STEP is a community group dedicated to improving transportation in Somerville, MA. We advocate for the Green Line extension, a more livable city, and public health issues.
Massachusetts is beginning a public process to try to weasel out of many remaining Ozone SIP transit obligations – including the Green Line extension. Apparently the Executive Office of Transportation (EOT) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) have been discussing this in private for over a year. They think that Somerville will grumble but not complain too loudly.
We can’t let them get away with this. Please come to the public hearing where the state intends to begin this unfair process.
The Capital Investment Program (CIP) is the MBTA’s rolling 5-year plan of its expenditures. Unfortunately, the new CIP includes no funding for the Green Line extension beyond the study currently underway – not even the $1 million necessary to continue basic preliminary planning. What can you do? Go to a CIP public meeting or follow the link below to send your comments to the MBTA.
FY05 â FY10 Draft Capital Investment Program (CIP)
A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that smog is directly linked to deaths from heart and lung ailments in major U.S. metropolitan areas. Massachusetts has some of the worst traffic congestion in the country and, according to the Centers for Disease Control, has the highest asthma level in the nation. Jeremy Marin, Conservation Organizer for the Sierra Club in Boston, says, “Governor Romney needs to stand up and not just talk the talk, but walk the walk. Spending $14.6 billion to increase air pollution is not what Massachusetts needs. He needs to make sure that projects like extending the Green Line, making the Silver bus Line light rail, and the North/South Rail Link take top priority.”
The Green Line study has mapped out ten different alternatives so far for better transportation in Somerville. Take a look through the options, which have been updated for the next Green Line Advisory Committee meeting on November 17. The MBTA’s initial evaluations of the options are also now available.
The Conservation Law Foundation will file a Clean Air Act lawsuit against the State of Massachusetts early next year regarding transit projects that have not been completed or are not on schedule. It’s clear that the state won’t make the deadlines it committed to in 1990, including the Green Line extension. “The state found the money to spend $15 billion for the Big Dig. There should have been a parallel effort to find money for the transit piece of the puzzle,” said Philip Warburg, president of the foundation. “The state has to be held accountable.”
According to the Boston Globe, state officials acknowledge some problems, but also say that some projects need to be revisited to determine if they are really worth doing. State Transportation Secretary Daniel Grabauskas has said that the state wants to explore alternatives to certain projects (such as the Green Line extension) that would provide equal or better clean air benefits. As we know, the MBTA is looking at Rapid Bus Transit in Somerville as an alternative to extending the Green Line.
The Conservation Law Foundation is determined to hold the state to its promises. Without these transit projects attached to it, the Big Dig would not have happened. So far, the state has dragged its feet on its legally binding agreement to complete these projects. If this lawsuit is successful, it could lead to a judge ordering the state to build all the promised projects on a strict schedule. Stay tuned.
“In Somerville, they want to catch trolley” reports that about 500 residents gathered for the October 27 meeting at Somerville High School, in an effort to convince the MBTA of Somerville’s need for better transportation. Keep reading for quotes from the article.