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Old 10-26-2006, 05:12 PM   #41
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We should form our own group. Locals Against Morse's Excuses (LAME)
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Old 10-26-2006, 06:25 PM   #42
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So, how does a guy, who sounds like he might be off his medication, get such positive press?
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Old 10-26-2006, 07:10 PM   #43
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Yah, I agree, someone needs to call the local penitentiary. The geese are coming to get you!!

We all like living in our dilapidated neighborhoods anyway, who needs the green line?
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Old 08-09-2007, 12:27 PM   #44
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soo...2016 now?

Proponents rap delay to extend Green Line
But state officials say 2-year wait may save $300m
By Claire Cummings, Globe Correspondent | August 9, 2007

Supporters of the long-delayed Green Line extension into Somerville and Medford said yesterday that they are frustrated that state officials plan to postpone the project another two years to seek federal funding, despite a November court settlement in which they agreed to complete the extension of the rail line by 2014.

But Governor Deval Patrick and other officials contend the money taxpayers could save, roughly $300 million, is worth the wait.

In 1990, state officials promised residents the Green Line extension, with an estimated cost of $600 million, and several other mass transit projects to compensate for escalated traffic and pollution from Big Dig construction. The Conservation Law Foundation, a legal advocacy group, sued the Commonwealth in 2005 for stalling the projects, but settled last year when the government agreed to a set of deadlines for each project. Now, the group says, officials are backing down on that pledge.

"The need for this project is absolutely clear, and its feasibility is also beyond dispute," said Philip Warburg, the foundation's president. "The only obstacle now is the lack of good faith delivery on the Commonwealth's part."

A $12 billion capital plan unveiled by Patrick this week included $20 million in fiscal 2008 for the projects promised in last year's settlement, which include 1,000 additional parking spaces for commuter rail stations, design work on the Red Line-Blue Line connector, and a revamp of the Fairmount commuter rail line. Those projects are expected to be completed by their original deadlines, said Cyndi Roy, a Patrick spokeswoman.

The Green Line project, which will receive $4.7 million in fiscal 2008 under Patrick's plan, has the best chance of winning federal support, Roy said.

"The administration is taking the steps necessary to fulfill the commitments that were made in the closing days of the prior administration," she said. "We see the value in the project, but we also see the value in not saddling the taxpayer with an additional $300 million."

Officials have already started searching for a consultant for the environmental review and conceptual engineering for the Green Line project, Roy said, and they expect to have the position filled by the fall. The administration will work with federal officials to streamline the funding process to save time, she added.

But some residents of Somerville and Medford said they have waited long enough.

"Every day that goes by, every month and every year, people in this area are still burdened by this bad air quality, which is only going to continue to get worse," said Ken Krause, of the Medford Green Line Neighborhood Alliance. "We don't want to pit one project against another, but this is one that's been on the books for 17 years and one that the state committed to do."

A report earlier this year by the Transportation Finance Commission indicated the state is facing a $15 billion to $19 billion transportation funding gap.

To close that gap, the state will need both state and federal funds, said Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and a member of the commission.
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Old 08-09-2007, 10:32 PM   #45
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2016 i doubt it will be completed even then!

Originally Posted by atlantaden
So, how does a guy, who sounds like he might be off his medication, get such positive press?
Sensationalism over substance.
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Old 08-09-2007, 10:46 PM   #46
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Does anyone who proposes these extensions even ride the T? It seems like they have no idea what the hell they're talking about/doing when it comes to extension of service.

They make it sound like no one has ever thought about extending the green-line to Medford so they're "working out the kinks" so to speak in order to figure out the "best"(cheapest/easiest/etc.) way to go about the extension. This stuff should have been thought about years ago. Always a day late and (many) dollars short around here.
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Old 08-31-2007, 01:22 AM   #47
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This was a bone trown in as a concession to the surface traffic suffered by Medford and Somerville during the Dig. The people I know in Somerville are very excited about the prospect.

