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Every plant has a USDA Hardiness Zone designation, which measures the lowest winter temperature a plant can survive. Tags on every tree at your local nursery will provide this information along with other important details about the individual tree cultivar and its care requirements.
The Hardiness Zone is a great indicator to help you determine if your tree is appropriate for Weston’s average climate. However, other factors such as wind exposure, high temperature and temperature swings, soil conditions, exposure to road salt and sun all contribute to the overall health and longevity of a tree.
Weston currently is Hardiness Zone 6b, but borders the colder Zone 6a. For the best chance of survival for your new tree, choose a tree that thrives in a broad range of zones.
DO: Plant Trees that can thrive in a wide range of Hardiness Zones, including Zone 6.
A good example of this is a small understory tree called the flowering dogwood. It can thrive in zones 5-9, from Maine to Florida. This tree can manage even when Weston experiences a cold snap or heat waves. It will also have a better chance of surviving projected Hardiness Zone Migration
DON’T: Plant a new tree that depends on a narrow temperature band to survive.
An example of a tree with a narrow band is the Douglas Fir tree, which thrives in zones 4-6. Weston’s temperature is the warmest that it can tolerate. Although our neighborhoods boast many beautiful mature specimens, as higher temperatures become more typical in our area, this tree is unlikely to adapt to the changing conditions and will likely require extensive care to survive.
Weston’s USDA Hardiness Zone is projected shift from Zone 6 to Zone 7 by 2040. This means that Weston’s average lowest temperature will rise to a low temperature average similar to Delaware, Virginia and Tennessee in the next twenty years. Any tree planted today will grow to maturity during this period of rapid temperature shifts and extremes, including heat waves and polar vortexes, and should be factored into your tree selection process.
There are two main categories of trees: evergreen and deciduous.
Evergreen trees keep their leaves and deliver visual interest all year long. They also can shelter your home from frosty winter winds while providing a natural privacy screen to your yard.
Deciduous trees shed their leaves every year. Even without their leaves, they can provide 4-season interest with their branch structure and bark patterns. Whether you want flowers, fruits, nuts or glowing fall foliage, there is a native, deciduous tree for you to choose from.
Weston’s most common species are:
Look at any plant information tag and you will find icons telling you how much sun is required for the tree to thrive. Usually, the icons designate “Full Sun”. “Part Sun” “Part Shade” or “Shade”—but what does that really mean? Here are some general rules of thumb to help you understand the icons.
Full sun means 6 or more hours of direct sun. Usually this describes a south or southwesterly site with little to no shade at any time of the day from either trees or a structure.
Part sun means four to six hours of direct sun per day. Not all those hours need to be accrued consecutively—it could mean a few hours of morning sun plus a few more in the afternoon. When a plant prefers part sun, although it does not need to be in direct sun all day, it will grow and bloom best with at least some of those hours being in the afternoon. These plants need some heat and intense mid-day sun exposure in order to produce flowers and new growth.
Part shade also means four to six hours of direct sun per day but most of that sunlight should come in the morning hours, when the sun’s intensity is lower. Plants with a “part-shade” designation can struggle or get leaf-scorched in hot midday sun.
Full shade means less than four hours of direct sun per day, typically in the early morning sunlight. It can also mean dappled light below a large open canopy tree. Very few trees thrive in dense, day-long shade.
Not all trees thrive in the same type soil. Some trees prefer sandy, rocky soil. Other trees need moist, nutrient rich soil. Many of the native woodland trees of Weston prefer slightly acidic soil though some can tolerate a wider range of pH. If your home is newly constructed, you may largely have construction “fill” in your yard with only a few inches of nutrient rich topsoil.
To understand what your soil conditions are, including pH and nutrient levels, a soil test is your best bet. A good landscaper can get the test done for you, or you can easily arrange for soil analysis yourself.
The soil and plant nutrient laboratory at the University of Massachusetts can conduct soil analysis on samples from your yard that you send to them.
Town water customers will have access to the AMI web portal that allows easy access to information about your water consumption, compare current usage to previous periods, and set email and text alerts to achieve conservation goals. It will also allow for more immediate detection of system issues or residential leaks.
Back to Wireless Water Meters
Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) technology is state‐of‐the‐art. The reading at the meter is converted into a digital format using technology that has proven to be highly reliable and secure.
Installations will be completed gradually in 2021 and 2022. Please watch for postal communications from the Weston Department of Public Works regarding installation scheduling. Please do not ignore this installation request. Your cooperation will ensure the system goes online as quickly as possible.
A postal letter will be mailed approximately two weeks before the planned installation. This letter will provide you with information to contact the Town’s contractor, Baystate Winsupply Co., to schedule an appointment for the installation. Please do not ignore this letter. Your attention to the matter will help ensure the new infrastructure goes online in a timely fashion. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.
In most instances, installation should take less than 30 minutes. The installer will have a photo identification badge and drive a clearly marked vehicle. If there are any doubts, call Baystate Winsupply to verify your appointment.
In a few cases, water service will be turned off for 15‐20 minutes. The installer will make certain that service is restored before leaving your home.
