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State explores very scaled-back version of Community Path

“Green Line extension walking path redesigned” (Boston Globe)

“Under the new design, the path would be farther away from the stations and tracks in some areas, so that the T could avoid building the walls. But that means some big changes. For instance, instead of running near the Green Line tracks in the section near Washington Street to around North Point, the path would run along the busy McGrath Highway.

Several supporters expressed concerns about that particular change, saying many cyclists and pedestrians would be reluctant to travel a path along McGrath Highway. Others worried that the new path had fewer entrances from the street and could take away access from communities that need it most.”

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Transportation board talks Green Line cuts, community pushes back

“Transit Activists, Unions Mince No Words As T’s Control Board Weighs Next Moves” (WGBH)

“In response to ballooning costs of the long-anticipated Green Line Extension project, the FMCB began considering starkly reduced iterations of that project, potentially cutting whole neighborhoods (Union Square, for one) out of the picture and reconsidering the long-anticipated extension of a community path in Somerville. With decisions expected as soon as a month from now, citizens and interest groups fighting for those projects, and those jobs, are making their cases with increasing urgency and, in some cases, diminishing patience….

Several people spoke on behalf of the beleaguered Community Path extension, which the Control Board has begun to scrutinize as potentially exceeding expected costs, Friends of the Community Path co-president Lynn Weissman noted that the path, which her group thinks can be built for less than $20 million, ‘is probably less than the cost of a lot of parking garages that have been built as a part of transit projects.'”

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Community Path could be cut!

“MBTA: Community path could be cut down or cut out of GLX” (Somerville Journal)

“The community path extension may be cut or scaled down from the Green Line Extension and Medford, Cambridge and Somerville are still being asked to contribute to the overall cost of the billion-dollar project, according to MBTA officials.”

Come to Somerville High School Wednesday night at 6:30 to support the Green Line and Community Path!

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Mayor Curtatone says come to the Green Line meeting on Wednesday

From The Somerville Times

3753247bd06ff88d2b0951aa8fbe7cb8_400x400Let’s talk about where you’re going to be next Wednesday. That evening at the Somerville High auditorium we have a big community meeting with state officials concerning the Green Line extension. Everybody is welcome to attend and that is roughly the amount of people we’d like see there: everybody.

We may not be able to fit tens of thousands into the auditorium, but that’s the number of people this project affects. We’ve waited decades for the reintroduction of rail transit to the heart of our city. The work is under way. $700 million is already sunk in the project whether we build it or not. We have come too far and we are too close to having it operational not to bring it over the finish line. That’s why you need to be there. We want to emphasize the scope and importance of this project. And the decision makers need to hear it from you. I’ve been out talking and testifying about this over and over. But this is your meeting. We need your voice this time. Read more…

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Medford Mayor stands up for Green Line at public meeting

“Medford Mayor Stephanie M. Burke: Route 16 station is key to project” (Medford Transcript)

“We all understand that there’s give and take,” Burke said at the March 23 meeting, the first of two scheduled in Medford. “And we certainly are willing to work with the state and federal government. We really want to work collaboratively to see this work come to fruition.”

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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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