I lived there and can't recall a dissenter.

This guy in Medford has an opinion. He is entitled to it. It will not stop this ball rolling.

The neighborhoods want it. The Unions like it. Somerville government is like a rabid dog on not getting screwed out of it. and Union Square is giddy to be on a map.

It's about time a project of this size and impact fell on a blue collar area, and returned much of the money earned directly to that area, while providing a service that will continue to add to the equity of those neighborhoods by virtue of it's existence.

I can see no downside to this project in the least. It is a plus for politicians, neighborhoods and labor. As well as the communities it will serve. These are really great neighborhoods too. With real sustainable businesses. Which also will be beneficiaries.

Why did I ever move across the River....
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Old 08-31-2007, 02:41 AM   #48
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How many years are they saying now? Nine?

Why does the state have to get federal funds BEFORE it actually starts the project. Couldn't it start the project and still apply for the funds? Seems to me clearly a delay tactic for whatever reason.
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:13 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by chris
How many years are they saying now? Nine?

Why does the state have to get federal funds BEFORE it actually starts the project. Couldn't it start the project and still apply for the funds? Seems to me clearly a delay tactic for whatever reason.
I don't know too many people that would start working at a job before they are told how much they will be paid.
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:56 AM   #50
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I can see no downside to this project in the least.
There may be some unintended downsides if the MBTA redirects operating resources away from the three bus routes that would overlap the Green Line extension due to decreased ridership. There are places in Somerville or Medford (such as Magoun Sq or the center of Highland Ave) where T riders may not view the benefits of a Green Line station 10 minutes walk away as worth the tradeoff of decreased frequency of bus service on the corridor/square in which they live.

In particular, the elderly or disabled--people who are often reliant on public transit--would stand to suffer from any shift of resources away from frequent stop bus service to infrequent stop rail service. For the non-elderly/disabled population, the increased frequency and speed of the Green Line probably results in improved service, or at worst a wash for the locations listed above.

Of course, the T could increase the frequency on these three bus routes to rapid transit levels without hundreds of millions of dollars in capital investment, but that's another story.
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Old 08-31-2007, 01:22 PM   #51
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Union Square is giddy to be on a map...It's about time a project of this size and impact fell on a blue collar area
Actually, Union Square seems to be gentrifying rapidly. By the time the T gets there (late 2010s it seems now) it'll probably be no more "blue collar" than Davis or Porter.
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Old 09-12-2007, 04:33 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by The Weekly Dig
Why the Green Line won't ever get to Somerville

On August 1, Governor Deval Patrick met with Somerville's legislative delegation about the status of the Green Line extension to Somerville and Medford, a project that's been in the works for 16 years. The governor waited until after the legislators presented him with a Green Line T-shirt to break the bad news: He had decided to apply for funds from a federal program called New Starts, and the application process would add two years onto the Green Line's timeline. Instead of opening in 2014, the Green Line extension will be completed in 2016.

State transportation officials had a month to prepare an explanation for the irate Somerville residents who planned to storm the public meeting about the project on September 6. But David Mohler, the acting deputy secretary for planning at the Executive Office of Transportation (EOT), didn't offer a formal explanation for the delay until just two days before, when he penned a hasty addendum to a July status report that made no mention of the delays.

"Due to the complexity and requirements of the New Starts process, it is possible that the Green Line Extension will not be completed by the December 31, 2014 deadline," Mohler wrote to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the state agency responsible for regulating the project.

At the hearing, Mohler blamed the latest delay on the state's chronically empty transportation coffers. "There's been a lot of talk since the administration's decision to seek funds," he said, speaking into a faulty microphone at the DEP headquarters in Downtown Crossing. "It's not a secret that we don't have a lot of transit money in the state. We could not leave the possibility of $300 million on the table."