Yes, as long as access to the meter is provided. The Town of Weston’s DPW and Baystate Winsupply Co. will work with you to install an endpoint transmitter.
The power and duration of the radio signal is too low to pose a health risk. The products that make up the AMI system are stringently evaluated for safety and meet all standards established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and Institute of Electrical (IEEE) and Electronics Engineers. See the RF Safety Specification Sheet (PDF) for more information.
The technology operates as a very low‐powered signal that is regulated by the (FCC) against interference. It is unlikely that it will interfere with the operation of other electronic devices. See the RF Safety Specification Sheet (PDF) for more information.
The transmitter that sends your meter reading has a unique identifier that is sent along with the read meter data. This identifier is compared electronically to your account record to ensure that the meter reading matches the meter assigned to your account.
AMI technology ensures that customers pay only for the water they use. Older meters may not have recorded all water used, so some customers may see an increase in their water bill. This is because the new meter is measuring water usage accurately. The web or mobile interface will allow residents to monitor daily water usage.
You will continue to enjoy the same high‐quality water you have come to expect from the Town of Weston and the MWRA.
Public questions may be directed to the Public Works Department, 781‐786‐5100.
If a retaining wall (including rip-rap) constructed of any masonry material including concrete and is less than 36 inches above existing natural grade it does not require a building permit. Please call the office for additional instructions if 36 inches or above.
New houses and large additions, renovation projects may require a CO.
Temporary CO may be issued with conditions, if necessary.
New building, additions, and extensive remodels.
Contact the Town’s Department of Public Works at 781-786-5100 to obtain details on obtaining a Street Opening Permit or Curb Cut Driveway Opening Permit. Both applications are available on the DPW’s applications web page.
Please note: there is a road cutting moratorium on any public roadway that has been paved within five years. Roadway paving is a part of the Town’s Capital Improvement Program.
The purpose of charging for bulky waste is to help cover the cost of running the Transfer Station, which helps keep the cost down for permit holders and tax-payers. The costs to haul away solid waste and recycling are increasing and bulkier items take up room in the dumpster creating higher disposal expense. Currently, taxpayers are subsidizing the cost of disposing of large bulky waste. The best way to reduce bulky waste, and therefore the cost of running the Transfer Station, is to charge for it.
A two-week study was conducted at the Transfer Station where the prices for bulky waste items were applied to items on the list being thrown away during those two weeks. In that time, $3,600 would have been collected. This money will help offset the disposal costs and it will not create a profit.
Back to Bulky Waste
The permit fee could be raised but that is not an equitable approach for all users of the Transfer Station.
A bulky item is something that you as an individual do not necessarily dispose of that frequently, such as a couch or washing machine; however, on a whole of all permit holders, bulky items add up. Rather than passing the cost to all permit holders, especially when there are items that can be reused or donated, the cost is brought down to the individual.
Remember, if it fits in a tall kitchen bag, it is not necessarily subject to the bulky fee and many bulky items can be reused or donated.
At the time the Select Board established the price of a Transfer Station permit in September 2020, a small increase in the fee was made to keep the tax subsidy of the Transfer Station operating costs within established bounds. No increase in permit fees had been made in the two prior years. Over the past three years, the increase in permit prices for most households averages slightly more than 2% a year, well below the increase in the cost of running the Transfer Station (the increase was even less for older adults).
The increase was kept low with the expectation that anticipated revenue from bulky waste would help make up the difference.
Charging for bulky waste is part of a series of changes being made at the Transfer Station to reduce the amount of solid waste that the Transfer Station must process. Composting began in October of 2020. Phasing in the changes gives residents time to get used to the new systems.
The bulky waste fee structure was developed based on an analysis of what other communities charge. The individual fees are less than what private haulers charge for the same item.
If the item is larger than 2’ x 2’ x 2’, or bigger than what will fit inside a tall kitchen (13 gal.) garbage bag, then it is a bulky item.
Some items, such as a wood pallet, can be broken down into smaller pieces, which would either reduce or avoid the bulky fee. Some bulky items can also be broken down into individual recyclables. Let's say you have a small couch to dispose of that cannot be donated or sold. This item can be broken down:
No. Charging for bulky waste is separate from PAYT.
PAYT and bulky waste fees are based on a common philosophy, however, which is that unit-based pricing for trash disposal is the best way to encourage recycling and ensure that we are only throwing away items that truly have no value to anyone else.
The Swap Shed is currently closed due to the pandemic. When it reopens, new policies will be implemented to prevent items from being put in the swap shed to avoid the bulky waste disposal fee.
Bulky items that can be reused should be donated to charitable organizations listed on the Bulky Waste donation/recycle information sheet, or otherwise sold or given away. Some of the organizations listed will pick items up.
Both wood and metal are waste ban items, per state law. This means they must be separated from the solid waste steam. These items are processed differently, resulting in an additional expense to the Transfer Station. Larger, bulky items take up more room in the dumpster resulting in more expense to process. So, yes the items are recyclable but there are fees associated with recycling. The bulky fee rates are being applied to cover the expense to process the larger items.
Not all plastics can be recycled. Items that are labeled recyclable and can easily fit into the plastic compactor are not considered bulky waste. Non-recyclable plastics (no symbol) and large plastic items that cannot fit in the regular plastic hopper will have a bulky item fee applied to it.
