Re: Meeting on the Wellington / Rt 28 Underpass
- --- Jon Niehof <jon_niehof@...> wrote:
>Actually, these accommodations are REQUIRED by law, although you'd
> And probably illegal under Massachusetts law.
never know it.
Massachusetts is one of three states (the others are Oregon and
Rhode Island) to have a state law requiring the state department of
transportation (in our case, the Massachusetts Highway Department;
notice the nomenclature) accommodate bicycles and pedestrians into
the design and construction of every project. The bill, enacted as
Massachusetts General Law Chapter 87 of the Acts of 1996, was
sponsored by Representative Anne Paulsen (D-Belmont). Sometimes
referred to as the "Paulsen Bill", it was approved on May 20, 1996.
The basic text of MGL 87 amends Chapter 90E of the General Laws, as
"The commissioner shall make all reasonable provisions for the
accommodation of bicycle and pedestrian traffic in the planning,
design, and construction, reconstruction or maintenance of any
project undertaken by the department. Such provisions that are
unreasonable shall include, but not be limited to, those which the
commissioner, after appropriate review by the bicycle
programcoordinator, determines would be contrary to acceptable
standards of public safety, degrade environmental quality or
conflict with existing rights-of-way".
Specific regulations and design standards have been developed for
Ch. 90E. The law, as revised, provides the impetus for MassHighway
to incorporate bicycle and pedestrian facilities into the planning
of projects or to prove that such facilities are inappropriate for a
New design standards for bicycle facilities are included in the 2006
MassHighway Project Development and Design Guide. Standards call for
5-foot minimum widths and 6-foot preferred widths for bike lanes and
4-foot minimum widths for shoulders designated for bicycles.
- --- kenmedford <kenneth.krause@...> wrote:
> --- Jon Niehof <jon_niehof@...> wrote:Ken--
> > And probably illegal under Massachusetts law.
> Actually, these accommodations are REQUIRED by law, although
> you'd never know it.
I was replying to your message which said "lack of"; lacking
accommodation for cyclists and pedestrians is in violation of
the Paulsen bill.
I'm familiar with the Paulsen bill, the new design manual (I
commented on it), and the Romney 20-year transportation plan
(which sadly appears to be dead now, as the revised version was
MUCH better and something I was proud be part of). Unfortunately
DCR has not adopted the MHD design manual as there is a strong
resistance to either expanding pavement on parkland or doing
anything that could be perceived as limiting the carrying
capacity for high-speed motorists. Nonmotorized transportation
(whether "business" or "pleasure") gets caught in the middle.
Commissioner Burrington "got it" (as a cyclist) and I hope
whomever is the new permanent commissioner will similarly
understand the balance.
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