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Our 10 Most-Read Stories of 2023

7:00 AM EST on December 29, 2023

An architect's rendering shows two bridges crossing a river. The illustration of the new bridge, on the right, shows a bridge with large arches swooping over the water. The illustration is superimposed on a photograph that shows an existing, plainer railroad bridge on the right.

A rendering of a proposed Mystic River bike and pedestrian bridge, which could connect the Northern Strand multi-use path in the City of Everett to the Assembly Orange Line Station in Somerville. Rendering by AECOM, courtesy of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.

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2023 might have been the year that the MBTA hit rock-bottom, but according to our website analytics, our readers are still excited about the possibility of a better future.

Our top stories this year focused on better things to come, with news of new connections for regional trails and bike routes, the implementation of new Amtrak services to western Massachusetts, and visionary projects that will re-imagine some of the Commonwealth's most dangerous streets.

Thanks for reading StreetsblogMASS this year – we're looking forward to covering more stories like these in 2024!

#10: MBTA Unveils Plan to Eliminate Slow Zones with More Subway Shutdowns (Nov. 9)

#9: MassDOT Outlines 'Compass Rail' Vision for New Passenger Services in Western Mass. (Oct. 18)

A map of Massachusetts with a cross of rail lines representing north-south Amtrak routes through the CT River Valley and east-west routes from Albany to Boston. The cross meets in Springfield. An icon in the lower right describes the vision as "Compass Rail: passenger rail for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts"
A schematic map of existing and proposed Amtrak services in western Massachusetts. New proposed services include the red line, an inland route from New Haven, CT to Boston, via Springfield, and the blue line, a new Boston-Albany route. Courtesy of MassDOT.

#8: Feds Announce $16.4 Billion for Northeast Corridor Passenger Rail Projects (Nov. 6)

A rendering of Amtrak's new Acela trains, scheduled to enter service in 2022.
Amtrak's new Acela trainsets are scheduled to enter service on the Northeast Corridor in 2024. Rendering courtesy of ALSTOM SA.

#7: MassDOT Starts Planning For Tobin Bridge Replacement (Sept. 20)

A large bridge painted green spans a choppy body of water above some tugboats and wharves.
The Tobin Bridge over Boston Harbor. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia photographer Chensiyuan, licensed under Creative Commons CC BY-SA 4.0.

#6: Officials Announce $108 Million Federal Grant to Build East-West Rail (Sept. 28)

An Amtrak train waits to depart from Springfield Union Station in January 2020. Photo by Trains in the Valley, licensed under Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0.

#5: What’s Somerville Doing With a City-Owned Empty Lot Next to a New Light Rail Station? (Dec. 4)

A diptych of images shows an illustrative sketch of the Gilman Square area at left, and a photo of the same area at right. The sketch shows proposed new buildings that were envisioned in a 2014 neighborhood plan. The photo, taken in 2023, shows a large gravel lot with a handful of parked cars in it.
A 2014 illustrative rendering of planned new development in Gilman Square (left) and what the area actually looks like in 2023, after the opening of the Green Line Extension (right). Courtesy of the City of Somerville.

#4: Worcester to Tame One of Its Most Dangerous Streets With Narrower Roadway, Protected Bike Lanes (Nov. 20)

A wide four-lane city street under a blue sky. On the right edge of the photo is a historic five-story brick apartment building with bay windows. On the left edge is a BP gas station. The wide roadway through the center of the photo only has a handful of cars on it, a few of which are parked at the curbside.
Chandler Street in Worcester at its intersection with Murray Avenue, one block away from Main Street. Courtesy of the City of Worcester.

#3: Somerville's Community Path Extension Is Open (June 9)

A view down a straight pathway with a yellow line painted down its center. The path is lined with black fencing and railroad infrastructure is visible to the right. In the distance is a bridge over the tracks and an MBTA station sign, and a skyline of buildings and trees
Somerville's new Community Path, looking down from the viaduct over the commuter rail tracks into East Somerville. Photo courtesy of the MBTA

#2: Guest Column: Why Boston’s New Traffic Signal Policy is a Big Deal (June 15)

A person on a bike rides past a green bike signal alongside a walk sign while roughly a dozen cars wait at a red light on the opposite side of the street. A sign in the foreground reads "Turning vehicles yield to [bike and pedestrian pictograms]" while a sign next to the walk signal says "No Turn On Red." The street is lined with 3-5 story brick buildings.
A person on a bike rides past a green bike signal alongside a walk sign at the Mass. Ave. and Beach Street intersection in North Cambridge while motor vehicle traffic waits at a red light. Photo by Petru Sofio.

#1: Car-Free Mystic River Bridge Will Begin Construction In 2024 (June 20)

An architect's rendering shows two bridges crossing a river. The illustration of the new bridge, on the right, shows a bridge with large arches swooping over the water. The illustration is superimposed on a photograph that shows an existing, plainer railroad bridge on the right.
A rendering of a proposed Mystic River bike and pedestrian bridge, which could connect the Northern Strand multi-use path in the City of Everett to the Assembly Orange Line Station in Somerville. Rendering by AECOM, courtesy of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.

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