This is a new program and with all new programs there will be bumps along the way. We are anticipating the need to make adjustments and we ask for your patience. The attendants at the Transfer Station will be trained on the program and payment system and, as always, are there to help our users with any and all questions.
Bulky items can be paid for on site with a credit or debit card. An online shop is also available where items can be paid for before your trip to the Transfer Station. At this time, only credit or debit cards will be accepted.
A rug is not installed wall to wall in a room whereas carpet is. Carpet is considered a demolition item, which isn’t accepted at the Transfer Station. As for rugs, take a look at your rug and determine if it can be recycled? If it isn’t wet, moldy or soiled with oil or another hazardous chemical it may be recycled but only if it can fit inside the textile recycling bin.
In order to access the Transfer Station, you will need to have a permit sticker. A Recycle Only Permit and a Five-day Pass are available from the Treasurer/Collector. See WestonMA.gov/TSPermits for additional information and permit application.
How you travel can also make a big difference in your carbon footprint. Thirty percent of Weston’s GHG emissions come from transportation. Consider the following strategies.
Tracking our progress is essential to successful achievement of Weston Ahead's goals for Connected Mobility. We have identified several metrics and associated targets, listed below. We anticipate this list will continue to evolve as data tracking improves. The Town will report on progress against these metrics at least every two years.
Back to WestonAhead
Residents can play a role in protecting Weston’s ecosystems by conserving water and maintaining more sustainable landscapes. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Tracking our progress is essential to successful achievement of Weston Ahead's goals for Healthy Natural Ecosystems. We have identified several metrics and associated targets, listed below. We anticipate this list will continue to evolve as data tracking improves. The Town will report on progress against these metrics at least every two years.
Sign up for Weston Power Choice, and electricity aggregation program that will offer electricity supply options with more renewable energy than currently offered by Eversource. Renewable energy sources, like wind and solar, have much smaller carbon footprints than natural gas and other fossil fuels.
Tracking our progress is essential to successful achievement of Weston Ahead's goals for Resilient Infrastructure and Services. We have identified several metrics and associated targets, listed below. We anticipate this list will continue to evolve as data tracking improves. The Town will report on progress against these metrics at least every two years.
There are many ways to save energy at home.
Tracking our progress is essential to successful achievement of Weston Ahead's goals for Smart and Efficient Buildings. We have identified several metrics and associated targets, listed below. We anticipate this list will continue to evolve as data tracking improves. The Town will report on progress against these metrics at least every two years.
*Source for all baseline data, unless otherwise specified: Weston Community and Municipal 2018 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory, Town of Weston, 2020
Much of the waste we throw away ends up in incinerators, which emit toxic pollutants, or in landfills where waste decomposes and releases methane emissions that contribute to climate change. Here are some ideas to reduce your household waste.
Tracking our progress is essential to successful achievement of Weston Ahead's goals for Sustainable Resource Consumption. We have identified several metrics and associated targets, listed below. we anticipate this list will continue to evolve as data tracking improves. The Town will report on progress against these metrics at least every two years.
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The Regional Housing Services Office (RHSO) was established by the towns of Bedford, Concord, Lexington, Lincoln, Sudbury, and Weston with Sudbury as the Host Community. This collaboration was formed through an Inter-Municipal Agreement signed in February 2011. With a goal to provide municipalities with technical support for the administration of affordable housing, the RHSO has been established as a creative approach to maintaining the 3,200 units of affordable housing in this regional service area.
Please contact:Elizabeth RustRegional Housing Services Office141 Keyes RoadConcord, MA firstname.lastname@example.org
To obtain an Absentee Ballot Application, please visit the
For more information, please visit the
The Consumer Assistance Office is a non-profit organization which operates under a grant from the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General. The agency works in cooperation with the AGO to help people resolve their consumer issues. Services are free and mediation is informal, non-legal advice performed by trained volunteers. Consumer Assistance Office website.
Call the Executive Director Nathan Suher, Weston Media Center at 781-786-5191 or through email or by mail at: Weston Media Center, Inc. Attention: Nathan Suher, Executive Director 356 Boston Post Road, Weston, MA 02493
Check under News and Events on the homepage for the current programming schedule. Weston Media Center can be seen on Comcast channel 9 and Verizon channel 45. For All Government Programming, see Verizon channel 41.
Methods for controlling invasive species vary by species and site and fall into two categories:
The Town (and other organizations that manage large land areas) may occasionally use herbicides as a last resort when managing extensive colonies, but homeowners (and their landscapers) can generally control invasive species at the scale of their own properties without herbicides.
Manual & Mechanical Control Methods for Common Invasive Species in Weston (PDF) provides mechanical control recommendations for common invasive species in Weston. Other recommendations can be found on the Sour 16 species page.
Proper disposal of invasive plant parts is important to prevent inadvertently spreading the plants during disposal. Some species can re-root from small cut sections. Some may ripen even after a plant has been pulled. Simply composting in a backyard compost pile will not typically provide enough heat to kill seeds and roots. Proper disposal strategies depend on the species and how it reproduces. Some strategies are:
Note that plants identified as invasive by the Massachusetts Invasive Plant Advisory Group may not be left at Weston’s Yard Waste Collection and Compost Facility per Town regulations.
