With the Green Line extension project heading into a crucial detailed design and engineering phase in 2010, and the city of Medford being given $150,000 from the state legislature to use for its own Green Line related planning, one might think that the $1 billion Green Line project finally might be inching up the city’s priority list.
In the works are a new restaurant, parking garage and hotel, the Clippership Drive redesign, and improvements at the Condon Shell park, among other things.
But when it comes to “alternative transportation across the city or to other communities,” what does McGlynn picture?
Water taxis on the MysticRiver.
Of course! Who wouldn’t want to cruise around Medford on a water taxi on the frozen Mystic on a cold winter’s night!
Meanwhile, not one word from McGlynn about the Green Line, the biggest infrastructure project he or any Medford mayor ever will see.
Meanwhile, next door in Somerville, residents are invited to attend the fourth in a series of Visioning meetings next week to discuss the city development and its future.
“As we’ve seen at Assembly Square and Union Square - and as we’ve proven in advocating so successfully of the Green Line Extension, public input and consultation can play an extremely valuable role in developing long-term strategies to improve opportunity and quality of life throughout our city,” Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone said in announcing the event.
The meeting will take place on Tuesday, January 5, at 6:30 p.m. at the Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave.
Somerville has an arts center, too?
Maybe there’s one in Mayor McGlynn’s ”big plans” for his 13th term.
Supporters of the Green Line extension to Medford have 10 days left to speak out on the Green Line Extension Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR).
Friday, January 8, is the deadline for written comments to be received on the Green Line Extension DEIR, a far-reaching document that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) was required to create and the state Secretary of Environmental Affairs must approve.
The overriding question being asked by the Environmental Affairs secretary during this crucial comment period is whether the DEIR “adequately and properly” complies with the requirements of the environmental review process, per its guidelines.
The Medford Green Line Neighborhood Alliance (MGNA) believes it DOES NOT, and that if this crucial environmental document is accepted as submitted, it will give the go-ahead to a project that fails to fulfill the Commonwealth’s legal obligations, shortchanges the community, and provides no assurances that the project will ever be fully built.
MGNA members have spent hundreds of hours conducting a detailed review of the 6,060-page DEIR and conclude that it is significantlyflawed in certain assumptions, analyses, and recommendations.
MGNA agrees with the DEIR’s conclusion that the project will provide tremendous benefits to the area – improving corridor mobility and air quality, equitably distributing public transit services, and supporting opportunities for smart growth and sustainable development.
But these benefits will not be fully realized – nor will the state fulfill its legal obligation to provide service to the Medford Hillside neighborhood – by the project as proposed in the DEIR, which only commits to extending the Green Line as far as College Avenue.
MGNA feels strongly that the Secretary of Environmental Affairs should NOT accept the Draft Environmental Impact Report as a Final EIR, as MassDOT is requesting.
Rather, the secretary should require MassDOT to continue and correct the Environmental Impact analysis, including an evaluation of MGNA’s alternative design for the Route 16 station, or a similar one, that would preserve two major office buildings on Boston Avenue, lower the project cost, maximize its benefits, and fulfill the commonwealth’s legal commitment to bring service to the Medford Hillside area by December 31, 2014.
MGNA has summarized the key issues from its DEIR analysis in two documents that comment letter writers can use for easy reference:
+ An easy-to-read three-page Summary Analysis of 15 major points about the DEIR, both positive and negative.
+ A Comprehensive Analysis of the major unresolved issues in the DEIR and other areas MGNA feels require further study while the project remains under state environmental review.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation this month filed a status report with federal and local agencies on the status of the Green Line extension and the three other outstanding State Implementation Plan transit commitment projects.
The status report, available on the MassDOT website, briefly summarizes the project and provides an update on activity since the last status report was filed on July 1, 2009, including the filing of the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) and MassDOT’s intention to apply for federal funding for the project this winter.
REMINDER: Written comments from the public on the DEIR are due by Friday, January 8, 2010. Click here for preliminary analysis of the DEIR provided last month by the Medford Green Line Neighborhood Alliance.
More analysis will be forthcoming this week.
Written comments should be submitted to:
Secretary Ian Bowles
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs