Framingham Blog Posts
Framingham Commuter Rail Tips
Are you new to traveling the Worcester/Framingham Commuter Rail? Here's some advice from a regular commuter
- Take the Express (if possible) - Framingham is lucky to have regular express trains and you'll arrive into the City of Boston about 25 minutes quicker than a standard train.
- Arrive at the Station Early - Most Commuters arrive at the station about 5 minutes before the train arrives. Try to get get there 10 mins early for a better parking space. The MBTA has worked hard to keep the trains running on time and they will not wait for you.
- Infield Lot - Fills up quickly by 7:45. After that your better off parking in the lot that you see when you arrive at the station. (Infield Lot Info)
- Leaving Downtown Framingham at peak time - There are several trains that arrive in downtown Framingham between 5:30 and 6:15, causing lots of backups at the Concord Street/126 Intersection. Your best bet would be to avoid that intersection at that time.
- Know Where to Board - The incoming trains usually stop at the track nearest 126 (Opposite the main parking lot.) In the mornings the crowds are always gathering on that side of the track. Keep an eye on the marquee signs as they will indicate the times of the arrival trains.
- Boarding the Train - Usually the front of the train is best for South Station, middle for Back Bay and the rear for Yawkey.
- No Credit Cards allowed for on Board Ticket purchases - Use the mTicket application to purchase tickets. Don't wait until you board, do it while waiting for the train. Conductors do not like to wait for you to enter your credit card info in the app.
- Sign up for MBTA Alerts - Go to MBTA T-Alerts and sign up to get notifications on delays.
- Monthly Pass Card - if you have a physical monthly pass card guard it as if its money. If you loose it you can't get a free replacement. I usually just hold it in my hands to show the conductor and then put it back in my wallet.
Getting to Logan Airport
Framingham residents do have several options for getting to Logan International Airport. Here's a look at the four possible options. I also include the costs and the benefits of each option.
In these options, I am comparing a party of 3, 2-Adults and 1 child on a typical 7-day vacation.
Using Logan Express
Total Airport Trip Cost: $93
You need to get to Logan Express really early to get the bus and make it to the airport. This is very popular during peak travel times. The overflow lot is near Kohls.
The first inbound service is 3 am and the last outbound service is 1:15 am (except Saturdays at 12:15 am). The service runs every half hour on weekdays and Sundays after 1 pm, and every hour on Saturdays and Sunday mornings.You may be better off catching a taxi to Logan Express to save money.
|Cost of Parking at Logan Express:||$7 a day|
|Cost of Bus Trip:||$22 Round Trip|
Taking the MBTA Commuter Rail
Total Airport Trip Cost: $42.50
While this might be the cheapest option, it involves traveling on multiple public transportation vehicles (Train and Bus). This would not be a good option if you have a lot of luggage or children.
This would be a good option if your traveling for a long period.
|Commuter Rail Ticket:||$16.50 Round Trip (Children don't need a ticket)|
|Cost Silver Line:||$2.75 (Per Person) to the airport. The trip is Free from Logan to South Station.|
Driving and Parking at Logan International Airport
Total Airport Trip Cost: $192.90
This is the most expensive option. However, gives you the most control on getting to/from the airport. The driver can always drop off the passengers and the luggage at curbside and then park the car in the long-term lot.
Always check to see the status of the long-term lot. If there is an overflow lot, it may be closer to the terminals.
|Cost of Parking at Logan (Long Term Lot):||$26 a day|
|Cost of Tolls:||$3.70 (one-way) $3.50 (Ted Williams Tunnel) $10.90|
Taxi to/from Logan International Airport
Total Airport Trip Cost: $126+ Tip
This would be a way to save money over parking at the long-term lot - especially for longer trips. Make sure to call Tommy Taxi Cab in advance so there is a car available for you.
|Cost Breakdown (Tommy Taxi)|
|Cost of Getting to Logan:||$62|
|Cost of to getting to Framingham:||$64|
Over the Air Signal in Framingham
This weekend we have joined the growing trend and cut the cord from Comcast's Xfinity service. We switched over to Fios Internet service without TV service.
We are getting live TV from Over the Air and from Hulu's new live service. Hulu also has some great cable programming that we like to watch.
