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Governor Patrick’s New Transportation Plan Positive Move For Cycling In Massachusetts

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 17

The advocacy groups are weighing in on the new plan, and they like it.  They do acknowledge however that this plan is fragile, and will need our support if we hope to see it passed.

From what I have heard it sounds like it will take Massachusetts into  the modern world.  A world filled with amazing public transportation, and state of the art walking and biking facilities.

Some reactions below:

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Livable streets (via Email)

Monday, the Governor outlined MassDOT’s long-awaited transportation plan, and what some analysts are calling the most comprehensive accounting ever of our state’s transportation finances. “The Way Forward: A 21st Century Transportation Plan” calls for $1.02 billion in new revenue per year on average for the next ten years, and is expected to kick off a series of conversations about our transportation system over the next few months. Governor Patrick stressed that these transportation investments are in the name of economic vitality and quality of life, warning that inaction or ­insufficient action could prove dire. “We invest in infrastructure because rebuilding our roads, rails, bridges, expanding broadband to every community, gives private initiative and personal ambition the platform for growth,” Governor Patrick said last night in the State of the State speech.
MassDOT Secretary Davey and Governor Patrick at UMass Boston on Monday. *photo credit Mass.gov
Some highlights from the report
  1. The report identifies a 10-year combined $684 million operating deficit facing MassDOT, the MBTA and Regional Transit authorities, if new investments aren’t made.
  2. Over 10 years, the Governor’s proposal would double the investments we’re making in our transportation system, including investments in RTAs, increased funding to cities and towns, maintenance priorities on the MBTA, and dedicated funding to bicycle and pedestrian improvements.
  3. More than half the proposed $1 billion annually would help balance highway and transit budgets, relieve some MBTA debt, run buses at night and on weekends in cities such as Springfield, and end a practice of borrowing for basic highway operations such as mowing and striping.*
“We all agree something has to be done,House Speaker Robert A. ­DeLeo said, after he and Senate President Therese Murray emerged from an hour-long, closed-door meeting with Patrick. Read more in Globe article here*
Now that we have the numbers, it’s time to get to work and create a solution to fix our transportation system. Creating new, long-term sources of revenue will provide investments in our state and give Massachusetts a world-class transportation system
Now is the time to make your voice heard.
Here’s what you can do to support critical transportation investments:

 

1. Email your legislators using this easy to use template.

2. Email House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray to show your support for the plan. You can use this example email text here.

2. Follow us on Facebook for latest updates, news and to share information with your network.

3. Follow @StreetsBoston on Twitter and @T4MASS #FixingTranspo to stay in the know.

4. Forward this email to your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors now!

 

Here is what some of our members and volunteers are saying:

 

“I want long term transportation funding because the T should be the best in the country.” – Boston resident and LivableStreets volunteer

 

“I want long term transportation funding because world-class cities have world-class transit.” – Medford resident and LivableStreets member

We will be sending out more announcements and action e-lerts in the coming weeks and months so stay tuned!

 

Thank you,

 

 

 

Jackie Douglas,

Executive Director

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MassBike, From their Website:

Governor Patrick is finally taking on the state’s transportation crisis in the upcoming legislative session. With the state’s ambitious mode shift goals and GreenDOT Implementation Plan both strongly supportive of biking and walking, we were anxiously waiting to see if the Governor’s funding proposal reflected these priorities. In other words, would the state put its money where its mouth was? Well, it appears that Governor Patrick is trying to do exactly that:

The funding plan proposed by Governor Patrick includes a significant increase in funding for biking and walking, dedicating $430 million over the next ten years. Click here for the full plan.

We like the Governor’s bold move to fix our broken transportation system, and think it will provide better transportation for everyone in Massachusetts, whether you bike, walk, drive, or take transit. There is going to be much wrangling between the Legislature and the Governor about where the revenue will come from. Governor Patrick has proposed a 1% income tax increase (softened by a 0.75% sales tax decrease). It is likely that the funding plan and the revenue proposals will change as the Legislature considers the whole package.

We will work hard with the Legislature and our allies at Transportation for Massachusetts to make sure that funding for bicycling actually does increase to meet the state’s (and our) ambitious goals to get more people on bikes. However, a strong, unified voice from people across Massachusetts will be needed to see this plan become reality.

Here is how you and your friends can help:

  • Read the plan or the summary.
  • Email your legislators (look them up here) as well as House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray (see below for sample text).
  • Express your support on Facebook and Twitter. Forward this message to your friends and family.
  • Receive bulletins from MassBike and Transportation for Massachusetts by signing up for our email lists.
  • Submit a letter to your local paper, comment on articles on-line, or call in to talk radio. There will be people who do not see the value of investing in biking and walking, and they need to hear from you!
  • Email us at [email protected] to let us know who you’ve contacted.

Support this work by joining or donating to MassBike today!

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Sample text of email to your legislator:
Dear [NAME]:

I support investing in our transportation system and I am writing to ask you to do the same.

Massachusetts needs a long-term strategy that will fix what’s broken, reduce delays and congestion, and make our cities and towns healthier and more prosperous.

I use the transportation system every day. I want to know that it will work when I need it—that roads and bridges will stay open, that the trains will run on time, that the roads will be safe for bicycling, and that we can build the walking and bicycling trails that my community wants.

We have some hard choices, but you can make sure that we get a fair blend of revenues and modernizations that add up to the $1 billion investment that we need.

Thank you for your attention, and your action.
Sincerely,
[NAME/ADDRESS]


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