Restoring any site where invasive species were removed is a key – but sometimes forgotten – step in a successful control effort. Many of our invasive plant species are adapted to thrive in disturbed soils. For this reason, all control efforts and general site work that result in exposed mineral soil should incorporate some degree of restoration.
For native plant recommendations that are specific to your site’s conditions and needs, try the Native Plant Trust’s Garden Plant Finder or visit the Weston Plant Pollinator Alliance.
All invasive species control efforts will involve at least several years of removal efforts. Even when 100% of plants are removed, seeds persist in the seed bank, vegetation re-sprouts from remaining rootstock and rhizomes, and any bare soil patches can invite new invasive species to establish. To be successful, you will need to plan to monitor the area for some years and promptly remove any invasive plants that re-appear. Manual & Mechanical Control Methods for Common Invasive Species in Weston (PDF) provides guidance on how many years each species needs to be monitored.
Fortunately, the work that comes after the first year gets progressively easier, as fewer and fewer invasive plants emerge and more native plants establish. Within a few years, you and the wildlife around you will enjoy the fruits of your invasive species control efforts.
Weston's Conservation Commission permits bow hunting for deer on 14 conservation land and open space properties from October through December 31st, which is in line with the state bow hunting season. Hunters are assigned to the following Conservation Properties:
Well-seasoned and proficient bow hunters are selected by the Conservation Commission. Hunter selection preference is given to Weston residents, employees, and hunters with demonstrated experience hunting on properties where people and dogs frequent.
Per state hunting laws:
Weston's Hunting Regulations (PDF) complement state regulations, which take precedence.
Back to the Deer Management Program
Walking and recreational uses of conservation land will not be disrupted.
The deer hunting stands are located high up in trees and away from main trails. The hunters are aware that Weston’s Conservation Lands are heavily used by people and dogs.
Several MetroWest communities including Framingham, Sudbury, and Dover also have successful hunting programs on their conservation lands where people frequently walk dogs, jog, bike and horse-back ride. Since the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife began keeping records, there have been no reports of non-hunter injuries during bow hunting season.
Unfortunately, illegal hunting does take place on conservation land. The Conservation Commission occasionally finds illegal deer stands and blinds. Despite the Commission’s best efforts to police the properties, it does not have the resources to be ever-present on all properties. However, Weston's permitted hunters who have a stake in the program help the Commission deter illegal hunting, and improve safety for everyone in the woods.
To protect native plants and animals, we must actively manage these human-influenced parcels. Humans are already a key element in the ecological equation that governs these properties. Furthermore, humans have been key predators of deer for thousands of years. An unrestricted deer population is a powerful disruptive force in Weston’s forests, wetlands, and fields. In this case, proper management of conservation land requires human intervention to protect and preserve diversity of both flora and fauna. A hands-off approach would allow deer to continue to threaten many native species.
All the evidence the Conservation Commission has received from long-time residents indicates that 30 years ago there were few deer in Weston, whereas today there are many. There’s no way to know the exact deer population of Weston; however, the evidence gathered is consistent with Massachusetts Department of Fish and Wildlife estimates for our region, which is about 25 deer/square mile. The state and the Commission’s goal is to obtain a population of 8 deer per square mile.
While most residents enjoy having some deer in Weston, 72% of those who responded to the Conservation Commission Deer Impact online survey felt that the deer population had reached a level that should be controlled. The negative impacts caused by deer include:
The purpose of this deer hunting program is to stabilize the deer population in a safe manner as part of the Conservation Commission's land stewardship obligations. We do not foresee hunting with firearms. We do not intend to allow hunting of other forms of wildlife on Conservation Land.
All Weston Fire Department personnel are trained in first aid and CPR and are considered first responders. A first responder is a person trained to arrive on the scene and provide immediate care to keep the victim alive until advance medical personnel arrive on the scene. All Weston fire units are capable of this function.
Weston Fire Department maintains two basic life support fire engines and all of our personnel are defibrillator-trained, state-certified emergency medical technicians (EMT). Moreover, the additional personnel on the engine are needed in order to safely move the patient from the scene to the ambulance.
Read this fire recovery pamphlet to find information on what to do within the first 24-hours, if you are or are not insured, how to replace valuable documents, and more.
You can stop in at headquarters and if someone is available for a tour we would be more than happy to give you one. For groups larger than eight, please call ahead at 781-786-6101.
Yes, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts allows burning under 527 Code of Massachusetts Regulations 10.22 (2) from January 15th to May 1st of each year. You must have a burning permit issued by the Weston Fire Department for the burning season, which can be applied for by using our online application form. After a permit is issued, you must call each day to see if burning is allowed. The chief will determine if conditions are favorable for burning each day. For more information, call the Fire Department 781-786-6101.
The Weston Fire Department operates out of two stations. Headquarters is located at 394 Boston Post Road housing Ladder 1, Engine 1, Engine 4, Ambulance 1, Ambulance 2, Rescue Boat, S-1, Car 3 and Car 4. Station 2 is located at 390 South Avenue housing Engine 3 and Engine 2. The administration offices are located at headquarters along with fire prevention and the dispatch office.
