement ramp metering systems to control roadway volume. ITS technologies are far more cost effective and adaptable than most infrastructure projects, making them a better investment that can be implemented in a much shorter time frame.
SUPPORT FOR ALL MODES
Providing safe and reliable infrastructure for all modes of transportation and all types of users is essential for the continued viability of our communities. Livable communities follow complete streets planning practices whenever possible, and are responsive to the needs of bicyclists, pedestrians, drivers, and transit users. Sidewalks, bike lanes, and bus shelters should be prioritized alongside highway projects. Perhaps most importantly, community leaders must actively support programs and policies aimed at encouraging safe streets for all users.
128 WEST MULTI-MODAL CENTER
A 2011 study conducted by MAPC with support from elected officials and leaders from many local communities determined that the construction of a multi-modal center along Route 128 should be a long-term goal for decreasing traffic and providing transportation options for those who work and live in the Route 128 West communities. We support the plan for a multi-modal center and urge our elected officials to secure funding for a feasibility study to determine where the multi-modal center could be sited and how it could connect with existing infrastructure.
REQUIRE TRANSPORTATION DEMAND MANAGEMENT MEASURES FOR ALL NEW DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS THAT WILL GENERATE ADDITIONAL VEHICLE TRIPS
The promise of new commercial development is almost always met with the reality that new developments will typically result in additional vehicle trips. These additional vehicle trips further clog our already gridlocked roads and highways. By continuing to ignore the problem, we inch closer towards a tipping point where further unmitigated development could create traffic conditions so dire as to discourage others from planning future development in the impacted area.
Cambridge, Massachusetts has implemented a parking and transportation demand management program that has become a nationwide model for managing traffic while encouraging smart growth and enabling continued commercial development. Cambridge requires all non-residential developments that will include an increased number of parking spaces in their plans to implement TDM measures aimed at reducing congestion, air pollution, and promoting more sustainable modes of transportation like biking, walking, and public transportation.
While some communities along Route 128 have long been proactive in implementing and enforcing TDM measures as part of the project permitting process, others have not. We encourage the communities along Route 128 to develop TDM policies that will address the additional traffic generated by new development in a way that meets the needs of both their municipality and the Corridor as a whole.