When Mohler finished, the assembled Somervillians, who had survived a maze of broken escalators and hidden staircases just to show up, exploded with rage. "I am shaken, saddened and more than a little frustrated," thundered Joseph Curtatone, Somerville's mayor. That set the tone for a parade of Somerville residents who complained about their children's asthma, heavy traffic and the legal obligations of a project that should, according to its original agreement, be currently under construction.

"The T takes the position that if you have tracks running through our town, you have service," said David Dahlbacka. "It gives you service if you want to commit suicide."

"Why do people keep fiddle-diddling around so?" asked Alan Patterson.

"In meetings with the last administration, there was no pretense or argument that it was necessary to postpone the project in order to get New Starts money," testified state Rep. Denise Provost. "This seems to be pretextual. It is hard to have faith that it is not pretextual."

The federal funding excuse is pretty thin. The administration has considered applying for New Starts since at least 2005, when Congressman Michael E. Capuano slipped a specific reference to the project into an enormous federal transportation bill. Throughout 2006, Provost attended meetings with transportation officials who were actively considering New Starts funding, going so far as to file notices of intent to apply for funds and plan meetings with the Federal Transit Administration. There's never been word of New Starts causing a delay until now.

And actually getting the funding is a long shot. The feds only dole out money for one New Starts project at a time, and the Silver Line is ahead of the Green Line in the pipeline. New Starts also requires proof that a state has the cash to operate a new system once it's open, which, because of its massive debt, the T just doesn't have. And that, says MIT professor and former state secretary of transportation Fred Salvucci, who testified at the hearing, is what the EOT's squirrelly explanations are really hiding.

"If there was a brand-new Green Line out there tomorrow morning, they wouldn't have the money to run it," he says. "There's a mindset within the agency of bobbing and weaving and playing shell games and simply never getting things engineered so they don't have to face the fact that they don't have the money to do it."

The decision to seek federal funding might actually be laying the groundwork for a delay of unspecified length. Listen closely, and you can hear the state covering its bases.

"There is a delay provision," Mohler reminded the crowd at the beginning of the hearing. "If a project is delayed, we must provide the air quality benefits that would've been provided during that delay."

And in a letter sent to the DEP the day before the hearing, Transportation Secretary Bernard Cohen stressed that, technically, the state doesn't have to build a Green Line extension at all.

"As a point of clarification, however, the legal commitment is to the required air quality benefits, and not to individual transit projects," he wrote.

"What you're looking at is probably another four years on top of [the two-year delay] at least, if you continue to follow past practice," Salvucci says. "They're so beaten up about the two years that they're afraid to say that it's really six."
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Old 09-12-2007, 04:35 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by The Weekly Dig
Green Line Extension hearing obstacle course
By reischel on Thu, Sep 6, 2007 5:30 pm

You can forgive the people of Somerville for suspecting that there's a conspiracy against the Green Line Extension. There were two public hearings before the Department of Environmental Protection about the much-delayed project today, and just getting there and getting heard was remarkably difficult.

The hearing room itself was hidden at the end of an obstacle course in Downtown Crossing. The "Washington Street Conference Center" is located at 1 Winter St., with an entrance that is completely camouflaged by the garish signage of The Corner. It takes a pass or two in front to realize that the conference center must be in, or at least upstairs from, the mall.

Once inside, hearing attendees were greeted by a bank of elevators, none of which led to the correct floor. There was a sign directing them to the "escalator by the Washington Street entrance" of the mall, which turned out to be out of order and blocked off, with its sister escalator going the wrong way. There was another sign here, which said that "DEP access" was a "stairway next to Sushi Time." No mention of the hearing, or where Sushi Time was.

Turns out it was in the food court, fairly far back in the bowels of the building. Next to it was a propped-open unmarked door leading to a staircase--no signs, and definitely not handicap accessible. That staircase finally popped you out into the DEP's lobby, where the universe righted itself and the hearing room was within view.

The hearing started on time and in an orderly manner, but came to a muffled halt as soon as the floor opened up for public comment because of a malfunctioning microphone. The first speaker, Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone, boomed out his speech unaided, but State Rep. Denise Provost, the next speaker, had to wait for DEP officials to fix the problem. "Green means on!" someone in the audience shouted. "No, red means on!" yelled someone else.