Please read the "Facts for Massachusetts Property Owners About Blasting" flyer published by the Office of the State Fire Marshal for blasting facts and regulations.
If you would like your blood pressure taken, just come to the Weston Fire Department Headquarters anytime during the day. There is always an EMT available to take your blood pressure for you. If the station is unoccupied due to an emergency call, please use the phone located in the lobby to call Dispatch (directions are next to the phone).
You should contact Pro EMS at:
P.O. Box 410326
Cambridge, MA 02141
The Massachusetts Invasive Plant Advisory Group (MIPAG) defines invasive plants as “non-native species that have spread into native or minimally managed plant systems in Massachusetts. These plants cause economic or environmental harm by developing self-sustaining populations and becoming dominant and/or disruptive to those systems.”
Invasive plants have all been imported by people, either intentionally or accidentally, from other parts of the globe. In their home range, invasive plants aren’t invasive – there are natural mechanisms, such as herbivores, diseases and pests, and competing plants, that keep their populations in balance. But when introduced to our area, invasive plants don’t face those same pressures, and they can grow and spread unchecked.
Learn about the invasive plant species that may grow in Weston.
A native plant is one that occurs naturally in the place where it evolved. Native plants are part of the balance of nature that has developed over hundreds or thousands of years in a particular region or ecosystem. Only plants found here before European settlement are considered to be native to the United States. Some plants that people considered to be nuisance species, such as poison ivy and greenbriar, are actually native.
Not all non-native plant species are invasive. In fact, 31% of plants in New England are non-native, but 10% are considered invasive. Invasive species are non-native species that have certain characteristics that allow them to quickly overpopulate, such as:
Native plants work in natural communities to clean air, water and soil, serve as the base of food chains, provide habitat for wildlife, and do much more. When invasive species infest a plant community, they outcompete and displace the native species that have evolved to be part of that community. This displacement can cause disruptions throughout the ecosystem. Colonies of invasive species impact food sources for wildlife, change the structure of habitats (such as branch heights for perching and plant density for hiding), and alter the amount of light, water, and space available for other plants. Invasive species can change the soil’s chemistry so that it is unfavorable for other species to grow in for years to come. In some cases, they can even directly harm or poison wildlife.
Invasive plants can directly impact people as well, such as impairing public utility operations, altering water quality, limiting outdoor recreation, and threatening public safety. Oriental bittersweet can pull down power lines, Japanese knotweed can crumble pavement and obscure sight-lines on roadways and corners, and water chestnut can clog the waterways - these are just a few examples. For farming and forestry operations, invasive plant infestations can bring significant economic impacts. Species like giant hogweed can even physically harm people, pets, and livestock.
Read more about what you can do to help control invasive species in Weston.
PAYT bags may be purchased at the following locations:
Bags are available in two sizes and are sold in rolls of 10:
Back to PAYT
Under PAYT, permit stickers to the Transfer Station will be free to all Town residents. Households are entitled to two free permit stickers, annually. Additional permits will be $20 per vehicle.
Residents who are new to the Transfer Station may visit Town Hall to receive their permits. Please bring your vehicle registration information with you. Each sticker must be assigned to a car registered in Weston, and affixed to that car’s driver's side windshield.
The Transfer Station sticker will enable the resident to enter the Transfer Station, and the resident may, without charge, dispose of recyclables, yard waste, and compost, and may access the Swap Shed (which will be reopening as a volunteer-run operation in September).
Anyone with a sticker may throw trash away at the Transfer Station, and the trash must be bagged in official Weston PAYT bags, which are purchased separately at local retailers.
The average household should pay about the same amount of money to dispose of its trash under PAYT as under the former permit fee. The former permit fee for non-senior households for one car was $255 for the year. (The second sticker cost $45.) The PAYT Working Group estimates that under PAYT, the average non-senior household will need 66 large bags a year for a total cost of $264 per year. Senior households paid $155 last year for a Transfer Station sticker. The Working Group estimates that under PAYT the average senior household will need 35 large bags per year for a total annual cost of $140.
These numbers assume that an additional 20% of household waste will be diverted into composting, recycling, and re-use. (Composters, take note: composting alone accounts for about 30% of household trash by weight.) Households that dispose of less than the average amount of trash will save money under PAYT.
For recycling and reuse tips, refer to WestonMA.gov/RSW for resources on how to reduce what goes into your trash bag. Mass DEP’s Recyclopedia is also a useful source of recycling information.
Weston is adopting PAYT because it is the best way to reduce the amount of trash we throw away. The 44% of towns in Massachusetts that have adopted similar programs throw away only 2/3rds as much solid waste as towns without such programs. Our neighbors Acton, Concord, Holliston, Hudson, Littleton, Maynard, Natick, Needham, Sudbury, and Wayland have all adopted PAYT, and more towns are adopting it every year. Most of us understand that we need to find ways to reduce our environmental footprint. In fact, under the recently adopted Climate Action and Resilience Plan, Weston has made a commitment to reduce its solid waste.
