Why is it that as temperatures drop (they will ... I promise!) the already frenetic pace of our lives seems to pick up? It's definitely that way for me, and I bet it's the same for you.
By now, the kids are back to school, which means you're driving them to school as well as picking them up from sports practice and after school activities in addition to your own daily commute. Rest assured, we're here to help.
During Car-Free Week, Sept. 16 to 22, did you experiment with a different way of commuting? Do you think you could go car-free a day a week? Try it!
Let us help you reduce the stress and cost of your commute in the easiest, fastest, greenest and most economical ways possible. Perhaps your boss will let you telecommute a day or two a week. Check out our NuRide ridematching system to find someone with a similar commute route and schedule. Maybe you and your kids' friends can work out a carpooling arrangement too - providing more free time for you and a boost for the environment.
I hope this fall finds you happy, healthy and ready for what is arguably the most beautiful season in New England.
Andrea Leary, Executive Director
Merimack Valley TMA
|Transportation Secretary Rich Davey prepares to board an MBTA bus as part of Car-Free Week, which concluded on Sept. 22. Davey got into the spirit of the event by participating in the video contest, showing off his own "green" ride.|
TMA Staff Makes the Rounds
to Promote Car-Free Week
Merrimack Valley TMA Outreach Manager Al Marrone and Communications Manager Donna Capodelupo visited 11 member worksites during the lead-up to Car-Free Week to answer questions and share details about this year's event.
Al and Donna visited Eisai Research Institute, MKS (two locations), Boston Properties tenants at 40 Shattuck Road, Vicor (two locations), Leggat McCall/Keypoint Partners tenants at 600 Federal St., Brickstone Properties tenants at 60/80/100 Minuteman Road and 200 Minuteman Road, as well as Philips and Putnam Investments during the weeks of Sept. 2 and 9 providing information about daily raffles, grand prizes raffles, and the Car-Free video contest during Car-Free Week. TMA staffers also distributed information about all the programs and services provided free to employees of member companies.
Such on-site visits are just one of many ways the Merrimack Valley TMA works with member companies and organizations to assist workers with their commuting needs. Visit merrimackvalleytma.com for more information.
Thousands put down the car keys for the week
The results are in, and Massachusetts Car-Free Week 2013 was a success. A total of 8,226 green commuters reduced the number of car trips by 35,197 over the week of Sept. 16 to 22.
By eliminating these car trips, they kept 214 tons of emissions out of the atmosphere drove 478,468 fewer miles, and saved $270,334.
At the MVTMA, staff signed up 13 new participants to NuRide during events while during the month of September 131 participants in the TMA service area took 2196 less car trips, drove 61,781 fewer miles, eliminated 27.26 tons of CO2 from being emitted into the air and saved commuters just under $35,000!
As winter nears, salt shed takes shape
Commuters will notice steel frameworks have been erected for the highway garage and salt shed facility at River Road and Interstate 93.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation facility will include a salt shed, maintenance building and brine shed building in addition to the garage.
Work is progressing across the site:
Concrete footings and walls have been poured for all buildings on the site.
Base plates are now in the midst of installation for the overhead roof truss supports for the salt shed. Steel framework has been put up for the garage, maintenance building and brine shed,and MassDOT has had the welds inspected and approved. The design for gas service connections from River Road into the building is complete. A portable water tank has been installed and Andover building inspectional services has signed off.
Still to come:
MassDOT is waiting for a cost analysis and schedule of work from Columbia Gas for the service connection. National Grid will install a new utility pole and roughly 130 feet of land line, including transformer. Comcast will install service once National Grid has completed its work.
The Merrimack Valley TMA will continue to provide close oversight of the project to ensure that it progresses according to agreements made by state and local officials to minimize disruptions for local businesses.
Meet your new neighbor: Schneider Electric
Schneider Electric will move to 800 Federal St. in Andover in early 2014, relocating from North Andover.
The company's new home -- a LEED-certified building -- is currently under construction. In addition to work space for 750 to 850 employees, the building will include an employee gym and other amenities promoting a "green" awareness.
Schneider is an international firm that specializes in energy management.
Nine electric car charging stations will be installed in the parking area.
Executive Director Andrea Leary personally welcomed Schneider Electric to the Merrimack Valley TMA. "It is always exciting to welcome a new member, and I invite Schneider Electric to become an active participant in TMA programs."
Ed Mueskes, Vice President for Connectivity Solutions said the company's leadership looks forward to working with the MVTMA and implementing programs that help employees to plan economical and environmentally friendly commutes.
Andover roads to be friendlier for bicycles
The Andover Planning Board has given its support to a program to improve road conditions for bicyclists on some of the most heavily traveled routes in town.
Selectmen are expected to approve the plan, which was designed to be dollar-neutral, meaning it will cost no more than regular road updates, such as line painting, that were already planned.
Planning Director Paul Materazzo said the town's planning department tried to identify the roads most commonly used by bicycle commuters to ride to work in the town's business park areas and roads already scheduled for regular maintenance/upkeep.
The bicycle-friendly upgrades will include wider marked shoulders, bike sharrows, expanded bike racks, bike corrals, parklets and more.
The town is sponsoring a Public Forum on Bicycling on October 22nd from 7:00-8:30 PM at the Andover Public Safety Center, 32 North Main Street, Andover. Residents and employees are invited to attend to learn how they can get involved to improve bicycle safety and infrastructure in Andover. For more information contact Andover Director of Planning, Paul Materazzo (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Slots parlor falls in Tewksbury vote
Andover residents, and the Merrimack Valley TMA, watched with great interest as the town of Tewksbury voted on Aug. 20th on an overlay zoning change that would have opened the door to a slots parlor on the town line with Andover.
Tewksbury voters overwhelmingly defeated the question, saying they feared a huge increase in traffic and the possibility of a hike in crime.
Former Sen. Susan Tucker of Andover encouraged residents and businesses to lobby their friends and relatives in Tewksbury to vote "no."
Merrimack Valley TMA Executive Director Andrea Leary told The Eagle-Tribune newspaper in an article the weekend before the vote that the MVTMA would work with the communities to help alleviate traffic issues if the slots parlor were to win state approval -- a longshot, according to most observers.
NuRide is a state-of-the-art, on-line ride matching/alternative commute tracking system. It is the nation's largest rewards program for commuters who track their alternative commutes, while earning NuRide points to redeem for great prizes.
Sign-up for NuRide
today and get 1,000 NuRide points using promo code MVTMA. Record your trips and redeem your points for rewards!