Technology has gotten so advanced that you don't need a large outdoor antenna to get quality over the air TV signals - particularly if you live in Framingham or for that matter much of the MetroWest.
We purchased a Vansky 2018 Newest Indoor Amplified Digital HDTV Antenna It offers a 50 Mile Range, Local Broadcast 4K/HD/VHF/UHF, Signal TV Channels for Smart Television w/ Detachable Amplifier. We purchased it from Amazon. This works perfectly in our house. This is powered by USB, it comes with a wall adapter, but the USB port on the TV works just fine.
We did notice that our 10-year-old TV didn't get as many channels as some newer TV sets.
Over the Air in Framingham
Framingham residences can get access to 38 "Over the Air" channels. Here's the current listing that you should be able to get:
The quality of the picture is great. This is certainly not the same "Over The Air" picture quality from the 1980s and 1990s. No rabbit ears, just pure digital quality.
Using Hulu Live
It does take time to get used to Hulu interface - particularly after watching Xfinity for a long time. When you turn it on you get a menu on what you want to watch, not live TV right away.
The live functionality isn't available on every platform. Only Samsung TVs has built-in support for Live, on other TVs, you need to use the Amazon Fire Stick, Apple TV or Chrome Stick to view Live broadcasts.
We'll still be able to watch popular news channels - Fox News or CNN whenever we want.
What We'll Be Missing
Unfortunately we won't see any of the regular Red Sox, Celtics or Bruins games as they are all on cable channels. Hulu doesn't carry NBCSP and NESN, where most of the games are played.
In some cases, we'll miss Xfinity DVD functionality and the voice remote.
We'll also miss the Xfinity Hotspots, especially along the Framingham/Worcester line.
Cutting the Cable is the Future
More and more people are cutting the cable because people are too busy to watch live TV. They are watching TV on their terms and cable is too expensive.
24-Hours Stores in Framingham
Framingham is very fortunate to have many establishments that are open 24-Hours. Here’s a list of the various locations and a note about each:
|CVS||1280 Worcester Rd (Corner of Temple and Worcester Road)||Pharmacy is open 24-hours. Great place to go to get medicine for children that are sick at 3am.|
|Walgreens||653 Worcester Rd||If CVS is out of your item, then try Walgreens. Good location if you live northern Framingham.|
|iHop||17 Edgell Road||New Restaurant that offers breakfast and comfort foods any time of the day.|
|McDonalds||Mass Pike I-90 Service Area||Good place if your looking for a quick late night bite this would be a good stop|
|Dunkin Donuts||692 Cochituate Road (Near the Mass Pike)||Looking for coffee before getting on the highway? One of the few Dunkin Donuts that is open 24-Hours. (The Dunkin on the Mass Pike isn't open 24-hours) They do have food services all night. It's great place to get donuts or donut holes for a late night software releases.|
|Cumberland Farms||730 Cochituate Road||Gas Station and Shop is open 24-hours. Great place to stop to fill up before heading to Logan Airport and catching the early morning flight.|
|Seasons Corner Market||846 Concord St||Shell Station that accepts Stop and Shop Fuel Reward Card. Easy access from Route 9 or Route 30.|
|Tedeschi Food Shop||430 Waverly Street (At the Corner of Concord and Waverly Street)||Lots of good snacks for the late night cravings.|
|VERC Gulf Nobscot||876 Edgell Road||Small store, has a lot of the basics. Convenient for those living around Nobscot and Northern Framingham.|
Villages of Framingham
The City of Framingham is broken down into 10 active neighborhoods:
- Downtown - City Offices, Downtown Framingham, MBTA Commuter Rail Station, MetroWest Medical Center.
- Coburnville - Keefe Technical School, Waushakum Pond
- Framingham Centre - Framingham State University, Centre Common, Bowditch Field
- Golden Triangle - Shopper's World, Target, AMC DINE-IN and Logan Express
- Nobscot - Edgel Road and Water Street, Garden in the Woods, Knox Trail Boy Scout Camp
- North Framingham - Wittenborg Woods, Callahan State Park, Hanson's Farm, Sudbury Valley School
- Salem End Road - Salem End Road, Framingham Country Club, Temple Street Plaza
- Saxonville - Framingham High School, Venetian Tower, Lake Cochituate and Cochituate State Park
- South Framingham - ADESA Boston and South Middlesex Correctional Center
- West Framingham - Cushing Memorial Park and Reservoir area
In May 2012, the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority allowed the public access to inactive aqueducts on various sites around Metrowest. One of the sites open was the Sudbury Aqueduct in Framingham.