PAYT is also a fairer system. As with many other resources we use (such as water, electricity, and gas), PAYT requires you to pay for your usage. Under the previous flat-fee permit system, smaller households and conscientious recyclers subsidized other households; PAYT removes this inequity.
The Select Board charged a Working Group to study and analyze the program for Weston. Working with a consultant from the state, the Working Group studied the program and the cost impacts to the town and residents. A presentation of its report and recommendation to the Select Board was made on April 13, 2021. The Working Group's Presentation (PDF) is available online and the meeting was recorded by Weston Media Center (mm 1:30:00).
A shared use path is off-road infrastructure that is physically separated from motorized vehicle traffic and designed for use by people of all ages. They are designed for two-way non-vehicle travel options for a wide variety of settings, such as walking with a stroller, riding a bicycle, or jogging. Shared use paths are typically paved and ADA compliant to meet the versatile needs of users.
In the context of this project, a shared-use path will:
Learn more about shared-use paths here.
The shared use path cross section will also reduce the curb-to-curb width of pavement along the corridor when compared to the cross section with buffered bike lanes (as shown in the following images).
The goals of the original MassDOT Healthy Transportation Policy (2013) state: “…to ensure all MassDOT projects are designed and implemented in a way that all our customers have access to safe and comfortable healthy transportation options at all MassDOT facilities and in all the services we provide.” A key phrase here is “all of our customers”, not just the avid experienced cyclists. This policy is geared towards attracting the “interested but concerned” bicyclist discussed above.
MassDOT took its policy further in 2020 with a new Engineering Directive (E-20-001) to apply guidelines for bicycle facilities based on vehicular speeds and volumes. The speed limit and volumes on Route 30 place this roadway in the category of requiring a separated bicycle facility in the form of either a shared use path, side path, separated bike lane, or buffered bike lane.
Through coordination with the Town, MassDOT, and the public, the preferred alternative selected was the 10-ft shared-use path (SUP). The typical cross-section includes 11-ft travel lanes, 3-ft shoulders, and a 10-ft shared-use path with a grass buffer. The grass buffer varies in width depending on space and constraints, and in some areas, the shared-use path directly abuts the roadway.
Another Important reason why a shared use path is being proposed along this corridor (as opposed to another type of bicycle accommodation), is that it will contribute to a greater shared use path network that is in design along Route 30 in Weston and Newton. There are currently four projects along Route 30 with proposed shared use paths that will connect to one another:
Combined, the shared-use path connected with the three other projects along Route 30 will result in approximately 4.5-miles of continuous shared-use path along Route 30 in Weston and Newton. This 4.5-mile path connection will begin at the Natick/Weston town line and extend to Lyons Field in Newton.
The proposed typical cross-section includes 11-ft travel lanes with 3-ft shoulders. From the Natick town line to Newton Street in Weston, there is a proposed 10-ft shared-use path that will run along the south side of the road with a grass buffer between the path and the roadway. This grass buffer varies in width but is most typically 3’- 5’ wide with a granite curb. At Newton Street, the path crosses to the north side of the road as it continues east.
The shared use path cross section includes 38-ft of impervious area compared to 41-ft of impervious in the buffered bike lane option. Over a 3.7 mile corridor, this equates to the shared use path option having 58,608 SF of impervious area LESS than the buffered bike lane option.
At signalized intersections, cyclists on the shared-use path will follow the pedestrian signals. At unsignalized intersections and driveways, shared-use path users have the right of way. This is the same condition for on-road bike lanes except for at signalized intersections where users of an on-road bike lane would go with the vehicular signal.
MassDOT is currently starting the design process for the project to connect the eastern limits of this project to the western limits of Route 30 over the Charles River bridge (shown on page 4). The intent is for that section of path to be constructed at the same time as the Weston Route 30 project. By that time, the Route 30 over the Charles River bridge project and the Newton Carriageway project will be constructed.
At the western project limits, the current design proposes a crossing with a Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) to provide a safe crossing for cyclists to reach the appropriate side of the road (depending on their direction of travel). The western limits are at the Town line and therefore any extension of the shared use path would need to be initiated and designed by the town of Natick (and then Wayland shortly after). While there is still the possibility that a bicycle may continue to travel on the wrong side of the road, there will be pavement markings and signage that will guide cyclists to cross.
There is a variable-width buffer proposed between the shared-use path and road for this project which typically includes a 6-inch vertical curb and grass/ landscaping. There are areas of this corridor where there are various constraints such as trees, wetlands, or walls that have impacted the ability to provide a full 5-ft buffer. However, additional vertical separation can be evaluated to add more comfort to path users. This can be in the form of a barrier such as a wooden split-rail fence. Any barrier or fence placed would be done in a way to minimize impacts to sight distance at driveways and side streets.
Bicyclists are still able to travel on the road with vehicles on Route 30, as they would for any other roadway aside from those that explicitly prohibit bicycles, such as limited access highways.
Yes. The shared-use path will be ADA compliant. Shared-use paths are designed to serve users who have diverse modes of travel, have a variety of trip purposes, and are meant to accommodate to a wide spectrum of ages, abilities, and comfort levels.
