State Transportation Officials Gearing Up For Winter

mbta snow 2015

An entrance to the MBTA's South Station stop after a snowstorm in February 2015. (Getty Images)

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — In case of another Snowmageddon like Greater Boston saw in 2015, MassDOT's policy is to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

Every year, the state pilots new technology and resources, hoping to make things go smoothly. But because last winter was fairly mild, it wasn't the best for testing out new methods and equipment.

"We're all torn between wanting a nice, quiet winter, and wanting enough snow, at least a couple of times, to sort of run the pilots to get the information that we can really climb the learning curve," MassDOT CEO Stephanie Pollack said.

Among the changes this year is a commitment to more snow and ice removal on surfaces that may be typically ingored, like sidewalks and bike lanes.

MassDOT Highway Administrator John Gulliver said that would be challenging.

"We are set up in a way that is specific to doing roadways," he said.

Pollack said this year's pilot program is just the first step.

"We're not going to be able to flip a switch and do all of our facilities, but over time, we'd like to build this into both our operating and capital budgets," she said. "The bike and pedestrian plans did a good job of identifying high-priority corridors, we'd obviously like to start there."

MassDOT said they're seeking to improve GPS tracking of snow and ice vehicles. The agency uses 1,500 vendors and 3,500 total pieces of equipment to clear snow and ice.

They also plan to coordinate better with towns and cities regarding specific details of weather forecasts.

WBZ NewsRadio's Madison Rogers (@_madisonrogers) reports

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