MassDOT July 4 Holiday Weekend Travel Advisory

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 between now and the end of the July 4 holiday weekend.

“This holiday is a great opportunity for the public to use technology tools including www.mass511.com or the GoTime mobile app in order to make informed decisions on routes to take to destinations and the timing of travel,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “f people check real-time travel time information before leaving home then they can make smart decisions about whether to drive or take transit and whether to leave earlier or later.  We hope everyone has a relaxing holiday and encourage members of the public to also think about safety as they travel, limit distractions if driving, don’t drink and drive, take frequent breaks and check transit schedules.”

“We expect heavy traffic volumes on our highways during this upcoming holiday period,” said Acting Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “With many people driving to destinations we encourage people to leave extra time to reach their destinations, exercise safe driving behaviors, be patient on the roadways, and consider taking public transit if possible.”

MassDOT is taking steps to facilitate the flow of traffic during the holiday and will be postponing scheduled roadway construction effective at noon, Friday, June 30, with scheduled construction activities resuming with the start of normal business hours on Wednesday, July 5.

In addition, the High Occupancy Lane (HOV) between Quincy and Boston on I-93 will be deployed on normal morning hours now through Thursday afternoon and then Thursday, June 29, will open early for the afternoon commute at 2 p.m.  On Friday, June 30, the HOV lane will open at 1 p.m.  The HOV lane will be closed on Monday, July 3, and on Tuesday, July 4, and will then re-open during regularly scheduled hours on Wednesday, July 5.

Free coffee will be served at the 18 MassDOT service plazas from 10 p.m., Tuesday, July 4, through 5 a.m., Wednesday, 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 U.S Army Corps of Engineers reports that there will be no scheduled lane restrictions on the Sagamore Bridge during the July 4 holiday travel period.

The MBTA has also released the following information regarding travel on Tuesday, July 4:

• All MBTA service will be free after 9:30 p.m.

• All subway, busses, and trackless trolley will operate on a Sunday schedule.

• Subway service will then operate at rush-hour levels of service beginning at 2 p.m.

• The Hingham and Hull boat service will operate on a Saturday schedule.

• The Charlestown ferry service will operate on a weekend schedule.

• Commuter Rail lines will operate on a Saturday schedule, with the exception of the Fairmont Line, which will operate on a special event/holiday schedule. Additionally, last outbound north and south side train times have been adjusted to accommodate the fireworks display on the Esplanade ? these adjustments can be found on athttp://www.mbta.com/events/.

• The RIDE will operate on a Saturday 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 Tuesday, July 4.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.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation wishes all members of the public a safe and enjoyable holiday.

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Two-Alarm Fire Sends Seven To Hospital

By SCOTT JACKSON

Seven occupants of a Quincy Point rooming house were taken to area hospitals after a two-alarm fire early Wednesday morning.

The fire at 31-33 Winter St., a rooming house owned by the non-profit NeighborWorks of Southern Mass., was reported shortly before 3 a.m. Wednesday when the Quincy Fire Department was notified that alarms were going off inside the building.

Deputy Fire Chief Ed Fenby said the first crews on scene reported heavy and smoke on the rear side of the building, with residents hanging out of windows.

“They immediately went into rescue mode,” he said.

Two residents were taken out of windows by ground ladders, and one man jumped from a second story window.

Nineteen people were inside the building at the time of the fire – 18 tenants and one guest. Seven were taken to Quincy Medical Center or South Shore Hospital in Weymouth. Fenby did not have an update on their condition as of late Wednesday morning. The remaining 12 residents were offered accommodations at Father Bill’s shelter, though some refused.

None of the firefighters on scene reported any injuries, Fenby said.

The fire was put out by 5:30 a.m., when the building was turned over to investigators. There was no cause yet for the fire as of 11 a.m. Wednesday, but Fenby said it does not appear suspicious.

“It is under investigation but it doesn’t look suspicious,” he said.

The fire caused an estimated $250,000 in damages.

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Restaurateur Hoping To Find Owner Of Lost $100 Bill

A Quincy restaurateur is hoping to re-unite a patron with a $100 bill he lost inside the eatery in early May.

