July 11, 2013
David Mohler, Chair
Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization
10 Park Plaza, Suite 2150
Boston, MA 02116
RE: Revision to Draft Federal Fiscal Years (FFYs) 201417 Transportation Improvement Program and Proposed Long Range Transportation Plan Amendment Two
Dear Mr. Mohler,
The Advisory Council has reviewed and discussed the proposed changes to the two draft certification documents now in circulation for public review and comment: Revision to the Draft FFYs 201417 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and Amendment Two to the current Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP): Paths to a Sustainable Region.
The members of the Advisory Council fully support the proposed changes to the certification documents which will result in an earlier start date for the Canton Interchange Project. This major project would benefit the entire MPO region. The project has been on the LRTP for many years and has been continually pushed back in the past for lack of adequate funding, making these improvements long overdue.
The Advisory Council consistently supports projects that enhance the economic development of the region. We are confident that the Canton Interchange Project will serve not only the economic development concerns of the municipalities that are immediately adjacent to the interchange, but this project will also improve the movement of people and goods throughout the entire region due to the resulting reduced traffic congestion. With the development of intermodal facilities in this region, the LRTPs Southwest Corridor Needs Assessment predicts that increases in truck travel near the I-93/I-95 Interchange will be the largest in this corridor. They will also be among the largest in the MPO region. The interchange measures the worst in AM Peak Period and PM Peak Period in volume-to-capacity ratio (2030 no-build). The Canton Interchange is currently among the worst bottleneck locations in the region.
In addition to the economic development benefit and the congestion reduction, we feel that the Canton Interchange Project will go far to correct the traffic safety issues that continually plague this interchange. The existing low-radius ramp curves have been especially conducive to rollover truck accidents. The interchange is in the top five percent crash cluster locations as cited in the Southwest Corridor Needs Assessment. Correcting the demonstrated safety problems at the Canton Interchange will benefit freight movement and all motorists who pass through this key interchange.
For the reasons we have described above, we support the changes that have been proposed and we encourage the MPO to endorse these documents as presented.
We appreciate the opportunity to express our views to the MPO.
Steven H. Olanoff
Chair, Regional Transportation Advisory Council