Friday, Sen. Karen Spilka welcomed Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary Richard Davey to the MetroWest region and gave him a tour of the important infrastructure and transportation projects and needs in the towns of Framingham and Ashland.
Many residents in these two towns have concerns about dealing with additional traffic congestion if commuter rail service is expanded in the region without having the infrastructure to deal with these impacts.
"Access to public transportation is critical to maintain a high quality of life for residents and expanding commuter rail service in our region will help ensure the economic vibrancy of these communities and their residents,” said Spilka in a press release. “As two towns centrally located in the MetroWest region, Framingham and Ashland need support in having their infrastructure needs met and assisting these municipalities is essential to maintaining the level of economic activity MetroWest businesses and the quality of life MetroWest residents enjoy."
The two first stopped at the MetroWest Regional Transit Authority in Framingham, where the Authority's Administrator Ed Carr gave Davey and Spilka a tour of the building and facilites.
Carr accompanied Spilka and Davey as they visited the downtown Framingham commuter rail station to view the Route 126/Route 135 at-grade train crossing on the Worcester-Boston line as well as the CSX freight rail yards.
The tour concluded just a few miles west in Ashland Center, where the group viewed the at-grade train crossing, also along the Worcester-Boston line.
Residents and town officials have worked to convey the need for improvements to offset impacts due to increased train and freight activity in downtown areas, including impacts on the economic well-being, delivery of public safety services, and the quality of life of citizens abutting the railroad tracks in these two communities.