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February 19, 2009

Comments

Leslie Coggins

It's Tuesday, October 30, 2012 and there is no information on highway conditions post Hurrican Sandy. Seems like that would be a priority as people have to find the safest route to work by 10am today.

CW

Is there any place to get interactive or live traffic updates in the Western end of the state, i.e., I-91 and I-90? I watch the tweets but rarely see anything in this end of the state; my drivers run the whole length of the Pike and N/S to VT, CT, RI and ME for the Postal Service, and I'd really appreciate knowing when there are accidents, construction backups etc. Maybe I'm just not looking in the right place?
Thanks for any help you can offer!
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We do post on Twitter highway operations accident/traffic interruption alerts statewide as they are received. Also recommend statewide Live Traffic Cams: http://www1.eot.state.ma.us/

Nancy Slator

I wanted to find out if Route 2 had reopened. I couldn't sort the posts by date and so got nothing but outdated information. I did find a story saying you won an award for the quick repairs (congratulations!) and that they are completed, but that was the long way around to get the information.
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Thanks. We had numerous blog posts on the project, including posts upon completion. All are time stamped. We keep them posted for public information but always encourage people to check the most recent post or contact us for assistance.

Caitlin

I scheduled an appointment at the Revere RMV so that I wouldn't have to stand in line to convert my license. However, upon arriving at the Revere location (30 minutes early), I was told that I would have to stand in line with all of the other customers who had not made appointments. If I had known that I would have to stand in line anyway, I would not have bothered to make an appointment and I would have arrived earlier. It was a waste of my time, and there should have been two separate lines offered. I hope the MA DOT will work these issues out ASAP so that the appointment system will work.

Carl Brown

I commute to work early in the morning to avoid traffic and I go through the tunnel before 5 AM. If one of the tunnel exits is closed – for instance this morning the Storrow Drive exit was closed – I really wish this information was posted on the overhead signs in enough time for me to take evasive action before I get to my exit.

But once again this morning, Storrow Drive was closed with out any notice in the tunnel. So I had to go back out over the bridge into Somerville in order to double back to work. My preference is to get off at Government Center - the exit before - so I could go straight over the longfellow bridge into Cambridge. I would've liked to have seen a warning that my exit was close before the Government Center exit. And there should be one, because this something the taxpayers paid for this during the Big Dig. So it would be great if these warning signs were used. Occasionally there will be a sign there and I can make that exit, this morning the sign was blank - there was nothing. This happens way too often.

I wish MASSDOT would get their overnight construction procedures down, so that commuters – the people that use and pay for these roads and services – would not be so inconvenienced.

Bill Ryder

A modest proposal: give older drivers an incentive to give up their driver's license by offering a voucher or credit they can use on the T or The Ride. Make the incentive big enough to actually be tempting, recognizing that the T or The Ride will never be as comfortable or offer the same independence as one's own car.
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Thanks for the idea, forwarded to the MBTA and RMV.

Jenn

Is there an end date set for the lane closures on the Tobin Bridge? The night time traffic is unbelievable. A complete stand still. Why not have these projects done overnight? When it's not such a huge impact on commuters.
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This necessary work continues through November and is focused on night hours to the extent possible:

Beginning Monday, April 30, 2012, there will be a permanent left lane closure in place on the lower deck of the Tobin Bridge NB until further notice. There will also be an additional nighttime NB center lane closure in place from 9 PM to 6 AM.

Mike

This may be a little out of left field or maybe something that has already been suggested. Would it be possible to some how alert people who utilize the Chelsea street bridge regularly that the bridge is going up, or closed and therefor unable to cross it? Maybe a smartphone app or even just a website, a text alert or something? Anything would be great!!!