Gerry Martocchio, owner of Gennaro’s Eatery at 12 Blanchard St., off Quincy Avenue, said his employees found the bill on May 6 near the take-out area of the restaurant. He reviewed camera footage from that night and saw a man lose the $100 bill around 9:30 p.m.

Martocchio said the patron has yet to return to the restaurant to claim the bill after nearly two months, and is hopeful the owner of the $100 could be found so the money can be returned.

Martocchio said the patron could contact the restaurant at 617-773-1550 or call his cellphone at 781-608-2844 to claim the bill.

 

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Record Number Of Travelers Seen This Independence Day

This Independence Day, AAA estimates that a record-breaking 44.2 million Americans will honor the red, white and blue and travel more than 50 miles from home. With 1.25 million more travelers than last year, 2017 will be the most traveled Fourth of July holiday weekend ever.

For the first time ever, more than one million Massachusetts residents are expected to travel by car, a high percentage of the 1,155,000 Bay Staters expected to travel over the Fourth.

“Strong employment, combined with rising incomes and higher consumer confidence bode well for the travel industry,” said Mary Maguire, AAA Northeast Director of Public and Legislative Affairs. “This historic number of travelers will add to an already bustling summer travel season.”  July 4th is on a Tuesday this year, making it a long weekend for many travelers.

By the Numbers:

  • Overall, 44.2 million travelers are expected to travel this Independence Day, a 2.9 percent increase over 2016.
  • 37.5 million Americans will drive to their destinations, an increase of 2.9 percent over last year. That represents 85 percent of all holiday travelers.
  • 3.44 million people are taking to the skies this Independence Day, increasing air travel by 4.6 percent over last year.
  • 3.27 million travelers, an increase of 1.4 percent from 2016, will look to other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses.

“Gasoline prices are close to what they were a year ago, and haven’t been this low for Independence Day since 2005,” Ms. Maguire added. “That’s extra money in the pockets of this year’s vacationers.”

Orlando remains top destination for summer travel

With new attractions debuting at popular theme parks, Orlando claims the number one spot on the list of most-visited locales for 2017 summer travel, based on AAA Travel bookings:

  1. Orlando, Florida                                             6. Honolulu, Hawaii
  2. Vancouver, Canada                                        7. Anaheim, California
  3. Cancun, Mexico                                              8. Anchorage, Alaska
  4. Seattle, Washington                                        9. Las Vegas, Nevada
  5. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic                   10. Montego Bay, Jamaica

Slow Down, Move Over

The record number of travelers means that motorists are sure to come upon police officers, tow truck drivers, and other first responders in the highway breakdown lanes. AAA reminds the public that every state has a law requiring motorists to move over and slow down when approaching these vehicles. “First responders are killed or injured every year throughout the country, and the Slow Down, Move Over laws are designed to protect those who are working to protect us,” Ms. Maguire said.

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Quincy Man Guilty Of Bella Bond Murder

By SCOTT JACKSON

A Quincy man was found guilty of second-degree murder Monday in the death of Bella Bond, the 2-year-old girl who became known as “Baby Doe” after her body was found on Deer Island two years ago.

A jury in Suffolk County Superior Court convicted Michael McCarthy, age 37, on the charge of murder in the second degree after deliberating for more than five days. McCarthy will be sentenced at a later date and faces a mandatory life sentence with the possibility of parole after 15 years.

Bond’s body was found on Deer Island in Boston Harbor by a passerby in June 2015. She was dubbed “Baby Doe” as Massachusetts State Police attempted to identify her.

It wasn’t until September 2015 that investigators were able to identify the body. At that time, Bella’s mother, Rachelle Bond, and McCarthy, her then boyfriend, were arrested in connection with the death after Rachelle Bond told a friend McCarthy killed her daughter.

Bond, age 40, pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact for helping McCarthy dispose of her daughter’s body. She testified against McCarthy at his trial.

McCarthy’s attorney contended Rachelle Bond was the real killer who made up a “web of lies” to blame McCarthy.

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