However, there is an approximately 800 ft section of Route 30 east of Oak Street where the grade of roadway is 6.57%. Because the path follows the alignment and natural profile of the roadway, the path is allowable to be over 5% according to ADA/AAB guidelines. From the U.S. Access Board PROWAG
R302.5.1 Within Street or Highway Right-of-Way. Except as provided in R302.5.3, where pedestrian access routes are contained within a street or highway right-of-way, the grade of pedestrian access routes shall not exceed the general grade established for the adjacent street or highway.
In order to improve this condition for cyclists, the design consultant, Howard Stein Hudson, will look to widen the path to 12-ft while also adding a centerline for the path. This will help keep cyclists on their respective sides of the path to reduce conflicts between those traveling downhill and those climbing uphill. Additional width will be given to the uphill side. Also note, that within this 800-ft stretch of roadway there are no intersecting driveways or side streets along the path.
The traffic counts were collected in September 2018 when school was in session. The 25% design was submitted in the fall of 2020, and when the traffic analysis was completed (2018-2019) the 2018 traffic count data collected was the most appropriate data to use. During the pandemic, MassDOT issued an Engineering Directive prohibiting new traffic counts to be collected due to the impacts from COVID-19 on the travelling public and directed engineers to use historic data from 2014-2019 whenever possible. New traffic data is only allowed to be collected with approval from MassDOT. This directive is still in place, although it is expected to be lifted soon.
All intersections along the corridor were evaluated for traffic signals. Six met signal warrants. After evaluating each of these six intersections, the recommendation from the consultant was to propose new traffic signals at Winter Street and Oak Street, and a hybrid pedestrian/ emergency signal at Ash Street. This design was based on traffic volumes, speeds (40-45mph), crash history, sight distance, and the ability to provide safe pedestrian and bicycle crossings.
At Winter Street a signal would improve safety and delay for drivers turning onto Route 30. Currently there Weston Route 30 Reconstruction Project Questions & Answers is a lack of sufficient sight distance for drivers exiting Winter Street from both sides. A signal would also provide a safe crossing for pedestrian and bicycles. On the contrary, a signal does introduce a new delay for vehicles traveling on Route 30 at this location.
At Oak Street, a signal would improve safety and delay for vehicles turning onto Route 30 from Oak Street and Fields Pond Rd, and would also provide the ability to add a left turn lane on Route 30 westbound. A signal would provide a safe crossing for pedestrian and bicycles. However, as with Winter Street, it would introduce a new delay for vehicles on Route 30.
A hybrid emergency-pedestrian signal is proposed at Ash Street. This signal will only be activated when a pedestrian or bicyclist pushes the button, or when emergency vehicles need to exit or enter the fire station.
The design is proposing new traffic signals at the Winter Street and Oak Street intersections. This design was based on traffic volumes, speeds, crash history, sight distance, and the ability to provide safe pedestrian and bicycle crossings.
A hybrid emergency-pedestrian signal is proposed at Ash Street. This signal will only be activated when a pedestrian or bicyclist pushes the button, or when emergency vehicles need to exit or enter the fire station
These signals will use video detection. Route 30 will have a green light unless a car approaches on one of the side streets.
While it is possible to set the signals to flashing yellow during off-peak hours, it is not a typical design, and the video detection should remove the need for that.
Some examples of these types of shared use paths that run parallel to an adjacent roadway include:
to these types of facilities either as a path user or driver.
These roads with paths include
Given the recent change in MassDOT guidelines for bike accommodations along streets with higher volumes and speeds, there are several projects in design around the state that will have a similar type of shared use path running alongside a roadway.
Some of these projects in design include:
The conceptual plan presented at the 2018 Weston Town meeting was prior to any data collection and preliminary analysis. While the current design is similar to the initial concept, changes in multi-modal accommodations were required. These changes in project scope can occur for numerous reasons:
It was through this conceptual design process that we learned more information regarding the existing conditions (average daily traffic and vehicular speed) of Route 30 in Weston. In addition, design guidelines were updated by the MassDOT after the 2018 Town Meeting.
Analysis of the existing conditions and the update to the MassDOT design guidelines required modification of the proposed cross-section. The process and reasoning for the design change were discussed at various public meetings by way of the Traffic and Sidewalk Committee.
A 3.7 mile corridor project that is adding a shared use path, unfortunately, will involve some tree removal. Based on the layout of the 25% design and given the trees documented in the survey as well as the Town’s GIS located tree inventory, the tree removal count currently stands at 177 trees. The Town’s GIS inventory includes a tree health assessment and of the 177 trees: 39 are dead, 1 is in critical condition, 21 in poor condition, 71 in fair condition, 43 in good condition, and 2 in very good condition. There will be proposed tree plantings as part of this project that will replace trees at a goal ratio of 2:1. If that number of proposed trees cannot fit within the project limits, the municipality is often provided with trees to propose outside the project limits, or other vegetation may be proposed in some locations to improve screening for residential abutters and provide aesthetic landscaping improvements where space allows.
