Green Line

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Dreaming small comes with a cost

From the Boston Globe column by Yvonne Abraham:

“…the stripped-down proposals offered so far, while they save dollars now, squander the Green Line’s great potential for public good….So far, the administration has done a great job of lowering expectations on the project, even threatening to cancel it altogether. Happy to jack up fares on riders, they won’t go near higher taxes for others, even though everybody would benefit. So they say we can’t afford what planners had envisioned, and advocates have scaled back their demands. But diminished expectations exact their own price.”

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Capuano pushes for Green Line Extension

“Capuano urges completion of MBTA Green Line extension at Government Center reopening” (Boston.com)

“For me, this is just one more step on making the Green Line exactly what it should be, which is a full-service Green Line to as many people as possible,” he said. “Including those who want to come to Government Center via Somerville, Cambridge, and Medford. If you can get this many people in a room for one stop, imagine how many people you can get for seven new accessible stops.”

Gov. Charlie Baker last week told the WGBH program Boston Public Radio that the Green Line extension should be built if it can get back to a reasonable budget. But Baker signaled frustration with the project’s estimated cost getting as expensive as it did last year, when it blew past previous projections of $2 billion.

“Based on the most aggressive estimates about ridership, it’s maybe 20-to-25,000 people,” he said. (However, a November presentation from the T put the figure at 49,000.)

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Somerville Road Runners support Community Path as part of Green Line Extension

“Somerville Road Runners Make A Plea For The Community Path Extension” (Scout Somerville)

“It’s not just a bike path – I think that’s one of the genius things about the … Community Path. No matter what time of day I’m walking on it or going for a run on it, there are tons of families, tons of different people out walking their dogs, with their community garden or just commuting.”

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Green Line supporters make their case to transportation board

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Thanks to everyone who came downtown yesterday to show support (with their words and their signs!) for the Green Line Extension at the Fiscal Control Management Board Meeting.

Download the slides on the Green Line update.

Keep reading for more photos.

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A refresher on the big benefits of the Green Line Extension

In this crazy time of uncertainty, it’s good to step back and remind ourselves of all the clear benefits of extending the Green Line. We recalled a presentation from the state from late last year, which covers:

  • How underserved our city is with public transportation
  • How important public transit is to our residents
  • What kind of ridership the extended Green Line would have
  • Why the economic and health benefits are so clear and important
  • How many jobs (and tax revenue) are at stake, especially in Union Square

Download the slides on the Green Line benefits.

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Join the Green Line Extension rally at the board meeting on March 16!

Following up on the success of turnout and comments made at the March 2nd Green Line Public Meeting, we need to make the Green Line Extension a priority for the Baker Administration to complete successfully. 

We are reaching out to you to come to a rally in support of the Green Line on Wednesday, March 16 at 11:30 AM at the State Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, Boston. Go to Conference Rooms 1, 2, 3 on the 2nd floor so we can show our commitment at the Fiscal Control Management Board Meeting. At 11:30 AM the Mayors of Somerville, Medford and Cambridge will make brief comments.

Public Comments on the Green Line will be at 1 PM in Conference Rooms 1, 2, 3 on the 2nd floor. Our legislative delegation will make comments at 1 PM also.  We urge you to bring your sign(s) and if you want to make comments you can sign up at the meeting and speak for 2 minutes. People can directly tell the Board why the Green Line and Community Path must be completed rather than allowing this critical project to be abandoned. Both boards need to understand how important the GLX is for residents and businesses to improve transportation, promote economic development, reduce traffic and air pollution in our cities.

Following the public comments there will be a Green Line Update to the Board of Directors on the agenda.

Your support of the Green Line and Community Path is critically important now.  We look forward to seeing you at the rally and board meeting on March 16th.

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More voices supporting the Green Line

“Column: GLX an investment for all of us” (Somerville Journal)

“The GLX is more than a ride to work; it is the way forward for our region. Collectively, our communities, Cambridge, Medford, and Somerville stand to gain millions, if not billions, in economic benefit. The GLX would provide transit for tens of thousands of people. It would take cars off the road, helping the environment and mitigating our insufferable traffic. The GLX would help address the housing crisis by putting beautiful homes and neighborhoods within reach of the T.”

“Editorial: Preserving Somerville’ s health, physical and mental” (Somerville Journal)

“The health of Somerville residents is frequently a low priority for people in power. The most infamous example of this is the construction of I-93 through Ten Hills, East Somerville and Assembly Square, dividing the city and spewing untold amounts of exhaust into residents’ lungs, increasing health risks and lowering life expectancy. That’s part of what the Green Line Extension is intended to remedy, and unfortunately state officials are looking to reduce the GLX or even cut it entirely.”

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Green Line slides now available with new station sketches

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Download the slides from Wednesday’s public meeting. Included are the schedule for this reevaluation/reestimation process and the areas of focus for reducing scope:

  • Reduced Station Designs
  • Community Path Options
  • Summertime Rail/Street Closures
  • Reduced Vehicle Maintenance Facility Design
  • Lechmere Viaduct Redesign
  • Relocation of Proposed Gilman Traction Power Station
  • Raise Medford Street Bridge
  • Re-Evaluate Power / System / Substation Needs
  • Match Light Rail Transit Proposed Elevations w/ Existing Grades
  • Fitchburg – Eliminate WB Viaduct and Single Track to McGrath

You can also see early sketches of barebones stations.

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Press coverage of Wednesday’s Green Line public meeting

“Critics pan MBTA extension proposal” (Boston Globe)

“Five of the seven planned stations for the Green Line extension could be scaled back from enclosed buildings to bare-bones, open-air stations under preliminary redesigns presented to a packed crowd Wednesday evening.

Possible changes to the stations and a vehicle maintenance facility could save roughly $300 million, according to officials, who stressed the redesigns are far from final.”

“Green Line extension cutbacks previewed at Somerville meeting” (Boston.com)

“Your presence here says it all,” state Sen. Pat Jehlen said to the capacity crowd of at least 300. “Somerville is united. People here have spent hundreds of thousands of hours collectively supporting this project. It needs to happen.”

“Tonight you don’t have torches and pitch forks, but I can’t guarantee what might happen” at future meetings, said Somerville Board of Aldermen President Bill White.

“Somerville residents push back on cuts to Green Line Extension” (Somerville Journal)

“A bare-bones Green Line Extension could cut $280 million in the project’s billion-dollar cost overrun, state officials said at a packed public meeting March 2, while residents demanded that the state move forward with the GLX as a debt owed to Somerville.”

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Over 400 people demand the Green Line at public meeting

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Thanks to everyone for coming out tonight in support of the Green Line! We made it clear through our presence and comments that Somerville deserves a fully built Green Line Extension, including a Union Square branch and Community Path. Let’s keep the pressure on!

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More photos below…

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