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Sunday, March 4, 2018

Middleboro board finds multiple concerns with South Coast Rail plan


Republican Governor Charlie Baker, running for re-election, 
woke up to the fact that he has ignored the 'south coast.' 

Filled with rosy promises, the Commonwealth's bond rating 
has been downgraded because of Charlie's mismanagement. 

Please consider adding a comment and working to make 
Charlie ONE AND DONE!  We can't afford him. 


Heading North, these stations will connect to the Stoughton Station. Check out an interactive map here.
South Coast Rail Stations Map



Middleboro board finds multiple concerns with South Coast Rail plan

By Eileen Reece / Enterprise Corresponden


MIDDLEBORO - There are considerable concerns about the proposed Phase I of the South Coast Rail Project.
Selectmen discussed the Supplemental Environmental Impact Report on the South Coast Rail project (DSEIR) and now they must submit their final comments to the state by March 23. Among their concerns in the report was the traffic study, that the project could violate local by-laws, and that the town has not been consulted on the project.
The DSEIR, which is 1,200 pages long, addresses Phase I of the South Coast Rail Project which will be done in two phases according to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation:

  • The Middleboro Phase I plan at an estimated cost of $1.1 billion would be completed in 2022 and would extend service from Fall River to Middleboro;

  • The Stoughton Electric Phase 2 plan would cost an estimated $3.4 billion and be completed in 2030 and extend service to Stoughton.
“I don’t understand the methodologies used in the traffic report based on a one day study in June. I don’t know if that is comprehensive enough,” Selectmen Vice-Chairman Stephen McKinnon said last week, noting that the report found the rail service would not have significant impact on local traffic.
“The proposed station only adds traffic to a corridor that is already congested and rated as deficient,” said Selectmen Chairman Allin Frawley referring to the Route 105 and Route 28 corridor.
The report projects an annual 8-percent growth in the town, according to Frawley, “So every year it (traffic) is going to get worse and worse and worse,” he added.
“Time and again, Middleboro is told the rotary and this project is not related,” said Frawley adding, “We all know that they are related.”
Selectmen John Knowlton said he would like to ask for a secondary entrance and exit onto Route 28 from the station. ”“That would be a huge benefit for our town and allow our citizens an easier use of the station,” said Knowlton.
Selectmen voiced concern that the Pilgrim Junction Station is located in a Water Resources Protection District zone that according to the town’s by-laws prohibits the use of impervious material that the state plans to use on the parking lot, according to Frawley.
“The state wants to pave over 71 percent of a parcel in a WRPD zone and put our municipal wells at risk,” said Frawley in reference to the Pilgrim Junction Station adding, “The WRPD is a huge issue.”
Conservation Commission Agent, Patricia Cassidy, she has had discussions with representatives of the South Coast Rail project concerning the town’s WRPD by law and was told “we are exempt from that because it is a local by–law,” said Cassidy.
Selectman Leilani Dalpe asked Town Manager Robert Nunes to consult with Town Council on whether the state is required to follow the town’s local by-laws.
“There is no reference to any archeological survey whatsoever or investigation,” said Dalpe, adding, “I would like some clarification on whether they intend to do any archeological tests.”
“What is the state going to do to economically benefit our town?” asked selectman Diane Stewart.
“We need to get something out of it if we are going to be the host community for this station. Our residents who are riders are going to be impacted by having a lot more people on the train,” said Stewart.
Frawley agreed and said the report states there is, “No existing concept plan for potential transit oriented development at Pilgrim Junction.”
Frawley said he attended a meeting at the UMass Dartmouth Law School last week on the ‘Southern Triangle’ rail project and spoke with Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack
“I did have a nice conversation with Secretary Pollack and she seems committed to building a consensus to work together for the rail,” said Frawley, but he added that neither Middleboro, Taunton, Berkley or Lakeville were invited to the meeting.
“My main argument against the so called Middleboro plan is the complete absence of the town of Middleboro in the planning process and the lack of any benefit to the town,” said Frawley.
“They’re in final design right now. They are moving forward and we have no opportunities to stop them. We have to get together on this,” said Frawley, who urged residents to submit their comments to selectmen through the town’s website, Middleborough.com
The South Coast Rail project can be viewed on the MassDOT website at www.mass.gov/southcoastrail



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