The situation in Eastern Massachusetts is disastrous.  Two years ago people
sat at a table and CSX tearfully sold the Beacon Yards in Allston to Harvard
University and equally tearfully sold its tracks between Framingham and
Worcester to the Mass Bay Transit Authority, which does not want to permit
its commuter rail facilities to be used for hauling freight.  The
Commonwealth of MA also agreed to raise all the bridges crossing CSX tracks
between Worcester and the NY border to permit double stacking, thus allowing
CSX to decrease its operating costs by one third.  I am sure that there were
mitigation funds arising from these transactions, but I've not heard that
any of them being expended in meaningful fashion to provide infrastructure
support that is going to be necessary on all the arterial highways between
Worcester and Boston and Ayer and Boston.  I am a resident of a community.
Natick, that is about midway between Worcester and Boston.  Residents of the
Town of Framingham, immediately to the west of Natick, are vehemently oppose
to rail freight and MASSDOT has no rail freight plan worthy of the name,
while telling us that truck traffic is going to increase state wide by 70%
by 2035. Most of that increase will be rolling along arterials in our area
of the Commonwealth.

Fifty years ago there was a rail head at the Port of Boston, which was the
port of entry for Chicago for all material coming from Europe because of the
rail freight service provided by the Boston & Albany which linked directly
to Chicago and the fact that Boston is a day closer to Europe than any other
major US East Coast port.  As you might imagine the existence of this
facility provided many jobs and there was a good deal of industrial activity
spurred thus.  I grew up in Cambridge, MA before, during, and after World
War II - the city then had a resident population of 120,000 and an
employment population of close to 150,000 producing everything from steel
plate to soap and candy.  The population today is about 90,000 and has a
very dim view of manufacturing employment, and if I mention reestablishing
the rail head at a deepwater site in the Port of Boston, people stare at me
as though I should be in a home for the delightfully delirious.

In conclusion, I would have to say that there is a very strong bias against
rail freight in Eastern Massachusetts and absolutely no realization of the
impact that the impending increased volume of truck traffic is going to have
on our infrastructure and environment.  

Arnold G. Pinsley

-----Original Message-----
From: FHWA Freight Planning [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of
Rick Johnsom
Sent: Monday, June 13, 2011 3:24 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Needed: Surveys on public perception of freight movement

Does anyone know of any examples of surveys conducted on the federal, 
state, or MPO level that focused on the general public's perception or 
understanding of the (public) significance to the economy, environment, and 
safety on the efficent movement of freight by all modes?  When crafting a 
message to the average taxpayer on why public funding for freight 
infrastructure is important, we should know in advance what their perception

is, in order to craft a more direct and convincing message.