Five Things I learned about the Sudbury Aqueduct
- This portion of the Aqueduct was created between 1875 and 1878.
- The purpose of the Sudbury Aqueduct is to move water from the Framingham Reservoir to Farm Pond as part of the route to transfer water from the Quabbin Reservoir to Boston.
- According to MWRA records, the aqueduct tunnel is brick lined and is 8.5 feet in diameter and 7.6 feet high.
- The Sudbury Aqueduct was taken out of regular service in 1978. The Aqueduct is still maintained as it needs to be available as an emergency back-up to the regional water supply system.
- This portion of Aqueduct is only xx feet, from Winter Street to Dudley Road. Local residents use the trail to get to Cushing Memorial Park.
Rules of the Aqueduct
There is a sign at both entrances to the Sudbury Aqueduct which read:
Welcome to the Sudbury Aqueduct walking trail.
This property is passive trail that has been permitted for use from the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority to the Town of Framingham Parks & Recreation Department.
The Town of Framingham and the MWRA would like to thank you for visiting the Sudbury Aqueduct walking trail. We ask that you observe the following while using this trail;
- Passive activity only (e.g.: walking, jogging, or bicycling). All other users are prohibited.
- Activity is restricted to 20 ft wide corridor down the center of the aqueduct. The use of all other land is considered trespassing and is prohibited.
- All users are responsible to access their own abilities and physical limitations prior to entering the property.
- Trail is open Dawn to Dusk
- Alcohol is prohibited
- Motorized Vehicles are prohibited.
- All dogs must be leashed. Remove all pet waste.
- Do not liter. This is a carry-in, carry-out facility.
- Please look for the 'Aqueduct Trails' markers along the trails to find your GPS location.
Getting to the Sudbury Aqueduct
The best place to park your car is at the Cushing Memorial Park near the chapel. You can then safely walk down Dudley Street to the entrance of the Sudbury Aqueduct.
Looking for the 'Aqueduct Trails' markers looks like a fun game to play with kids.
Plastic Bag Ban in Framingham
Welcome to 2018 in Framingham, there are some new changes around here...
Now a City
Framingham is American's newest City. Most residents won't see much of a change during the transformation.
No more Plastic Bags!
At the 2016 Town Meeting, residents voted in favor of Article 42 - Amend General Bylaws: Article VIII Section 8 - Plastic Bag Reduction Bylaw.
According to the Article, the intent of the new Bylaw:
The production and use of thin film single-use plastic checkout bags have significant impacts on the environment, including, but not limited to: contributing to the potential death of marine animals through ingestion and entanglement; contributing to pollution of the land environment; creating a burden to solid waste collection and recycling facilities; clogging storm drainage systems; and requiring the use of millions of barrels of crude oil nationally for their manufacture. The purpose of this bylaw is to eliminate the usage of thin-film-single-use plastic bags by all retail and grocery stores in the Town of Framingham, on or after January 1, 2017.
How will this be enforced?
According to the Article:
Enforcement of this bylaw shall be the responsibility of the Town Manager (now Mayor) or his/her designee. The Town Manager shall determine the inspection process to be followed, incorporating the process into other town duties as appropriate.Any retail or grocery store distributing plastic grocery bags in violation of this bylaw shall be subject to a non-criminal disposition fine as specified in Appendix A of the Regulations for Enforcement of Town Bylaws under LM.G. Chapter 40,2S1D -Any such fines shall be paid to the Town of Framingham.
Framingham Not Alone on the Ban
Plastic Bag Regulations have been approved in 61 Cities and Towns in Massachusetts. The following city and towns in Massachusetts have now ban the use of plastic bags in retail stores:
State Law Proposed
There is a Bill in the Massachusetts legislature that will make any single-use bags against the law - not just plastic bags. If the bill passes, the law would go into effect on August 1, 2018.