Dan Donoghue

Bridge Openings Should be Prohibited during Rush Hours
This is a subject that has bothered me for some time. Commuting from Weymouth to work each morning twice this week the Fore River Bridge has been up during rush hours i.e. 6:00 to 8:00 am. This has tied up a significant amount of road traffic in the interest of marine traffic.
Early in my carrier in the 70’s I worked at the Kendall Power Plant on First Street in Cambridge where we ordered fuel barges for the power station. At that time we were prohibited from ordering barges during the rush hours because it would tie up traffic near the Museum of Science.
It annoys me that this policy does not exist with the openings of the Fore River Bridge. When this subject is brought up in public forums the local politicians state that the Coast Guard makes the call as to when the bridge opens. Their statement is that the tide determines when the bridge opens for marine traffic however, when tied up one morning I noticed that the tide was low contrary to this statement.
I would like to see the local politicians make a stronger stance on this issue

shaorn

I want to ask a simple question can you be in a rest area and parked in a no parking area with a bunch of other trucks which made the sign not visable but parked there, Is it possiable to get 2 tickets in the same day parking in the same spot and there was 6 hours between the tickets ???
can you please answer this for me I told the person i was talking to that is not possiable.. Please tell me that cant happen

Jim

Are you kidding me? The State Police towed cars on Patriots Day at a Park and Go for expired stickers! You try to do the right thing, carpool with another family on Patriots Day and take the kids to watch the marathon. Come home and see that car has been towed from a Park and Go!!!!?!?! Talk about trolling. The DOT and State Police have stooped pretty low when they are trolling for revenue on parked cars at a Park and Go! Embarrassing.

Carol

Could someone please tell me what the deal is with the new flashlight teams posted at every red line station and what their purpose is? Ever since the morning rush hour Red Line meltdown at Harvard Square last Wednesday, there have been 2 T employees posted on each platform all day long - every day - just waving little flashlights as people get on and off the train. Even if there is no one on the platform. Yesterday I had to make a trip at 1pm and I saw 2 of these neon clad folks sitting on benches at both Harvard and Central, sleeping (not getting up for the flashlight routine when the train came) which is fine because there was no one to direct anyway.

If the MBTA is so cash strapped, why do they all the sudden have these dozens of employees doing a completely meaningless task. They are more in the way of the riders getting on and off than anything else. Yet another ridiculous move by the MBTA as far as I'm concerned.

maureen buxton

what is the official open date of the Chelsea Street Bridge to commuter traffic?
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Maureen: All required work is expected to be complete and allow a bridge opening to traffic to be scheduled by the end of April. MassDOT will announce publicly an exact opening date in advance.

Gary Clements

I want to comment on the amount of litter on the roadways. This year it is worse than ever! I commute via 2, 95, 93 and sometimes 495 & 3, and all the roads, cloverleafs, on & off ramps are filled with litter. Is funding a problem? The weather? The states that boarder MA do a much better job with litter control. Does anyone else recognize this problem?
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Thank you for the comment, Gary. It has been forwarded to the district Highway office in those areas. Major cleanup begins early spring, after the winter weather road clearing season. The absence of snow cover this year increases the visibility of debris that has accumulated. Some other locations may be more rural with fewer vehicles and fewer interchanges with heavily populated and developed urban areas

Bob Storrs

A big thanks to the Mass DOT folks at the Peabody location. I had unknowingly lost a roof top carrier on my return trip from Maine and didn't discover it until I returned home in RI.
I thought it was gone for good but a few days later I got a call from Larry in that office saying they had found it.

I went the next day and the whole crew helped me secure it on my vehicle for the trip home. Five 5 stars for their considerate help!

Please forward this to the Commissioner and Gov. Patrick.
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You are welcome, Bob, will forward and good to know you got it back.

Gregory P. Lee,  Attorney at Law

Both increase the cost by almost 50% AND end weekend trips in and out of Boston? Are you people out of your mind?

I am a T-dependent non-driver. I “mixed-mode commute” (bicycle and train). I work in Boston some weekends, and I have other family members who use the commuter rail on weekends and weekdays. In essence, you are proposing cutting Boston off on weekends. You are also proposing making the line to Warwick Airport useless on weekends for weekend travelers.

This is:

-an abandonment of your obligation to maintain at least minimal travel options to those who do not drive or do not own cars;

-an abandonment of your obligation to support and enhance non-automotive means of travel between Boston and other cities and towns in the area;

-an abandonment of the principal that public transportation is reasonable and necessary for both occasional users and regular users;

-penny-wise and pound-foolish.

Having used trains (on both the weekends and the weekdays, and particularly the Providence Line), I can report that the trains rarely travel empty. They may not be generating peak ridership at any given point, but that is why you "average" costs throughout the fares.

