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Opinion of the Justices

Citation: 6 ELR 20730
No. No. SJC-712, 352 N.E.2d 197/370 Mass. 895, (Mass., 07/28/1976)

In an advisory opinion requested by the state Senate, the Justices unanimously sustain the constitutionality of a bill that would authorize use of state motor vehicle and fuel tax revenues to construct and maintain commuter bikeways and bicycle parking facilities. The state constitution limits the use of vehicle and fuel funds to the "construction, reconstruction, maintenance and repair of public highways," and to mass transportation purposes. The bicycle routes, bicycle lanes, and bicycle paths specified in the bill are so intimately related to public highways that theirestablishment and maintenance falls within the constitutional "public highway" purposes. Likewise, since the bill limits construction funds to bicycle parking facilities located in the vicinity of mass transit facilities, this use of highway revenues falls within the mass transit purpose of the constitutional provision.

Counsel for Amici Curiae
David G. Burwell
Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group
120 Boylston St., Room 320
Boston MA 02116
(617) 423-1796

Robert W. Curry, General Counsel
Executive Office of Transportation and Construction
1 Ashburton Pl.
Boston MA 02108
(617) 727-5162

Fred Paulsen, Chief Counsel
Massachusetts Dept. of Public Works
100 Nashua St.
Boston MA 02114
(617) 727-4800