News from the Medford Green Line Neighborhood Alliance:
REMINDER: WORKING GROUP APPLICATION DEADLINE IS FRIDAY
The Mass. Department of Transportation is creating a Green Line Extension Design Working Group that will advise MassDOT during the Preliminary Engineering phase of the project, which will be starting soon.
The Working Group will consist of MBTA officials and citizen, municipal and business representatives from Medford, Somerville and Cambridge. It will advise MassDOT on the design of six new stations, including the ones at Ball Square and College Avenue in Medford.
Working Group members will review design plans, gather and share local input and help plan public design events. On average, the group will meet quarterly, although there may be more frequent meetings. MassDOT is particularly seeking individuals who live in or are familiar with the neighborhoods around the proposed stations, and are users of the MBTA system.
To be considered for the Design Working Group, fill out the brief application on the project website, www.greenlineextension.org.
Applications must be received no later than this Friday, April 30. Working Group members are expected to be announced in mid-May.
Questions? Call or email Katherine Fichter, Project Manager for the Green Line extension, at 617-973-7342 or email@example.com.
FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT EXPECTED IN JUNE
MassDOT expects to file the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) on the Green Line extension project in June. Required by the state Secretary of Environmental Affairs, the FEIR must study two alternative sites for the project maintenance facility; further analyze the impacts of the College Avenue station as the terminus station; reconsider design issues at the new Lechmere station; and outline a Public Involvement Plan.
A public hearing and a 30-day comment period will follow the filing of the FEIR. MassDOT also plans to hold a series of workshops devoted to each of the stations on the Green Line extension this summer.
WHAT ABOUT THE ROUTE 16 STATION?
As followers of the project know, MassDOT intends to build the Green Line extension in two phases: to College Avenue by the end of 2014, and then continue to Route 16 (Mystic Valley Parkway) somewhere between 2016 and 2020. However, MassDOT has pledged to continue the planning and design for the Route 16 station concurrent with the rest of the project, and is seeking to engage a third party – possibly the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) – to lead this process.
“In the short term, we all want to try to continue to advance the Route 16 piece,” said Project Manager Kate Fichter. “We have talked internally and with MAPC about having some sort of community visioning and planning process for that station, and the corridor in between College Avenue and Route 16, that would flesh out some of the issues that we perceive as still being outstanding and to wrestle with some of the design issues.”
Fichter also said that MassDOT has presented Medford Mayor Michael McGlynn with a Route 16 station design that would not require the taking of the office buildings at 200 and 222 Boston Avenue, which was a major concern of the city. Also, Congressman Edward Markey has requested a $100,000 appropriation to fund the planning for the Green Line from College Avenue to Route 16. That money would not be available until May 2011.
In the meantime, it is important to demonstrate community support for the Route 16 station planning to continue unabated. Email Mayor McGlynn at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the Pro Route 16 website http://GreenLineRoute16.blogspot.com, or call his office at 781-393-2408.
Importantly, the City of Somerville continues to be vocal in its support for the Route 16 station. At its April 8 meeting, the Somerville Board of Alderman approved a letter to MassDOT from the city and the Aldermen supporting the continuation of the Green Line extension to Route 16. At that same meeting, Alderman Robert Trane requested that a representative from the city’s Law Department appear before the Committee on Housing and Community Development to review the city’s legal options for extending the Green Line to Route 16.
MEET THE NEW MBTA GENERAL MANAGER
Newly appointed MBTA General Manager Richard Davey and a group of other top T managers have been making a series of appearances at stations to listen to and interact with riders. Next month, Davey will be appearing at two stations that serve Medford train and bus commuters:
– North Station: Thursday, May 13, 4 to 6 p.m.
– Haymarket Station, Thursday, May 20, 4 to 6 p.m.
It is important that MBTA officials continue to hear support for the Green Line extension to Medford, and in particular the Route 16 station. Once Preliminary Engineering is finished, the MBTA will take over the project from MassDOT to oversee the Final Design and Construction phases.
MEDFORD FORMING BICYCLE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Excellent access and accommodations for bicyclists will be vital to the success of the Green Line stations, so it’s welcome news that the City of Medford is establishing a Bicycle Advisory Committee to help advise on how the city can improve conditions for bicycling. Anyone interested in being considered for the committee, or getting more information about it, is invited to contact Bruce Kulik at email@example.com.
SOMERVILLE GROUPS HOSTING STATION WORKSHOPS
The Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership (STEP) and Groundwork Somerville are planning a series of workshops regarding the proposed stations on the Green Line extension. For more information, visit the STEP website at www.somervillestep.org.
ON A FINAL NOTE: THANK YOU!
A belated “Thank You” to everyone who wrote supportive comment letters on the Green Line Draft Environmental Impact Report in January.
Nearly 91% of the comment letters submitted on DEIR that offered an
opinion on the Route 16 station spoke in its favor (126 in favor, 13 opposed).
Included in this large group were letters from:
– Congressman Michael Capuano
– State Senator Patricia Jehlen
– State Representative Carl Sciortino
– Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone
– Somerville Office of Strategic Planning Director Monica Lamboy
– Somerville Board of Aldermen
– Somerville Alderman At-Large Bill White
– Medford City Councilor Stephanie Muccini Burke
– Arlington Transportation Advisory Committee
– Livable Streets Alliance
– Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership
– Conservation Law Foundation
– Friends of the Community Path
– Medford Green Line Neighborhood Alliance
– and dozens of citizens.