Double the cost and halve the service? This is a proposal designed to destroy the system, not improve it. You cannot possibly be serious, nor are you acting to benefit ALL of the public.

Thomas Connors

Could you use email and Facebook for communicating too?
I prefer those over Twitter and RSS feeds.
Thanks

Brigid

The cities you are comparing the costs to have a service that is operable through the night e.g. New York. How can you now deem it appropriate to reduce commuter service and bus service and yet increase the cost? For some residents there will be no weekend commuter rail service but we will now pay an increased ticket price?
Why cannot MBTA manage their finances without passing the burden to the paying customer?
This is ludricous.

Marc S.

Will Route 2 in the Florida-Charlemont area, between Mile Markers 21 and 27, re-open tomorrow? Thank you.
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Route 2 as of today, December 15, is now reopened in the Florida- Charlemont area.

Michelle

Is Route 2 from North Adams to Orange open without detours? I didnt see any updates since Irene?

Thank you
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Work is progressing; however, Route 2 remains closed in the Florida-Charlemont area, between Mile Markers 21 and 27. A detour posted on site and on the web remains.

Mike Lapolla

Please comment on how long the new single lane jersey barrier enforcement will continue on the Exit 12 offramp from 95N to 128 (Canton) will continue. Why was there no warning of this change, it has cost many drivers much valuable time that they might have planned for had they seen it coming. I was backed up to route 1 in Sharon this morning and there weren't any happy faces in the crowd!
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We have received several emails and phone calls regarding the jersey barriers recently placed on the ramp from I-95 north to I-93 north. We are aware that cars often form two lanes of traffic throughout the length of this ramp. Although the ramp begins with two formal lanes, it tapers down to a single lane prior to entering I-93 north. The existing ramp was not designed to carry two full lanes of traffic entering I-93 north.

The barriers will allow MassDOT’s contractor access to the slope on that side of the ramp to construct a retaining wall, and to widen the ramp. When this work is complete, the ramp will carry two full lanes of traffic as well as a shoulder on the right hand side, which will improve safety and meet design standards for a two lane ramp. In addition, Route 93 will be widened to 5 lanes from the Route 95 merge to the Route 138 off ramp, which will significantly improve the safety and efficiency for traffic entering I-93 north. Similar improvements will be constructed on the same section of I-93 south to provide for a two lane ramp to I-95 south.

We regret the temporary inconvenience this will cause. However, the contractor cannot maintain the current width of the ramp during construction due to the steep slope on the right side of the ramp. Upon completion of construction of the retaining wall, the ramp width will be increased to thirty feet, allowing for much safer driving at this location. In the interim, MassDOT is exploring any other feasible measures that can be implemented to provide additional width on the ramp.

T Sweeny

I read in the secretary's October report that "Under Celia’s leadership, the customer wait time at the RMV branches and call center was reduced by more than 50%". As I write this I can tell you that I have been on hold waiting for an agent at the call center 1 hour 48 minutes. The secretary seemed pleased with this service level improvement, but you clearly have a long way to go.
If you are going to continue to have obscene wait times for your call center I suggest the following:

>Provide an announcement that suggests the estimated wait time. This is a common practice for most call centers these days.
> Consider a periodic announcement with an updated estimated wait time or at least some indication that the call will be answered.
>For on hold callers consider playing a local radio station or a music selection that is less annoying than the repeating 30 seconds of elevator music.
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Thanks. Your comment and suggestion have been passed along to RMV leadership.

Mary Ellen Wessell

How do I send an email to Rachel Kaprielian? I read her background is heavy on the customer service. I just had an awful experience at the Worcester RMV. She needs to know this! And she also needs to know about the clerk in Boston who went above and beyond her responsibilities to help me out. I just had to make 2 trips to the RMV in Worcester with a broken foot and a sprained back, thanks to poor customer service.
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Thank you, and we forward all comments to Registrar Kaprielian or other staff upon request.

Ellin Reisner

HOW CAN YOU IGNORE REPORTING ON YOUR LATEST DELAYS TO THE GREEN LINE EXTENSION IN YOUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTER AND ON THE BLOG? EVERYTHING IS NOT ROSY, BUT SELECTIVE INFORMATION SHARING SURE MAKES IT SEEM THAT WAY.
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Thanks for the comment. A news release with the latest information on the delay was distributed to the public and is copied below.

