The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) advises holiday travelers to plan ahead, utilize MassDOT’s many “real time” travel tools and use public transportation if possible to reach their destinations during the upcoming July 4 holiday period.
“We are encouraging anyone traveling for the Fourth to check public transportation schedules and use ‘real time’ technology tools if driving to decide on the best routes and departure times,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “We want everyone to have a safe holiday and are issuing this friendly reminder to put cell phones away while driving, stay sober if getting behind the wheel, allow extra room for bicyclists and pedestrians and be considerate of other travelers if roads are busy.”
“The best advice we can give anyone traveling for the Fourth is plan ahead,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “With July 4 falling on a Thursday this year, many people may be leaving home on Friday, June 28, and returning on Sunday, July 7, so travelers should get up-to-the minute information on public transit schedules and drive times so they aren’t caught off-guard when setting out for destinations. We want everyone to have an easy trip and a safe trip and encourage people to be patient with each other as many people will be moving around in an effort to attend events and to enjoy some vacation time.”
MassDOT is taking steps to facilitate the flow of traffic during the holiday and will be postponing scheduled roadway construction effective at 5:00 a.m., Wednesday, July 3, with scheduled construction activities resuming at the normal start of business on Monday, July 8. In addition, the High Occupancy Lane (HOV) between Quincy and Boston on I-93 will open early for the afternoon commute on Tuesday, July 2 at 2 p.m. and on Wednesday, July 3 at 1 p.m. The HOV lane will be closed all day on Thursday, July 4, and all day on Friday, July 5. It will then re-open during regularly scheduled hours on Monday, July 8. The Sumner Tunnel Swing Lane will open on Wednesday, July 3 at 10 a.m. and will close on Monday, July 8 at 5 a.m.
Free coffee will be served at the 18 MassDOT service plazas from 10 p.m., Thursday, July 4, through 5 a.m., Friday, July 5. The plazas serving free coffee include 11 service plazas along I-90 plus plazas along Route 3 in Plymouth, Route 128 in Beverly, Route 128/I-95 in Newton and Lexington, Route 6 in Barnstable, and the Route 24 northbound and southbound plazas.
For traffic and road conditions, drivers may use the following options to make decisions:
Download MassDOT’s GoTime mobile app and view real-time traffic conditions.
· Dial 511 and select a route to hear real-time conditions on I-90 and other roads.
· Visit www.mass511.com, which provides real-time traffic and incident advisory information, and allows users to subscribe to text and email alerts for traffic conditions.
· Download Waze, the real-time traffic navigation app.
· Follow MassDOT on Twitter @MassDOT because motor vehicle incidents which impact traffic flow are generally mentioned in tweets if they occur on the state’s major highways.
The MBTA has also released the following information regarding travel on Thursday, July 4:
· All MBTA service will be free after 9:30 p.m.
· All subway, busses, and trackless trolleys will operate on a Sunday schedule and then subway service will operate at rush-hour levels of service beginning at 2 p.m.
· No service on the F1 Hingham-Boston ferry and all other ferries will run on a Saturday schedule.
· Commuter Rail lines will operate on a Saturday schedule.
· The RIDE will operate on a Sunday schedule.
· Parking facilities will operate as usual with parking ambassadors available to assist customers with payment and other event related questions.
· MBTA customers should be reminded that bicycles are not allowed on any subway line for the entire day on Fourth of July. Bicycles are prohibited on inbound Commuter Rail trains from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and outbound Commuter Rail trains after 4 p.m.
· For full MBTA schedule details, please visit: http://www.mbta.com/events/.
· Additionally, several bus routes may operate on detour routes due to 4th of July events and parades, and detour information is posted on T-Alerts.
Customers are also advised that the Registry of Motor Vehicles offices are closed for the designated state holiday on Thursday, July 4. Please visit, at any hour of the day, the RMV online at www.massrmv.com to skip the line and perform many transactions. In addition, AAA members now have the opportunity to conduct many RMV services at numerous AAA branch office locations in Massachusetts during AAA normal business hours.
Drivers are reminded to avoid littering on roadways. Violators are subject to a fine of up to $5,500 for the first offense.