Hanscom Happenings – HATS and HFAC in January, 2018

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By John Laferriere

Two entities oversee the activities of Massport at Hanscom Field: HATS, the Hanscom Area Towns Committee and HFAC, the Hanscom Field Advisory Commission.

Hanscom Area Towns Committee (HATS)

At its meeting on 18 January 2018 at the Lincoln Town Hall, HATS devoted a large part of the meeting to a round-table discussion of local and regional transportation initiatives.

Individuals invited to contribute to the discussion included Stephanie Cronin, executive director of the Middlesex 3 Coalition, a regional economic development organization; Alison Felix, a senior transportation planner with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC); as well as representatives from the towns of Bedford, Concord, and Lexington.

The discussion covered topics ranging from autonomous vehicles to vanpools, mobility hubs, telecommuting, flex time work schedules, rail trail development, reverse commuting, and others.  Civil engineer Scott Sheehan described the significant impact of the recent loss of federal subsidies for vanpools serving Hanscom and Lincoln Laboratories.

Carla Olson, Bedford’s Healthy Communities Coordinator, gave an update on Bedford’s recent efforts related to the towns Safe Routes to School program, Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan, as well as “The Dash”, Bedford’s dial-a-ride shuttle service, now 16 months into its pilot program.

Hanscom Field Advisory Commission (HFAC)

HFAC met on 23 January 2018 at the Hanscom Civil Air Terminal.  The main agenda items included the December 2017 Hanscom noise report, as well as a report on projects and third-party development associated with Hanscom.

One item of significance to Bedford involves the potential acquisition of Hanger 24, an unused former Navy facility located on Hartwell road near Edge Sports Center, on the Bedford side of the field.  It has recently been learned that, due to its age (50+ years), the hangar is now considered an historic structure, and must be restored and maintained, unless the Massachusetts Historical Commission approves its demolition. There is no indication at this point as to whether or when that approval might be given.

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