MASSDOT/MBTA PROVIDE UPDATE ON TRANSIT PROJECTS IN A FILING WITH STATE ENVIRONMENTAL OFFICIALS (8-4-11)

Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

CONTACT: Joe Pesaturo [email protected]

August 4, 2011

MASSDOT/MBTA PROVIDE UPDATE ON TRANSIT PROJECTS IN A FILING WITH STATE ENVIRONMENTAL OFFICIALS

In a report submitted today to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), in conjunction with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) presented an updated timeline for the complex project to extend the Green Line north of Lechmere Station. The Green Line extension is one of the public transit projects required under the amended State Implementation Plan, and the report filed today provides status information on each of those projects, which are required to be built by the Commonwealth as air quality mitigation measures for the Central Artery/Third Harbor Tunnel.
GREEN LINE EXTENSION TO SOMERVILLE AND MEDFORD
Over the past four months, the Green Line Extension project team performed a cost and schedule analysis that thoroughly examined all aspects of the project and the actions required to move it forward expeditiously. As a result of this analysis, the projections for the Green Line Extension project have been refined. Under the revised timeframe, passenger service would begin no earlier than the fall of 2018 and no later than the summer of 2020. The schedule is contingent on the MBTA taking full ownership of property required for construction. Benefitting from lessons learned on the Greenbush Commuter Rail project, in which the MBTA did not take ownership of needed properties until after the Design/Build process began, the Green Line project team aims to prevent the issues that cost the MBTA both time and money.
Seeking to accelerate the timeline where possible, MassDOT and the MBTA are actively considering strategies that could mitigate schedule impacts and improve upon the dates for passenger service on the Green Line Extension. The strategies under consideration include the development of a 'phasing' scenario that would allow for some stations to open for public use while others are still being constructed.

In addition, the MBTA plans to request a 'Letter of No Prejudice' from the Federal Transit Administration. This could allow the project to move forward more quickly while still preserving the potential to seek federal reimbursement for state money used to advance the project.

In the meantime, progress continues to be made.
- Environmental review documents, submitted to the Federal Transit Administration, will be released this year upon FTA approval. MassDOT hopes to receive a Finding of No Significant Impact from the FTA for the Green Line Extension project this fall.
- A new Program Management/Construction Management/Preliminary Engineering technical team is currently working under an initial contract to perform Advanced Conceptual Engineering, which will lead to Preliminary Engineering and then to the initiation of procurement of a Design-Build team to complete the design and start construction.
- MassDOT and the MBTA continue to work with the FTA to seek funding for the Green Line Extension project under the FTA New Starts capital funding program.
- The procurement of 24 new Green Line vehicles needed to support the operation of the Green Lin Extension is now underway.

Cody Hopkins

The Route 128 station in Westwood has real issues. for the past month at least there has been so much smelly, dirty water near the entrance. Lately this water has turned into a prime breeding ground for mosquitoes. There are also large dirty smelly puddles on the other side where passengers are picked up. The building has not been maintained. The people that work at the building are aware of the issue and merely ahve put cones around this water. Isn't it time the state took a look at these problems and got them corrected. Why do commuters have to put up with this dangerous condition endlessly?
Cody
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MBTA is aware and responding. thanks

Lauren Dion

Clearly the Berkshire group has been "smoking" too much grass. I 90 has never looked worst, since the merger. It now looks like a cow pasture...an unkept, littered cow pasture, with multiple guard-rail hits, and a rough bumpy ride to boot. It's a shame that in the early 90's the Mass Pike was in the top ten safest and cleanest roads in the country; and look now how far we have fallen.
And when are the tolls going to be reinstated? Under the old Mass Pike, the road was paid for by toll revenue; ie we didn't pay for it unless we used it. Now our tax money is used to maintain the road. I've seen studies that over 60% of the traffic in the free zone is from out of staters. Why are we paying so people from NY, and Conn, can ride for free? It has been quoted by sec. Mullen, that we are only losing $12 million a year in the free zone, and that is just a drop in the bucket. Doing some quick math here......$12 million per year for 10 years, (which is how long the tolls have been free), equals $120 million in total lost revenue; still a drop in the bucket? I'd like to see his bucket!
My point is this.....the transportation merger is trying to use the Mass Pike to bail out 2 failed state agencies, the MBTA, which has been in the red since day 1, and Mass Highway, which every year takes out a 20 year note to cover it's overages. That's not what the Mass Pike was designed for. In short I don't see any savings from this merger, and districts 1 on the Mass Pike have never been worse because of poor management from Peter Niles; a guy that has never managed a high speed roadway like the Mass Pike.