There have been numerous public meetings related to this project:
Traffic and Sidewalk Committee (T&SC) meeting:
Meeting with Project Team: Weston DPW, Engineering, Town Manager; MassDOT District 6, and design consultants Howard Stein Hudson (HSH)
Pre-25% Public Information Meeting hosted by the Traffic and Sidewalk Committee (T&SC):
Traffic and Sidewalk Committee (T&SC) meeting
Traffic and Sidewalk Committee (T&SC) meeting
Select Board meeting
The MassDOT 25% Design Public Hearing is tentatively scheduled
First, please know that the Town is not liable for damages incurred by plowed, thrown or moved snow and ice as the result of normal plowing operations. Further, the Town is not responsible for the following damaged items that are located within the public way: fences; lawns; shrubs; sprinkler heads; steps; or trees.
Mailbox ResponsibilityThe town will be responsible for mailboxes that are physically hit by a plow; however, the town is not liable for damage to mailboxes caused from heavy, wet snow being plowed. Mailboxes will not be repaired if they are in a deteriorated condition.Mailboxes and posts damaged by the impact of a snowplow will be fixed and/or replaced by the town with a standard wooden post and black box. The town will provide a check in the amount of $50 for homeowner’s use for any specialty mailbox and/or post that cannot be repaired.
To report plow damage, please contact the Department of Public Works at 781-786-5100. See also:
CodeRED is a web-based critical communication solution that enables local public safety personnel to notify residents and businesses by telephone, text message, email, and social media of time-sensitive information, emergencies, or urgent notifications. The system can reach hundreds of thousands of individuals in minutes to ensure information such as evacuation notices, missing persons, inclement weather advisories, and more are quickly shared. Only authorized officials have access to send alerts using the CodeRED system.
Any message regarding the safety of our residents and community will be disseminated using CodeRED. We will send out alerts via phone, text, email, and social media in a variety of situations including boil water notices, gas leaks, evacuation notices, police activity, fire emergencies, missing persons, and more. This is a community alert system to ensure you remain informed of important information. Please keep in mind that as you register to receive CodeRED alerts, you have the ability to select the types of messages you wish to receive and your preferred means of communication.
No, registering for CodeRED phone calls, text messages, and email are free. Simply sign up on our enrollment website and select your preferred means of communication.
A CodeRED message will have the caller ID # 866-419-5000 for emergencies and caller ID # 855-969-4636 for non-emergencies. We suggest that you program these numbers into your cell phone as a “new contact” and use “CodeRED” as the contact name. If you need to replay the message received, you can dial this number and listen to the message again in its entirety.
CodeRED is an important tool to help keep you informed and prepared for any emergencies that may occur in our area. Officials will send messages to alert you of emergency details, instructions, or precauti ons that you need in order to make well-informed decisions and remain safe. This system is precise enough to geotarget residents within an exact area of impact, so that only those people who are affected by emergency situati on are notified.
Visit the CodeRed registration page here and enter the required information online (address, name, phone number(s), and email). This is the quickest way to sign up because the information you supply is immediately registered in the system.
No resident should assume that their information is in the system. All residential and business landline phone numbers in Weston are uploaded into the system and on a recurring schedule; however, to ensure emergency alerts are received on a preferred device (cell, text, or email), all residents should log into their accounts to ensure mobile numbers and/or email addresses are added to your account.
Yes, you can register more than one phone number and/or email address for your location when you register for CodeRED. Please note that it is highly recommended you register at least one phone number and one email address to ensure that you will receive CodeRED alerts in the event of a power outage or an incident that may occur late at night when you are generally asleep. Visit the CodeRed registration link.
Make sure to have at least one working corded telephone on hand for these situations. However, when signing up for CodeRED, you may indicate both a primary and alternative phone number. Cell phones and/or work phone numbers can be entered as alternatives. Both your primary and your alternative phone numbers will be contacted in the event of a CodeRED notification.
If you receive a CodeRED phone call, listen carefully to the entire message. You can repeat the message by pressing any key. Do not call 911 for further information unless directed to do so, or if you need immediate aid from the police or fire department. If you receive a CodeRED email or text message, please be sure to read the entire message carefully and follow all instructions.
The CodeRED system will leave a message on your answering machine or voicemail if you miss a CodeRED phone call. If you do not have an answering machine, the system will consider the call as “incomplete” and will attempt to call again after several minutes have passed. If your phone line is busy, CodeRED will try two more times to connect. At any point, you may re-dial the 800 number on your caller ID to hear a replay of the message sent.
Renewals are not necessary as long as your contact information has not changed. If you move, however, you must update your information to ensure you will continue receiving these valuable notifications.
CodeRED offers a mobile app for Android and iPhone devices. All residents and business owners are encouraged to download the free app to receive alerts based on the geo-locati on your phone. As you travel throughout other CodeRED communities, you can receive important alerts that include community, emergency, and severe weather information. To download the CodeRED Mobile Alert app, visit Google Play or the App Store.
If you are submitting your application via postal mail, please send 10 completed copies to:
Weston Cultural Councilc/o Weston Town HallP.O. Box 378Weston, MA 02493
Postmark Deadline Is October 15th of each calendar year.
Online applications can be submitted on the Local Cultural Council website, under Weston.
Contact Christine Martin, chair, at email@example.com