One man stood up. "I think this is not the first time that these microphones don't work!" he accused, getting a laugh from the room. "The last time the Silver Line had a hearing, they didn't work."

"This is the first time we've used these mics," one of the DEP staffers mumbled back as he handed the mic back to Provost. She tried again--still, no sound. "You have to stand closer to the speaker," he ordered.

"I'm happy to test their mics for them anytime," Provost quipped, leaving the podium to glad-hand the audience. In the front row, Dr. William Wood of Medford rose to his feet to demand that the hearing be delayed due to its lack of consideration for the disabled and the hard-of-hearing.

"Well, we'll delay this meeting until we figure it out," returned Jim Colman, the Assistant Commissioner of the DEP, as the mic-fumbling continued. After ten minutes of unplanned and unexplained delay and a new set of batteries, it finally did. Maybe the Green Line Extension will get that lucky.
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Old 10-12-2007, 05:37 PM   #54
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Patrick announces Green Line movement

By George P. HassettGov0006_3_2

Gov. Deval Patrick visited Gilman Square today to announce steps he has taken to extend the Green Line through Somerville and into Medford. He said his administration would try to beat the 2014 completion date required by law.

Over the summer, Patrick proposed the completion date be pushed back to 2016 while his administration went after federal funds that he said could save state taxpayers $300 million. City officials and residents quickly voiced their displeasure with the proposal and today Patrick said the plans are back on track.

He said the Executive Office of Transportation has hired Vanasse, Hangen Brustlin, Inc. to start the required environmental review and preliminary engineering for the project. Also, a project advisory group has been established, aerial surveying work has been initiated and funds have been transferred to the MBTA to begin designing the Green Line cars.

"Today marks an important day for the residents of Medford and Somerville and for the Commonwealth," Patrick said in a statement today. "Bringing the Green Line to these communities will offer the region an economically competitive advantage, give commuters a cleaner, more efficient alternative to driving, and improve the quality of life for all who live here. I am delighted the project is underway."

Curtatone said the moves are the first actual steps any governor has taken to complete the long delayed project. In 1990, state officials promised Somerville residents they would complete a Green Line extension through the city and into Medford as a way to offset air pollution caused by the Big Dig. In 2005, the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) sued the state because it had not taken the necessary steps to complete the project on time. In November 2006, CLF and the state settled and agreed on a binding commitment to complete the project by 2011. That commitment was pushed back to 2014. Patrick said today he would try and beat the 2014 date and get the Green Line into Somerville earlier.

Curtatone said Patrick's announcement is "a major step" in bringing the Green Line to the city. "Today was the first time we have ever seen a governor give more than a verbal commitment to this project," he said."
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Old 10-12-2007, 11:08 PM   #55
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...and funds have been transferred to the MBTA to begin designing the Green Line cars.
I can understand needing more cars, but why would a new car design be needed?
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Old 10-13-2007, 09:16 AM   #56
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The Kinky-Shiro type 7 cars albeit dependable as anything will be 28 years old by the time the Medford extension is expected to be complete.

Patrick seeks $300m for Green Line

October 13, 2007

Moving to allay fears that the MBTA Green Line extension to Somerville and Medford will be delayed again, Governor Deval Patrick announced yesterday that the state is applying for $300 million in federal funding and taking several other steps to move the long-awaited project forward.

Patrick also told Somerville and Medford residents that the state will pay the MBTA to begin designing new trains and has hired a consultant, Vanasse Hangen Brustlin Inc., to perform environmental and engineering studies. In addition, the state has organized an advisory group of residents that will meet monthly until the project is complete, beginning Oct. 25, Patrick said.

If federal funding is not approved, the state will borrow money to pay for the $560 million project, the governor said during a gathering of residents and local political leaders at Gilman Square in Somerville.