Jane Winn, Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT)

All the mowing along the Mass Pike is a huge waste of money. One day in May I saw one mower followed by three safety vehicles! Why would you mow in May to begin with. I can understand mowing once a year to keep trees from growing too close to the road. By limiting mowing you would save money, decrease the risk to workers and drivers, pollute less, and better protect the environment.

Sheila Eghbali

Please limit construction to nights. Having a major highway construction during the day is an absolute nightmare. Many other states limit their major highway construction to nights when traffic is already limited. Please strongly consider doing the same.

fred

can trucks use the exit off the tobin bridge to access the produce market during the chelsea st bridge closure???
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Yes the ramp will not be effected by the bridge project. The Chelsea St. project is not going to shut this ramp or any other roadways in the Chelsea Area. The only road that will be closed is Chelsea St at the Bridge from the intersection of Marginal St. and Eastern Ave in Chelsea, across the Chelsea St. Bridge to the eastBoston Shore line.

Tim Whitcomb

Can you Tweet this message from @WPDComm
Heavy Traffic and delays on Boston Rd, Westford MA due to Rte 495 bridge work. 495 North and South Bound traffic major back ups 7am-9am. Seek alternate routes. Work will will continue into May.

Benjamin

What is your stand point on the Mass House bill No. 4795 An Act relative to safe driving?

Specifically regarding how this bill allows for health care providers to report patients who they may believe are not capable to operate a motor vehicle?

Also regarding this bill what is your stand point on screening elderly drivers in person for vision test after the age of 75?

Is the MNA for or against this bill?

Thank you for your response,

Benjamin

Blanca

THANK YOU INCIDENT RESPONSE OPERATORS (IRO)


Hello All,

Today on my way home, I was on 99 when I hit a huge pot hole. As I began to turn onto the ramp for Storrow Drive I could feel the car wobble. I limped my poor car onto the breakdown lane and I had a flat. I was so scared, stranded on the highway by myself with minimal cash and no AAA. (Note: I just purchased AAA) I called 911 and explained my situation to them and literally in all of five minutes a state trooper came. He was so nice, asked if I was all right. A minute or so after that, the tow truck came and with it my Saint Salvatore. He is the kindest most professional, worker that I have ever met in this line of work. He made sure that I was safe and comfortable, he truly made my ordeal that much bearable. All of this transpired within an hour and before I knew it, I was back on the road safe and sound. I am truly grateful and appreciative that such programs are available in Massachusetts. Had the situation happened differently, I would have ended up car-less with a child, in the middle of the winter. I could never express enough gratitude to the Incident Response Operators that helped me today. I hope that this department will be acknowledged for the important services it renders to the tax payers of this state. My Sincerest gratitude and appreciation to Salvatore and all other workers that made it their priority that I make it home safe. Thank you.

Barbara Messana

Hello,

I live and work within walking distance of two train stations. Gas prices being what they are I would love to take the train into work but cannot because you can't get there from here. I live in Lawrence and work in Newburyport as do thousands of other individuals along Scotland Road. There ought to be a railway built connecting Lawrence/Haverhill with Newburyport.

Teresa

Suggestion: Some of the ARRA money that is being used for road repair and sidewalks should be used to create above ground/overhead commuter walkways in heavy traffic areas such as Sullivan Square and around the Faneuil hall and aquarium area. There are pleny of other intersections that would benefit too.

Bill Rabkin

How does the new Texting Ban law effective 9/30/2010 apply to the use of MASS 511 to obtain up-to-the-minute traffic reports? Its use may require entering several keystrokes while driving -- route numbers, menu selections, and other directives to the system (such as pressing 2 to change the direction of travel that is being reported)?
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The law forbids texting. As MassDOT has said from the first initiation of the current 511 service in May: MassDOT reminds drivers to avoid using their cell phones while driving and encourages travelers to call into the 511 service before they leave.

