Route 128 Central Corridor Plan
The Route 128 Central Corridor Plan addresses the impacts of increased traffic volumes and seeks to reduce single occupancy trips while preserving quality of life and ensuring mobility.
The portion of Route 128 reviewed for this corridor plan is a 12.6 mile segment between I-90 and Route 3 North, through the communities of Weston, Waltham, Lincoln, Lexington, and Burlington.
About the Route 128 Central Corridor Project
Constructed between 1936 and 1956, Route 128 is a major circumferential interstate highway ringing Greater Boston, which stretches from Gloucester in the north to Canton in the south. The 12.6 mile segment that runs between I-90 in the south and Route 3 in the north, through the communities of Weston, Waltham, Lincoln, Lexington, and Burlington, is known as the Route 128 Central Corridor.
Route 128 is located in close proximity to major roadway networks, area universities, Hanscom Air Force Base, and other economic drivers. This area is a major employer in Massachusetts and a magnet for high-technology and supporting industries.
However, this area has increasingly experienced traffic congestion that will discourage future economic development, and degrade the quality of life for residents. Today, the entire corridor greatly exceeds the existing roadway capacity, and even minor accidents or adverse weather can cause significant delays.
In response to these concerns, the elected leaders of the five municipalities came together in partnership with MAPC to form the 128 Central Corridor Coalition to seek creative ways to ensure corridor mobility, improve capacity for sustainable economic development and seek infrastructure that both supports economic development and respects and protects local roadways and character.
The leadership of the five communities concur that a “do nothing approach” is not an option if an environment for economic growth in this area is to be maintained.
On November 19, 2010, elected officials met in Weston Town Hall to discuss plans for lessening traffic along Route 128 in the stretch from Waltham to Burlington. View the 128 Central Corridor Coalition’s presentation.
Three areas the Route 128 Central Corridor communities wish to immediately pursue are:
1. Continued Inter-Community Cooperation
Work to institute common mitigation policies that create programs and infrastructure to improve mobility and reduce dependence on single occupant vehicles.
2. Coordinate Existing Transit
Work with existing transit providers to enhance and expand service, with a focus on rapid bus service along the Route 128 Central Corridor.
3. Explore Multi Modal Transit Center Feasibility
Work with private entities to encourage federal and state agencies to develop a feasibility study of a transit center on the MBTA Fitchburg Commuter Rail Line close to Route 128. The transit center would draw cars off of Route 128 and provide feeder bus service to employment centers.
Maps of the proposed Multi Modal Transit Center Station Area:
History of the Route 128 Central Corridor Coalition
Several years ago, Mayor Jeannette McCarthy of Waltham and Selectman Michael Harrity of Weston began to exchange phone calls regarding an increasing awareness of the challenge created by the resurgence of development along the 128 corridor between the Mass. Pike to the south and Rt.3 to the north.
Additional development advances economic growth, but this growth can be hindered because of its associated traffic congestion. Soon afterwards, the neighboring communities of Lincoln, Lexington and Burlington as well as MAPC were invited to participate in discussions regarding the concern of increasing traffic along the Route 128 corridor. This grass-roots effort gave birth to the 128 Central Corridor Coalition.
Route 128 Central Corridor Coalition Membership
The current members of the 128 Central Corridor Coalition are:
Metropolitan Area Planning Council
Town of Weston
Town of Lexington
Mayor Jeannette McCarthy
City of Waltham
Town of Lincoln
Ralph Patuto, Chairman
Board of Selectmen
Town of Burlington
The 128 Business Council, the 128 Corporate Alliance, TransAction Associates, Inc., and the Waltham Chamber of Commerce are active participants and have provided support, assistance and data during the preparation of the 128 Central Corridor Plan.
Route 128 Corridor Project in the News
- Traffic Surge on 128 Predicted. Boston Globe, June 30, 2011.
- Solution to Route 128 Traffic Could Be Transit Center
Weston Patch, November 19, 2010.
On November 19, 2010, elected officials met in Weston Town Hall to discuss plans for lessening traffic along Route 128 in the stretch from Waltham to Burlington.