On Friday Oct. 5, Lt. Governor Tim Murray came to Framingham to announce a multi-million dollar grant to mitigate the traffic caused by the rail crossing at Rt. 135/Rt. 126. This announcement came on the heels of a meeting Lt. Gov. Murray and Secretary Davey had with myself, Sen. Karen Spilka, Rep. Chris Walsh, and other local leaders.
This grant will increase the flow of cars, people, and goods through Framingham, will increase commerce, and will bring more customers to local businesses.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation recommended Framingham explore a series of low-build improvements as a short-term measure, with longer-term plans to follow. The near-term measures included upgrades to the existing signal equipment, installation of improved crosswalks, and the use of adaptive signal control. All these measures should limit the amount of time the rail crossing is down, and allow maximum traffic flow through the intersection uninterrupted.
This is just one of a series of measures Framingham has witnessed recently that will jumpstart the local and regional economy. The state also announced it will release $22.1 million for MassBay Community College to relocate its campus to Downtown Framingham. This was following meetings the MetroWest delegation held with the Patrick administration. This move will double the enrollment of the school, allow MassBay to more easily align its curriculum with STEM and innovation industries, and will be the biggest boon to the Framingham economy in 50 years.
It's an exciting time to be a Framingham resident. Pieces are falling into place for Framingham to be at the center of the economic recovery and expansion that will ripple throughout the MetroWest.
Nationally, the unemployment rate is 7.8 percent. In Massachusetts, it's 6.3 percent. And in Framingham and Ashland, it's 5.3 percent. Though the entire country is feeling the effects of the recession, our economy is ahead of the curve because it is based on innovation, education, and commerce, and these recent announcements are a testimony to Framingham's critical strategic place in the emerging innovation economy.
As your state representative, I intend to continue to fight for Framingham's needs to be at the center of Massachusetts' economic growth plan.