The Merrimack Valley Planning Commission was thrilled to be part of the Northern Massachusetts Transformative Transit-Oriented Development Regional Forum. The event brought leaders and stakeholders from across the state to UMass Lowell’s Innovation Hub in the heart of Lowell’s growing downtown. The event was organized by MassINC, a nonprofit and thought leader around urban issues and public policy across Massachusetts.
Speakers and panelists discussed rail service improvements and what the future of rail could look like throughout Massachusetts. Commuter rail service is absolutely vital to the Merrimack Valley region which is serviced by two lines: Haverhill and Newburyport. Many things were talked about, but included in the discussion was the popularity of the MBTA’s $10 unlimited weekend pass and importance of commuter stations to bus lines. MassDOT also presented on policies that showed the potential for increased service in and out of the region and what that would do for ridership. More information can be found at MassDOT’s Rail Vision project here.
Merrimack Valley Planning Commission was honored to have two representatives on the panel – Theresa Park and Nate Robertson. The panel highlighted transformative transit-oriented development projects throughout the Merrimack Valley Region. The important themes highlighted were regional partnerships, historic tax credits, HDIP tax credits, creative place making, and first-floor activation. For more information about these programs feel free to contact us at the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission.