MGNA: Medford Green Line Neighborhood Alliance

Information about our green line extension.

Month: September, 2010

GLX Station Design Principles subcommittee to meet Oct. 5

29 September, 2010 (23:21) | Advisory Committee Notes, Community Event, News | By: Editor

The Station Design Principles subcommittee of the Green Line Extension Design Working Group will hold its first meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 5, at the VNA Assisted Living Center, 259 Lowell St., Somerville.

Click here for the meeting agenda.

Route 16 station area study to commence this fall

29 September, 2010 (21:48) | Community Event, News | By: Editor

Medford mayor Michael McGlynn announced Wednesday night that a comprehensive study will be undertaken to assess the impacts and economic development opportunities of the Green Line Extension station proposed for Mystic Valley Parkway/Boston Avenue area.

Speaking at a Green Line Extension informational meeting at a packed Medford City Hall, McGlynn said the study will be conducted by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, the regional planning agency for the Greater Boston area, and is to start this fall.

The Mass. Department of Transportation (MassDOT), which is planning the Green Line Extension project, has identified the Route 16 area as the recommended location of the terminus station in its Preferred Full Build Alternative. However, citing cost constraints, MassDOT has said it intends to build the Medford branch of the extension in two phases.

The first phase would extend Green Line service from a relocated Lechmere Station in Cambridge through Somerville to the College Avenue/Boston Avenue intersection at Tufts University. MassDOT is currently designing that phase of the project, which has an estimated completion date of October 2015. Funds to build the final leg of the extension – from College Avenue to Route 16 – currently are allocated in the regional transportation plan for the period of 2016-2020.

“The goal is to start now to see what the impact of transit-oriented development there would be,” McGlynn said. “The study will presume the extension to Route 16, but if it doesn’t happen, we’ll still have the study for the area.”

The $209,000 study will be funded by a grant and be of no cost to the city.

An official announcement of the study is expected in the next few weeks.

MBTA GM pledges Green Line support, but delays loom

28 September, 2010 (22:13) | News | By: Editor

MBTA General Manager Richard Davey on Tuesday night affirmed the transit agency’s commitment to the Green Line Extension project, yet indicated that preliminary engineering work on the project will not start until early next year.

“I want everyone to know that the MBTA is committed to getting this project done,” Davey said in opening a Green Line informational meeting in Somerville, his first appearance at a Green Line project meeting since becoming GM six months ago. “This is our first light rail extension project in 25 years and a once-in-a-generation opportunity. We’re excited we’re going to be able to bring on new customers and serve our existing customers better.”

But while pledging to “deliver the project safely, on time and on budget,” Davey announced that he does not expect to present the contract for Green Line preliminary engineering/design and program/construction management services to the MassDOT board of directors for approval until January.

MassDOT was required to put the preliminary engineering contract out to bid after it failed to gain board approval to grant the work to the current project consulting team through a contract amendment. Interested consultants – some of whom were represented in the audience of about 100 at the Argenziano School Tuesday night – have until October 7 to submit Letters of Interest. Those deemed the highest qualified will then be requested to submit full proposals and participate in oral interviews with an MBTA/MassDOT screening committee, after which a selection will be made.

In the meantime, the existing consultant team, led by Vanasse, Hangen, Brustlin (VHB), will continue assisting MassDOT with updating the project’s schematic design guidelines and facilitating some public meetings for the rest of the year. However, the station design workshops that were being planned for the fall have been postponed until winter, after the new consultant contract is awarded.

The project is beginning a transition from the MassDOT Office of Transportation Planning to the MBTA for final design and then construction. Thus, following a general overview Tuesday night by Project Manager Kate Fichter of MassDOT, Margaret Lackner, Deputy Director of the MBTA Design Department, gave her first Green Line public presentation, on the MBTA’s design goals. Under a general heading of “Being a Good Neighbor,” Lackner outlined six categories: Accessibility, Maintainability, Safety/Personal Security, Sustainability, and Integration with Neighborhood.

George Katsoufis, with architectural consultant Domenech, Hicks & Krockmalnic (DHK), followed with a more detailed presentation on station design considerations and highlighted areas where public input particularly will be sought.

Tuesday night’s meeting and presentations will be repeated on Wednesday night at Medford City Hall, 85 George P. Hassett Drive. The program will begin at 5:30 p.m. with an “Introduction to the Green Line Extension” presentation. New material will be presented starting at 6:15 p.m., with a question-and-answer period following.