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Legal Settlement a Major Win for High-Capacity Transportation in Massachusetts

A decision by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to rescind a carpool lane has not resulted in a significant expansion of transit and carpool capacity on Interstate 93 north of Boston.
November 22, 2020, 5am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Zakim Bridge and Tobin Bridge
Marco Rubino

"The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has committed to establishing a new bus lanes on the Tobin Bridge and I-93 as part of a legal settlement over its decision to eliminate a carpool lane on I-93 in the spring of 2019," reports Christian MilNeil.

The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) filed an intent to sue MassDOT in October 2019 when the agency decided to rescind carpool requirements on Interstate 93, opening the lane to all vehicles in May 2019.

"The carpool lane had been part of a suite of transit improvements – along with the construction of the Silver Line, and an unfulfilled promise to connect the Red and Blue Lines in downtown Boston – that the environmental group and the state had negotiated as mitigation for the 'Big Dig' project in 1990," according to MilNeil.

As a result of the legal action, not only will the lane once again prohibit the use of single-occupant automobile trips, but a suite of other transit improvements will be added too, including a pilot bus-only lane on the Tobin Bridge, a pilot project to allow buses on the shoulder of I-93, and a feasibility study of future locations of bus and carpool lanes, in addition to a study of possible congestion pricing and tolls on major highways.

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Published on Thursday, November 19, 2020 in Streetsblog Massachusetts
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