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June meeting notes

STEP Meeting Notes ~ June 6, 2016

Who & Where

We met in the VNA Community Room on June 6 from 7 to 9 PM

Attending: Ellin Reisner, Lynn Weissman, Alan Moore, Rachel Fichtenbaum, Gabriel Distler, Karen Molloy, Wig Zamore, Max Morrow, Rachel Burckardt

Upcoming Outreach Opportunities

Artbeat is July 16. Karen sent a detailed email about getting ready

  • Ellin will send Karen the pdf of the CAFEH brochure so Karen can make copies
  • Ellin will make sure someone has access to the locker
  • Ellin will get her tent to Alan so the Friends can use it
  • Consider showing video of McGrath at rush hour to point out dangerous conditions

PARKing Day is Friday, September 16 in Cambridge. Organizations take over parking spaces. Discussed whether GLX or CPX should participate

  • Maybe this would be a better fit for the East Cambridge Planning Team
  • Rachel F. offered to take a day off to help staff it if we do go forward
  • September could be a busy time for us so maybe we shouldn’t overcommit

Report Back from Community Meetings

Ellin updated the City Democrats about GLX during the Jehlen-Cheung debate last week

  • The next City Dems meeting will feature a debate between Tim Toomey and Mike Connolly and will likely include discussion of transportation

At Resistat, Mayor Curtatone said we are waiting 90 days to hear back from the FTA. When are these 90 days?

  • We should ask the City for clarification

The Mayor also said he wants the Path on Inner Belt and/or McGrath

  • Karen followed up with Brad Rawson, who said the City doesn’t have a design for this as yet.
  • Recommendation that Friends should meet first with Brad and then with Mayor about this
  • Alan will add an Inner Belt Route to the Friends’ presentation for June 14 since this is of interest to the City

Anthony Foxx had an op ed in the Globe about transportation, connections, and Boston: https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2016/06/05/transportation-must-connect-communities-opportunity/eiF83AOXyOW3swIEYwpP5I/story.html

Community Path Strategy Discussion

Friends will probably do a letter writing campaign as part of ArtBeat

  • Address the letter to Secretary Pollack
  • Also send it to the Governor & Anthony Foxx
  • CC Brian Shortsleeve and Kate Fichter

The ask in the letter will be for a full path to be included as a bid alternative

  • This means the bid would be set up so if you can build the whole path within the budget, your application gets extra points in the scoring process
  • Goal: get a letter to Sec Pollack this month asking her to put the full path as a bid alternative.
  • Recommendation is that the letter should come from the Friends of the Community Path, Cities of Somerville & Medford, STEP, Pat Jehlen, and Denise Provost – a unified ask

Another ask could be to add a performance metric calculating the benefits of a multimodal project and add this to the bid

  • In the past CTPS didn’t use to include bike & ped metrics but now they do. They look at this in the SIP process

Anthony Foxx could be a good ally as he supports multimodal, holistic, and environmental justice projects

As part of the design-build bid process, contractors propose “alternate technical concepts.” They have to do this to win the bid

  • Friends should put their ideas out there so the contractors doing research will find them & can include them in their proposals
  • Friends should consider setting up a website that is easy to find in an Internet search
  • Individual citizens can mail a package of ideas to all the bidders after prebid conference
  • We will ask Steve to make the Friends’ designs more prominent on the STEP website

Friends would like to get a state-certified engineer to look at their plans

  • If the engineer agrees, that will lend more credence to their proposal
  • Lynn & Alan have reached out to Peter Furth
  • Jack Wright’s team ran out of time and didn’t vet the Friends’ alternative path proposal

Wig recommended that the Friends also reach out to Amy Lind or Chris Matthews or Alta – a prominent path designer – as designers can be persuasive and have vision

Lynn talked to professional fundraiser Ellen Gugel about doing a kickstarter to raise funds to pay someone to fundraise for the Community Path

  • Friends did not get the Rails to Trails grant they had submitted
  • MassDOT still has $280 million in the bike-ped program. This money comes through the MPO

Many state and national groups want to be allies to the Path & can be mobilized when the time is right

  • E.g. Transportation for Massachusetts, Livable Streets Alliance, Walk Boston, etc.

Everyone please invite stakeholders to the June 14 Friends’ presentation

  • Lynn will resend to the STEP listserv
  • Lynn will invite the legislative delegation
  • Meeting info: June 14, Public Presentation of the Friends of the Community Path’s Alternate Design for the Community Path Extension. 7-9 PM, VNA, 259 Lowell Street, Somerville, 3rd floor Community Room. Please RSVP on Facebook and share the invitation!

Lynn will pursue a meeting with Capuano

The Friends’ plan is cost-effective and visionary. Bike/ped travel increases every year – this is the future of transportation in the Commonwealth.

Wig will speak with the Mayor about advocating with FTA in DC to influence decision making in MA DOT

  • Wig will reach out to Chris Lineberger at LOCUS

Friends will work on getting a pro-path statement from the Somerville Aldermen & Cambridge City Council

Other Discussion

Wig now has noise monitors and tripods from the Logan project

Wig is seeking STEP for funding to travel to the ISEE conference (approved)

STEP approved Wig’s request to fund his postdoc to also go to ISEE, where she is presenting

Next Meeting

Monday, July 25, 7-9 PM, VNA 1st floor private dining room (please carpool/take transit/walk/avoid parking in the parking lot if possible)

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