Statement from Chris Dempsey, T4MA, on the Governor's Commission on the Future of Transportation report
Today’s report from Governor Baker’s Commission on the Future of Transportation is good news for every Massachusetts citizen who cares about our environment, transportation system or economy.
Addressing transportation and climate change is a critical issue for Massachusetts now and in the years to come. That's why on November 1, we were glad to see Governor Baker support a market-based, regional approach to reducing pollution from transportation, the largest source of carbon emissions in Massachusetts.
As the Governor noted, carbon credits have been successful in reducing emissions in the power sector while also strengthening our economy. A similar regional solution for transportation emissions could support modernization of our transportation system, as well as projects that protect Massachusetts from climate change, which the Governor stated as a top priority for a potential second term.
We look forward to Massachusetts being a leader, in partnership with other states, in reducing transportation pollution, and along with it, the incidence of asthma and respiratory issues that pollution causes.
Watch the clip from the Gubernatorial debate here (starts around 2m15s):
Learn more about T4MA's support for transportation and climate solutions:
Transportation for Massachusetts recently submitted comment letters on the MassDOT Statewide Pedestrian Plan and Focus40, the long range plan for the MBTA. Along with several other coalitions and organizations, we have been engaged with MassDOT and MBTA planners during the development of these forward-looking documents, and we value the opportunity to provide input as these plans move towards final approval and implementation.continue
Better transportation means better bus service on the MBTA and on our 15 Regional Transit Authorities. And every bus rider knows that traffic is an impediment to good, reliable service. So if we want better public transit, we need our roads to work better, too.continue
The Massachusetts State Senate yesterday voted in support of a pilot program of smarter tolling that would reduce tolls at off-peak hours on certain roads, a key policy priority advanced by Transportation for Massachusetts (T4MA). The provision, adopted as part of the Senate budget, will now be included in conference committee budget discussions with the House of Representatives.continue
Bicycles are efficient, economical and environmentally friendly. Bikes are for everyday transportation as well as healthy recreation. With safe cycling infrastructure and better roadway design, Massachusetts can move people around more easily, with benefits to our health, our economy and our climate.
During Bike Week, many organizations celebrate cycling and highlight events, routes and investments to improve Bay State bicycling. We are pleased to share these events, and other efforts to make Massachusetts safer for cycling, including legislation and capital investments.continue
It's common across the United States for local voters to decide whether to fund transportation projects. In Colorado, Kansas, Florida, Georgia, Michigan and many other states, cities or counties bring proposals directly to the public. Transit, roads, bikeways and more projects are often funded through locally-assessed taxes. But not yet in Massachusetts.
T4MA, MassBike, and WalkBoston
On March 18, an autonomous vehicle (AV) killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona. Initial evidence suggests that the backup driver was distracted, and the vehicle did not make any attempt to avoid the collision. This should serve as a wake-up call. We believe that with the right policies and procedures in place, autonomous vehicle testing can be safe. However, it is clear that at least in some conditions, this is not yet the case.continue
At a time when the Commonwealth should be promoting public transportation, several Regional Transit Authorities that provide bus service outside of the MBTA system are actively planning service cuts and significant fare hikes to balance their budgets, in response to Governor Baker’s recommendation to level-fund state operating assistance to RTAs. While state assistance is only one of several revenue sources, four years of level funding at a time of increasing costs is causing harm to riders and communities across the state.continue