Patrick said he hopes the new train service will be operational by 2014, not 2016, as his office had projected in August.

"The Green Line extension is an important project," Patrick said. "I'm here to affirm my 100 percent commitment to see it gets built and gets built while I am in office."

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Old 10-13-2007, 09:37 AM   #57
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Transit Vehicles are always full of NRE

Transit Vehicles are always full of NRE {Non Recurrent Engineering}

The last time that there was an off the shelf design that you could just order was the old {and still running} PCC. The car was designed by the Electric Railway Presidents' Conference Committee {ERPCC}, representing various electric street railways in 1929. PCC was created by a consortium of Transit Systems and licensed to anyone who wanted to build them -- but that was in the day when there were still lots of light rail vehicles in many cities called Street Cars. There are still some PCCs in Boston running on the Mattapan High Speed Trolley Line out of Ashmont on the Red Line. The following information on the PCC is adapted from an article in the Wikipedia {including a few pictures} see http://<a href="http://en.wikipedia...._streetcar</a>

The PCC design featured a distinctive streamlined body with and smooth acceleration and braking. The first batch of 100 cars was built in 1936 for Brooklyn, New York, by the Saint Louis Car Company; Pittsburgh Railways took "delivery of # 100, the first delivered PCC car and 4977 more units were built in North America by St. Louis Car Company, Pullman Standard, Clark Equipment and Canada Car and Foundry in Montr?al, Quebec until the early 1950s. Thousands more PCCs and derivatives have been produced in Europe since 1942 by Italian Fiat {for Madrid}; La Brugeoise et Nivelles of Bruges, Belgium {for Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, The Hague, etc} in Spain by CAF (Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles) in Beasain and MMC (Material M?vil y Construcciones) in Zaragoza; by ČKD Tatra of Prague T3 {with 13 991 units were sold worldwide}; Polish Konstal in Chorz?w, {13N type still used in Warsaw}.

Today when each Transit System needs some vehicles, they follow this process:
1) Develop a Preliminary Design Specification
2) Go our for Proposals
3) Develop the semi-final design
4) Get final Bids for prototypes
5) A few years later the first of the new vehicles arrives from the manufacturer for preliminary testing
6) After another year or so the manufacturer can tweak the design and the volume production can begin
7) Usually there are some final tweaks as the new vehicles are introduced to the system.

The whole process typically takes 6 or more years.

The T has just gone through the process with the Green Line low-floor "Breda Cars" and they are still having some tweaks. The T is in the middle of the process for the Blue Line right now. I'm guessing that if they started to draw up the specs today -- you wouldn't see the first of the new Green Line "Somerville Cars" until 2012 and they wouldn't be fully integrated into the system until 2015.

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Old 01-29-2008, 06:12 AM   #58
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Re: Green Line to Medford to start in 2011

Green Line extension divides city
Green Line seen as boon or bane

By Eric Moskowitz, Globe Staff | January 27, 2008

Knowing what the Red Line extension did for Davis Square, Somerville officials and residents have pressed hard to bring the Green Line to Union Square and up through the city. Community members have packed project meetings, wearing green glow-stick necklaces and "Got T?" buttons to show their support.

But in Medford, where the line would end, people are divided. Some see the extension the same way that those in Somerville do, as a chance to enhance their neighborhoods, raise property values, and connect with the region. Others contend that property values would decline - or, if not, that gentrification brought by the T would price longtime residents out of Medford. Many worry that the state would seize land to build the project and are concerned that outsiders trying to catch the T would jam already crowded city streets. They disagree about where the line should end, and whether it should enter Medford at all.

Most of all, many in Medford feel they haven't had a say in a looming project that could change their community significantly. Underscored by tension over whether Medford is, or should be, more like Somerville or more like western neighbor Arlington, those feelings poured forth at a standing-room-only meeting at Medford City Hall Wednesday night. State officials came to the city to explain the Green Line extension and seek input as they finalize the route and station locations.

