Middlesex 3 Transportation Study
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Background and Overview
Eight communities within the Middlesex 3 Coalition (Bedford, Billerica, Burlington, Chelmsford, Lexington, Lowell, Tewksbury and Tyngsborough) have entered into a Commonwealth Community Compact to address transportation challenges along the Route 3 corridor. This area includes significant commercial and industrial economic activity in the high-tech, robotics, life sciences, advanced manufacturing, health care and education sectors, as well as support services, such as restaurants, hotels, and retail. Improving transportation connections along the corridor will increase access to employment, educational opportunities, and healthcare for economically disadvantaged individuals, middle skilled workers, high school and college students, recent college graduates, and other members of the workforce. Greater use of public transit would help alleviate traffic congestion, improve air quality, and reduce wear and tear on the roadway network.
Residents commuting from the northern end of the corridor to Burlington, Bedford and Lexington have few transportation options. The Lowell Regional Transit Authority (LRTA) serves the communities of Billerica, Chelmsford, Lowell, Tewksbury and Tyngsborough, while the MBTA serves the communities of Burlington, Bedford and Lexington. Transit connections between the LRTA and MBTA service areas are extremely limited, given that federal and state funding is allocated to each regional transit authority based on its service area boundaries.
This transportation study is focused on improving and enhancing transportation services within the study area, particularly between the northern and southern segments of the corridor. Strengthen transportation services between these areas will require interregional coordination and cooperation, creative funding approaches, and perhaps changes in policies or regulations.
The Northern Middlesex Council of Governments will serve as the lead technical agency for this study and will complete this work under contract with the Town of Bedford. The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) and the Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS) will also participate in the project through a subcontract with NMCOG.