It’s TIP public comment period (through May 31st). For the last decade or so, we’ve asked you as Friends of the BFRT, to make supportive public comments regarding allocation of construction funding for the BFRT. Now it’s time to do so on for the BFRT in southern Concord and northern Sudbury (much, much more detail below). There are multiple ways to submit comments.
- Action Item If your browser is compatible, the easiest for the MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization) to accept comments is via an online petition – feel free to add your own comments (I will download the petition entries early on May 31st and then submit the compiled comments in one PDF document to the Boston Region MPO).
- If your browser is incompatible or you are a procrastinator or you just want to submit your own comments because you think the petition does not convey what you want to convey, you can submit your own comments directly (see below for those instructions).
Please Submit Comments on the current draft Federal Fiscal Years 2022-2026 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) document (Draft FFYs 2022-2026 TIP) supporting the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail by May 31st
The annual TIP funding process is the way the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail gets allocated construction funding. Action Item by Midnight May 30th . Please send in supportive comments via the handy-dandy Support BFRT Phase 2D inclusion in Draft FFYs 2022-26 TIP online petition.
If you don’t make our internal May 30th deadline, then you still submit comments on May 31st by either providing comments via
- Boston MPO’s online comment form and include “BFRT Phase 2D Support” as the Subject, and “Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)” as the Category.
- email contact Matt Genova, TIP Manager, email@example.com
- or mail to Matt Genova, TIP Manager, Boston Region MPO, Suite 2150, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116.
For more information about the TIP process, please contact Matt Genova, TIP Manager, at 857.702.3702 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every comment counts. The more supportive comments, the more likely the BFRT will get built. Details below, or just go for it.
The TIP development process is detailed here. Just search for “Bruce Freeman”. The TIP (really the Transportation Improvement Program) is the state process to schedule funding for transportation projects, including rail trails, and this is done for each of the 13 state MPOs – Metropolitan Planning Organizations; Sudbury is in the Boston Region MPO). After successfully securing funding for Phases 1, 2A, 2B and 2C, it is time again to advocate for funding for Phase 2D (4.6-mile Sudbury segment from Concord Town line south to Station Road plus the unbuilt Phase 2C section from the Sudbury Town line north to Powder Mill Road, Project ID 608164).
As advocated and expected Phase 2D remains on the Draft FFY 2022-2026 TIP for the same construction year the last two previous TIPs; that is Phase 2D is tentatively scheduled for FFY 2022 construction start. A major reason why Phase 2D made it on the TIP in the first place is because of the scores of positive comments the Boston MPO receives each year from Bruce Freeman Rail Trail supporters. Please send your comment in prior to May 31, 2021 (or by May 30th if you are using the online petition to submit comments).
Note we DON’T have to comment on the following for the FFY 2022-2026 TIP:
- Phase 1 (Chelmsford & Westford: completed)
- Phase 2A (Westford, Carlisle & Acton: completed)
- Phase 2B (Acton & Concord: under construction)
- Phase 2C (Concord: completed)
- Phase 3 (Sudbury: right-of-way purchased by Sudbury, but still needs lots of study and design before ready for the TIP)
- Phase 3 (Framingham: right-of-way owned by CSX affiliate Georgetown and High Line Railway Company, LLC)
*** Details on Submitting Comments on the Boston MPO FFYs 2022-2026 TIP ***
The Boston Metropolitan Region Planning Organization (MPO) is requesting comments for the Draft 2022-2026 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). Per the Boston MPO Current Development TIP page.
At the MPO meeting on May 6, 2021, the board voted to release a draft (PDF) (HTML) of its FFYs 2022–26 TIP for a 21-day public review period. The MPO will accept comments from members of the public through May 31, 2021. The MPO expects to vote to endorse the TIP at its meeting on June 3, 2021. The TIP includes a list of transportation construction projects that the MPO will fund over the next five years.
MPO staff will host two virtual open houses during the public review period, and co-host one virtual forum with MassDOT staff, focusing on the Massachusetts Capital Investment Plan (CIP). Join us to learn more about the TIP and other MPO activities.
TIP Virtual Open Houses 2021
Monday, May 10, 2021
12:00 PM–1:30 PM
Wednesday, May 19, 2021
4:00 PM–5:30 PM
MassDOT Virtual CIP Forum
Tuesday, June 1, 2021
The TIP is the planning document that details the funding for transportation projects in the Boston area using federal and state funds. The BFRT (with the Phase 2 right-of-way owned by MassDOT) is a transportation project that competes for funding with a universe of other transportation project (e.g., highway interchanges). The Boston Region MPO updates a five-year TIP plan annually. If a project is not on the TIP, it will not have funding and, of course, will not be built.
Our responsibility as Friends of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail (that means me, you and everyone else who gets this email or is on the FBFRT Facebook page) is to comment on the draft TIP and voice your support for BFRT.
Comments might thank the Boston MPO for funding previous Phases and keeping Phase 2D (Project #608164) on the Draft TIP for the appropriate construction year of FFY 2022.
We need to continue to make support of the BFRT overwhelming, which makes our elected officials’ job easier to ensure that the BFRT construction stays on course, and the BFRT doesn’t get pushed to the back of the transportation project line (or out of the construction queue altogether).
You should support Phase 2D so that the powers that be at the state level can note the overwhelming support for all phases of the BFRT.
Some ideas of what to focus on as the trail is getting transportation funding:
- Safe transportation to various destinations
- Substitute for automobile trips
- Use of local merchants near the BFRT
- Health benefits
- Recreation benefits
- Community benefits
- Tourism (e.g., use of trail by out-of-town guests)
- The connection of Phase 2D with all the phases in the north ending in Lowell.
The summary of Phase 2D is on page 3-139 (page 198 of the PDF) of the Draft TIP.
Thank you for your help and submitting comments by May 31, 2021.
If you have any questions feel free to contact me directly at email@example.com or 978-580-6190.