May 17, 2013
Ten years ago STEP came into existence to advocate for better transportation options in Somerville. One big focus was to ensure that the Commonwealth meets its legal obligation to construct the Green Line Extension. While we are still not able to board the Green Line in Somerville, progress is being made and we will continue to work toward its completion. A new Orange Line Station will open at Assembly Square in 2014, the first new transit station in the region in 25 years.
We want to extend a special invitation to you for your advocacy and work on the Green Line Extension and other important Somerville transportation improvements to celebrate our anniversary with us on May 20th - at Precinct in Union Square (back room) 7:30 - 9:00 pm for music, appetizers, and cash bar.
Before the festivities, we will hold our annual meeting from 7:00 - 7:30 to vote in steering committee officers for the coming year, pay annual dues, and other administrative business.
May 14, 2013
Many were on hand Monday to celebrate the extension from Cedar Street to Lowell Street. Construction is scheduled for completion in fall 2013.
May 06, 2013
Phase I work is underway, including utility work and excavation support work northeast of Harvard Street Bridge in Medford.
April 08, 2013
It is a critical time to let your legislators know that you want a real solution to the state's transportation finance situation to address current fiscal needs, meet needed Chapter 90 funds for cities and towns, address state of good repair needs, procure needed new equipment and fund the Green Line extension.
STEP has written the following letter, which anyone is more than welcome to use, modify, or add to.
April 06, 2013
Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance: "Half a loaf: the Legislature's transportation plan"
"I believed that we had the chance to set a visionary course for a post-Big Dig transportation system. It's like having the opportunity to invest in an exciting new business, but instead you just pay off one of your credit cards."
Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center: "The Joint Ways & Means Transportation Proposal"
Conservation Law Foundation: "MA Transportation Funding Framework: More (or really less) to the supposedly budget-minded proposal than meets the eye"
"The framework would not cover the maintenance of our transportation system, nor keep it in a state of good repair, let alone allow for any investment in modernization."
CommonWealth Magazine: "Fear and loathing on the tax trail"
"Census data show that, as a share of their income, Massachusetts residents pay an exceedingly average tax bill. The Bay State's overall tax bill falls squarely in the middle of the 50 states."
State Senator Pat Jehlen's newsletter
"I believe the Green Line Extension will be built anyway because it is legally required under the legal agreement between the state and Conservation Law Foundation to mitigate the Big Dig, and under the State Improvement Plan which is enforceable by the federal government under the Clean Air Act. But if we don't have an adequate plan to get to a state of good repair, the federal government will turn down our application for $550 million in federal New Starts money. As I told the Globe, that will leave the state to pick up the whole $1.3 billion tab, leaving little for other projects or other needed repairs."
April 04, 2013
Boston Globe: "Legislative transportation plan puts Green Line grant at risk, MBTA says"
"State House News Service reported that Patrick administration officials were warning that the legislative plan would eventually force 'steep' fare and toll hikes as well as force the state to pick up a larger share of the Green Line project."
Somerville Patch: "MBTA: Federal Funding for Green Line at Risk Under Recent Proposal"
"Curtatone said transportation funding in Massachusetts is bigger than the Green Line Extension. The state needs a transportation system that 'makes us globally competitive' he said, adding, 'We need to fix the problems now; we can't kick the can down the road.'
In regard to Tuesday's $500 million plan, the mayor said he has 'strong concerns whether this number actually solves the problem.'"
WBUR: "Gov. Patrick Threatens Veto Of Transportation Plan"
"Above all, the middle class of Massachusetts need better jobs and a stronger economy and needs it sooner rather than later," Patrick said. "My proposal provides that. The leaders' does not. The leadership's proposal is a return to an old way of doing business. It's the same short-term fiscal shell game that got us unto the Big Dig and the mess that followed."
April 03, 2013
Boston Globe: "MBTA: Legislative transit plan would cost $500 million in Green Line project funding"
"The proposal released yesterday does not appear to provide funding for the MBTA's 'state of good repair,' work, meaning the Federal Transit Administration is not likely to fund any portion of the cost of the $1.3 billion project," MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said in an email. "Because the Commonwealth is legally obligated to extend the Green Line, $1.3 billion in state funding will be necessary to move the project forward."
Meanwhile, State House News Service reported that Patrick administration officials were warning that the plan proposed by legislative leaders would eventually force "steep" fare and toll hikes as well as force the state to pick up a larger share of the Green Line project.
April 02, 2013
Boston Globe: "Mass. legislative leaders unveil $500m tax plan to shore up transportation system"
The plan, while it represents a significant tax increase, falls far short of the $1.9 billion tax hike that Governor Deval Patrick has been seeking and would not fund the major expansion of rail and road projects that the governor wants.
Kristina Egan, director of Transportation for Massachusetts, an advocacy group that had pushed for Patrick's funding plan, called the proposal "woefully inadequate." A lack of specific investments in capital projects, she said, was shortsighted and would prevent the state's transportation infrastructure from accommodating the needs of residents.
"We have an unprecedented opportunity to make a transportation fix for the next generation, and I'm worried that we're squandering it here," Egan said. "It feels like this package is locking in chronic underfunding."
Richard A. Dimino, president of A Better City, said the absence of capital projects in the legislature's $500 million bill would mean that the state would possibly lose out on federal money for projects like the Green Line extension that are dependent on matching funds from the state government.
March 26, 2013
Boston Globe: "State looks to have Green Line Extension lawsuit thrown out"
The state is seeking to have a lawsuit against the Green Line Extension Project thrown out, arguing that its main complaints surround a portion of the project that has not been fully approved yet, and that the West Medford couple that filed the suit did not specify how they were negatively impacted by the project.
Somerville Patch: "State Wants Green Line Extension Lawsuit Dismissed"