With 200 in attendance, some cheered when people declared support for the Green Line, as Medford resident and real estate agent Elizabeth Bolton did. "The thought of the T coming to Medford is just an amazing and fabulous opportunity," said Bolton, who touted the MBTA-enabled transformation of Cambridge's Porter Square, where she used to live. "It's life-changing."

Louder applause went to those who said they liked aspects of the project but would oppose physical, noise, or visual impacts, as Mayor Michael J. McGlynn did when he vowed to fight eminent-domain takings or an attempt to put a Green Line maintenance yard in Medford.

Still, the loudest applause went to those who voiced frustration and said Medford residents had been given little chance to provide input to a project that seemed ordained by officials elsewhere. "It sounds to me as if it's almost carved in granite," said Gwen Blackburn, a West Medford resident who drew multiple ovations. "I'm concerned that we may not even have a voice as to what goes in our city at all."

Stephen M. Woelfel, the lead state official for the project, tried to reassure the crowd that the details are still being developed, with plenty of time for input.

"We're trying to make this project work for everyone," said Woelfel, manager of statewide transit planning for the Executive Office of Transportation, which oversees the Green Line extension; when complete, the project will be owned and operated by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. "We're in the beginning of the process."

Planners have talked about extending the Green Line beyond East Cambridge for nearly half a century, though the state did not commit to the project until 1990, when it pledged to make multiple transit improvements to avoid a lawsuit from the Conservation Law Foundation threatening to block the Big Dig highway project. A state transit-improvement plan, required because Massachusetts failed to meet federal Clean Air Act standards, filed the next year promised that the Green Line would be extended to Ball Square in Somerville or Tufts University in Medford by the end of 2011.

Nonetheless, the state largely ignored the project, as Big Dig costs soared above $14 billion. But pressure from the Conservation Law Foundation, Somerville officials, and others brought the Green Line extension back to the fore. The state negotiated for an extension through 2014. Then officials last summer said the project may be delayed two more years while they seek federal funding for half the estimated cost of $600 million. But in a sign of commitment in November, Governor Deval Patrick proposed a bond bill calling for the state to borrow enough money to complete the project, whether or not the federal funds come through.

Meanwhile, the Executive Office of Transportation has been refining the project. In 2004-05, the transportation office conducted a project study and analysis of alternatives, such as new commuter rail stops or a Silver Line-style bus, that incorporated public input and solidified the basic plan to run the Green Line through Somerville and into Medford on streetcars alongside the commuter rail. In late 2006, the transportation office formally notified state environmental officials about the project, and the secretary of environmental affairs responded with a 16-page certificate that established the work and analysis the transportation office would need to perform for an environmental impact report.

That's where the project stands. The office is working on the report, which will incorporate public input and answer a host of important questions, such as where the stations would go, what they would look like, what the noise and visual effects would be, and what land would be needed to accommodate the expanded railroad right-of-way. The state's top environmental official also called for the project to be completed in a way that maximizes transit and environmental benefits and enhances the character of the project's communities.

In the process, the transportation office will also decide whether the extension should end at Tufts or continue through Medford's Hillside neighborhood to Route 16 and the Mystic River. It will also evaluate how best to route the T to Union Square.

Some in Medford believe the community should have already reached a consensus on the project, for the sake of self-advocacy.

The City Council last week approved a resolution calling on the mayor to hire a full-time planner to focus on the Green Line and seek state funds.

"Somerville is driving the bus on this, and Medford should at least be copiloting somewhere along the way, and have a unified voice about what we want," said City Councilor Frederick N. Dello Russo, who leads the council's transportation subcommittee.

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Old 01-29-2008, 06:51 AM   #59
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Re: Green Line to Medford to start in 2011

So why not have it end in Somerville until folks in Medford get their shit together?
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Old 01-29-2008, 12:08 PM   #60
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Re: Green Line to Medford to start in 2011

Probably because someone would sue the state if they didn't extend it all the way to Medford. It's damned if you do, damn edif you don't.
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