BOSTON (WWLP) – Massachusetts has some of the worst traffic congestion in the country, but many of the plans that try and alleviate it often come at the expense of western Massachusetts residents, until now.
A group of transportation advocates took to the Statehouse to outline a plan that they say will improve local and regional transportation in the Commonwealth. Their plan, among many things, calls for more input from residents about what needs to be fixed in their communities.
“Local roads in every corner of the Commonwealth are failing, they’re under repaired, people are driving over potholes and we have not raised local funding from the state for those local roads, so this package could help fix that,” Chris Dempsey said.
The plan also calls for a .25 cent gas tax – which typically hurts residents in the western part of the state because they have to travel further.
“In terms of a gas tax as a way to raise revenue, I think that it does have some advantages for the Berkshires because a lot of our transportation is from out of state visitors coming in, so this is a way to raise money that is connected to our tourism economy,” Jeff Lowenstein said.
The plan supports many of the transportation efforts already being pursued by western Massachusetts lawmakers, like a rail service connecting Springfield and Boston.
Governor Baker has already filed his own transportation plan, and though the group didn’t disagree with his proposal, they wanted to take things a step further, in the hopes of meeting everyone’s transportation needs.