The Bill S.424 simply states:
Except as provided in this section on and after August 1, 2018, a store shall not provide a single-use carryout bag to a customer at the point of sale.
The Bill is currently in a Joint Senate/House hearing. However, pass bills never made it Pass the Joint hearing and pretty much dies in committee.
Top 7 Wednesday Blog Posts of 2017
There were a lot of interesting posts done this year, it was difficult to pick just seven...
Top Seven Wednesday Blog Posts
In no particular order...
- Stitching Panoramas in Affinity Photo - Really like creating Panorama photos from a groups of photos.
- Extra Large Mousepad - You never have to worry about your mouse falling off. Probably get one for work
- Momentum Dashboard - Get inspired by beautiful photos and inspirational quotes
- Tagging in Google Photos - A easy way to manage your Google Photo library
- Emoji on the Command Line - Creative way to identify the server your on using Emoji.
- John Swift Dwelling House - Learned a lot about one of the earliest Framingham residence.
- CSA Shares at Hanson Farm - One way to help local farmers. How CSA Sharing works.
Framingham Wooden Soldiers
It's that time of year again. When the cold weather has arrived, and people are putting away the lawn motor and getting ready to dust off the snow blower. It's that time when local Framingham residences are working the various back roads to get around the mall traffic.
Around town, people may see some large Wooden soldiers standing by some of Framingham landmarks.
History of the Wooden Soldiers
The wood soldiers originally came from the original Shopper's World as a way to promote the mall during Christmas season. Some children may think they are nutcrackers, but they are in fact soldiers.
I wasn't able to find the exact date that they were placed, but it they appeared every Christmas since the min-1960s. There are 23 12-feet Wooden Soldiers. There was one giant soldier in the center of the shopping plaza. Kids know that where Santa was.
When the mall closed in 1994, the Wooden Soldiers were sold. Nobody knows what happen to the large one. There is a rumor that it was buried under the mall.
Framingham Wooden Soldiers Game
The Town of Framingham acquired some of the soldiers when Shopper's World closed. The town places 19 wooden soldiers around various landmarks around town.
For some Framingham residents, there's a tradition of "Finding the Wooden Soldier." They grab some hot chocolate and venture out to find all 19 Wooden Soldiers.
I created a PDF Document to help record the location of the wooden soldiers. Download the document, print it and see how many your family can find!
To help you out on your journey, here's a list of places where they were placed in the past:
Bowditch Field entrance (2), Memorial Building (2), MutualOne Co-op Bank on Concord Street (2), Downtown Common, Cushing Memorial Park (2) , M&O Building, Loring Arena, Adesa, Framingham Centre Common, Old Library, Albie Russo's old gas station in Saxonville, Russo's old bank in Saxonville, Robinson's Hardware in Saxonville, Edgell Memorial Library, Tripoli Police sub-station
Largest Town in America
In 2012, CNNMoney ranked Framingham the 38th best small city in America. It was a surprise to many since Framingham has rarely made the top 10 list of towns in Massachusetts.
CNNMoney described Framingham as..
Located 20 miles west of Boston, Framingham celebrates its ethnic diversity, offering public school calendars in three languages: English, Spanish, and Portuguese. It has a sweet job market to celebrate too; the town's unemployment rate is a mere 4.2% as of May. High growth has recently helped revitalize the downtown, which includes Hispanic and Brazilian retail shopping and restaurants. Completing the picture is an array of affordable housing options, from Victorian homes to multistory apartment buildings.
Framingham hasn't made the top 100 list on CNNMoney since 2002. The current Time/Money survey has Waltham (13), Newton (26), Norwood (78), and South Weymouth (73) as the only cities in Massachusetts to make the list.
Currently the Niche.com website has Framingham ranked #114 in the survey of the best Town to live in Massachusetts. The town gets high marks for Diversity, Outdoor Activities, and Commute. It lacks on affordable housing, cost of living and weather.
In 2013, Boston.com put out a DreamFinder list of "25 best places to live in Massachusetts." Framingham took the #14 spot. The article says "has a strong location score, above average schools and decent housing costs."
America's Largest Town
Framingham is currently America's largest town. After January 1st, the title goes to Brookline, Massachusetts.