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Massachusetts Law About Roads and Streets

Massachusetts Laws

Private Ways

Scenic Roads

Selected Case Law

Manor Avenue LLC v. Fontanella, 74 Mass. App. Ct. 155 (2009). Discusses circumstances under which rights in a paper street may be eliminated.

Other Web Sources

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Gravel Roads, Franklin Regional Council of Governments, September 2001. Covers design and maintenance of gravel roads.

Crash Rate Information, Mass. Highway Department. The "most current crash rates available for use in Massachusetts, as well as the procedures for calculating crash rates and the standard crash rate form to be used for all submissions to MassHighway."

Design Alternatives for Rural Roads, Franklin Regional Council of Governments, 2002. Scroll down to see list of links-- each chapter is a separate file. Contents include: low speed/low volume design, road width, shoulder width, retaining walls, lighting and more.

Frequently Asked Questions About Roundabouts, Franklin Regional Council of Governments, April 2006. Substantive booklet covers the differences between a rotary and a roundabout, the advantages of a roundabout, driving rules, and links to other sources.

Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), Federal Highway Administration, 2009 edition. MUTCD defines the standards used nationwide to install and maintain the signs, signals, and pavement markings on all streets and highways. See also: Massachusetts Amendments to the 2009 MUTCD (2012).

MassHighway Manuals. Extensive list of manuals, primarily on construction, including bridges, speed zoning, surveying and more.

Massachusetts Construction Standard Details, Mass. Highway Department. This 151-page manual includes the smallest details of highway construction in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Streets and Ways for Surveyors, by F. Sydney Smithers, Esq., 2011. This 78-page, fully-updated document provides a lengthy discussion of public & private ways in Massachusetts including establishment and maintenance of ways, installation of utilities, easements, discontinuance and subdivision control. Includes detailed references to cases and statutes.

Paper Streets, Worcester Registry of Deeds. In Word format, documents include valuable information on easements and paper streets.

Project Development and Design Guide, Mass. Highway Dept., January 2006. Includes standard road design elements, as well as aesthetic and wildlife considerations. According to the site, this manual "serves as a national model for developing better road and bridge projects."

Print Sources

Municipal Law and Practice (Mass. Practice), West Group, 2006, v.18B, s.23.5. Discusses all aspects of private ways.