MGNA: Medford Green Line Neighborhood Alliance

Information about our green line extension.

Month: July, 2010

Green Line Design Working Group meeting Aug. 9

30 July, 2010 (17:30) | Community Event, News | By: Editor

The first meeting of the new Green Line Extension Design Working Group will take place on Monday, August 9, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Tufts University building at 51 Winthrop Street in Medford.

The building, the former Sacred Heart Catholic Church at the corner of Boston Avenue, can be reached via MBTA bus routes 80, 94 and 96. Parking is available on Boston Avenue along Capen Street Extension, in the Dowling Parking Garage on Boston Avenue, and surface lots near Miller Hall and Hill Hall (Tufts University buildings).

Handicapped parking is available next to the building.

The Design Working Group will help gather and share local input on design-related topics and will help the project team to plan Station Design Workshops to be held this fall and next spring.

The public is welcome to attend the meeting. Public seating will be available on a first-come/first-served basis and public comments will be accepted for a limited time at the end of each meeting.

Source: Green Line Extension project team

Green Line Final Environmental Impact Report approved

30 July, 2010 (16:53) | News | By: Editor

The state’s Executive Office of Environmental Affairs on Friday announced its approval of the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) on the Green Line Extension to Medford.

Secretary Ian A. Bowles ruled that the FEIR “adequately and properly complies” with the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) and that the project may proceed to permitting.

With regard to Medford issues, Bowles’ 23-page certificate approving the document made the following conclusions:

+ That project proponent MassDOT sufficiently analyzed the impacts of the College Avenue station functioning as a terminal station, even while noting that no changes to traffic modeling or analysis occurred since the completion of the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR), nor was any new mitigation presented in the FEIR.

+ That based on comments from the Mass. Department of Environmental Protection, the project sufficiently demonstrates air quality benefits that will meet the legal requirements ordained in the Mass. Air Pollution Control Regulations and State Implementation Plan (SIP) to bring Eastern Massachusetts into compliance with the Clean Air Act. This determination, Bowles said, overrides the argument that a College Avenue station does not fulfill the SIP requirement to construct the Green Line Extension to Medford Hillside.

+ That the project “adequately avoids, minimizes and mitigates Damage to the Environment,” and that “no specific additional measures are necessary to uniquely address College Avenue Station functioning as a terminal station beyond those already proposed for the project.”

Bowles did encourage MassDOT to “continue to work with stakeholders . . . during the advancement of the design of the College Avenue Station to best implement mitigation measures to meet anticipated offsets of project-related negative impacts.” Among the “topics for discussion” he listed were “kiss-and-ride facilities, station-area parking enforcement, and the potential conflict between station pedestrian access and institutional property.”

Bowles also noted that MassDOT is working with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) to establish a planning study process for the Phase II (Route 16) segment of the extension, and encouraged MassDOT to consider comments related to the Route 16 station submitted in response to the DEIR and FEIR.

“I anticipate that MassDOT will continue to strongly advocate for planning efforts and funding sources for the design and construction of the Phase II between now and 2016 or beyond as necessary,” Bowles wrote.

Secretary Bowles’ Certificate on the FEIR is available on the project website.

Click here to read comment letters submitted by Medford mayor Michael J. McGlynn and other city department heads.

The next segment of the project, Preliminary Engineering, is to begin in August. Completion of Phase I of the Project – to College Avenue in Medford and Union Square in Somerville – is currently projected for October 2015.

Route 16 station petition shows growing support

29 July, 2010 (08:29) | News | By: Editor

The Medford Green Line Neighborhood Alliance’s petition in favor of the Route 16 station on the Green Line extension continues to garner support, even with no active solicitation for the last two years.

With more than 2,100 names on the online petition, and another 600-plus on paper petitions, the number of supporters is approaching 3,000. The MGNA presented more than 2,000 signatures in support of the Route 16 station to state and local officials in August 2008.

A recent signer of the online petition, Arn Franzen of Arlington, summed up the case for the Route 16 station well, commenting:

“I am a West Medford property owner (138-140 Harvard Ave.) and community supporter, and my wife is a daily rider of the T from West Medford. The new Route 16 station will serve as a vital transportation link for West Medford, Somerville, and Arlington residents, and will connect the T to the new DCR Alewife Brook Path, the Minuteman Trail, and the trail along the Mystic River, which will soon connect to connect to the new Orange Line station at Assembly Square. The inclusion of the Route 16 terminus represents the real potential for MassDOT to provide needed mass transit to a huge portion of the community that will be otherwise disenfranchised – as much of W. Medford has been historically.”

MassDOT has endorsed the Route 16 station as its “Proposed Full-Build Alternative.” However, citing the lack of funds to build the Route 16 leg of the extension, MassDOT intends to construct that portion in a second phase of the project, after extending the line to College Avenue/Boston Avenue in Phase I. By its own estimates, delaying the Route 16 station to a second phase will increase the cost by $50 million.

If you support the Route 16 station and have yet to sign the petition, you can do so here.