Donald J. LaPierre

Renewing my registration was easy, quick, efficient, and most importantly, convenient. Thanks.

Laura

I was hoping to comment on my positive experience on the MBTA- I met my fiance on it!

M Kiley

Does the Registry or the state make public a list of drivers who have lost their licences because of a DUI?
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Thanks for the question. RMV does not.

JOHN PAYNE

Dear Deputy Chief Joseph O'Connor : Thankyou for your good sincere service with the 'T' .

Do you think it is time to change you public service message about " fare evasion " to something more service orriented that could make us think more about safety and efficiency?

It seems that 99.999% of the ridership are lawabiding riders who pay and do not evade the fare.

It is somewhat insulting to " harp and harp " about fare evasion when most of us pay. I would prefer to continue reading and if I am to listen to a message from your office it would be refresshing to hear something finally new and more service oriented.

Thankyou very much, John Payne, Boston

Maryanne Oh

Add me to the list of people who find the new 511 system absolutely worthless.

I actually searched out this site so I could voice a complaint. The system isn't even worth using anymore. The best I do now is use Boston SmartTraveler on my iPhone.

Jamie

I do NOT like the new 511 traffic update system. It does not make sense in many ways. First...what the heck is "intersection 3" on route 93? What do they mean by that?
I like the other old guy who used the boston terms like: cloverleaf....and jughandle!! We ALL know what those were!!!
Plus the computer talks waaaaaaaay to slow for us new englanderzzz!!!

dan

TWMC, I 93 in both directions between Wilmington and 495 is an absolute disgrace.I want you to take a ride and tell me if this is exceptable. At first I thought it was temporary and would be fixed soon, it has been months and continues to deteriorate. This should be a total embarrassment for any DPW worth its salt.

MW

Can we get more updates on the BU bridge? Yesterday it was being detoured at 5 pm and it took 30 minutes to just cross.
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Thanks. MassDOT does distribute regular traffic alerts on changes at the BU Bridge work site but will forward this to the project managers. Much appreciated.

d

Just my two cents but if people want a Mass drivers license they should learn English. Can't believe my tax $ are wasted on printing driving manuals in other languages. What's next change all are traffic signs? Enough already

JTM

Would it not make sense to ALPHABETIZE ( by Town ) THE LIST OF ROAD CLOSINGS?
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Thanks, we receive and distribute information by region, which seems to work well given the varying impacts statewide.

Dave

Please report when Water St. in Wakefield/Saugus (Rte. 129) opens again.

John D

There are many roads closed in the towns of Lincoln, Sudbury, Wayland,and Concord due to the flooding and swelling of the Sudbury river. Many road closings are not reported such as parts of Lincoln rd leading to the Lincoln Sudbury High school, Sherman bridge road, Concord rd @ 117, Boston Post rd East of RT27 was closed, and parts of rt27 are flooded. There is a bridge on Sherman Bridge road UNDER 4 ft of water. In addition, some of the traffic diversions setup cause 2+ hours of delay in travel time, as I experienced this week.

I suggest posting a map of the flooded roads and the detours to help commuters make informed decisions on how to get to work.
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Thank you. As we state, our list relates to state roads under our jurisdiction and about which we are aware. Always good to check with your local community for other streets and intersections.

Edward Young

Yes, for heaven's sake, where are up-to-date bulletins on whaich roads are closed and which open?

Do you perople think there's anything more vitally important to the public than knowing what roads are open and closed?

Terry Weksel

Why can't I find any information about the road closings due to recent flooding on Rtes 117 in the Concord/Lincoln area, and the Rte 27 and 20 closings in Wayland? It's impossible to find a way to get to Maynard from Wellesley that doesn't take two hours!

Richard Whalen

Unable to make a comment on the Burns Bridge page, so I'm trying it here: I feel that the steel deck arch would be make the shoulders unusable for bicyclists unless the shoulders are paved such that the bicycle tires do not travel on the steel deck. Steel decks are very treacherous to navigate on a bicycle.

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