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Spilka’s Transportation Bills Considered at Public Hearing

March 13, 2012

(BOSTON) – Yesterday, the Joint Committee on Transportation held a formal public hearing to address bills currently before the Committee, including two of Senator Karen Spilka’s transportation bills of significance to her district.

The first, An Act Assisting Towns to Create Quiet Zones for At-Grade Rail Crossings, would help municipalities reduce the noise caused by trains crossing through residential areas. This bill would help towns fund the upgrades necessary to create “quiet zones” at rail crossings. When physical changes can be made to at-grade train crossings that ensure public safety the federal government allows a ban on train whistles. This bill proposes that the state cover up to 50% of the total cost to build the structures needed to create new Quiet Zones. The program would help municipalities reduce the noise level from trains passing through their communities, and also create safer rail crossings for motorists, pedestrians, and rail operators.

The second, An Act Relative to Fairness and Equity in Regional Transportation Planning, would promote greater equity in the distribution of federal transportation dollars throughout the state and require a recognition that transportation infrastructure investments are an important economic development activity.

Senator Spilka urged the Committee report both bills to the full Senate as soon as possible.


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