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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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The Green Line Extension and Community Path are threatened. This Wednesday, we need your help!

Many voices need to be heard – NOW – to ensure that the Green Line Extension is built.

MassDOT and the MBTA have scheduled five public meetings on the Green Line Extension (GLX) and the integrated Community Path (CPX) project, to receive public input/suggestions on ways to reduce the cost of construction.

The full meeting schedule is at the end of this post.

A really big turnout for the first meeting THIS WEDNESDAY will send an important message to MassDOT, the MBTA and the Governor.

Wednesday, March 2nd at Arts at the Armory
191 Highland Avenue – Somerville
Open House: 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Presentation and Q&A: 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

It is important to speak out on our commitment to and need for the fully functional GLX.

Keep reading for important details…

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Green Line, Transportation News
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Gov. Baker pushes for MBTA repair

Gov. Baker has framed discussion about the MBTA as a false choice between repairing the existing system versus any expansions such as the Green Line Extension. His remarks at a business breakfast Thursday are typical:

“I get that people like the shiny balls, OK? But the million people who ride that system? They need us to focus on reliability and resilience,” Baker told the room at the Intercontinental Hotel. He said, “People can talk about building it to here and there and everywhere. But if we don’t get it right on the core system… it’s going to be incredibly hard to grow the ridership.”

The Green Line Extension isn’t just a “shiny ball.” It’s critical to the lives and economic future of our residents and region.

Read more: “Baker talks jobs, MBTA” (Worcester Business Journal)

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Green Line about to get public relations push

“Somerville plans public relations push for GLX” (Somerville Journal)

“As state officials consider cutting the Green Line Extension, Somerville is hiring a PR firm to promote the project via placed interviews and op-eds, Reddit Ask Me Anything forums and ‘memes.’

‘We want to be sure that all of the advocates, elected officials, and thought leaders – from transit supporters to climate change experts to passionate residents – who have been fighting for the Green Line for decades have this opportunity to be heard not just locally and not just at specific public hearings but in the broader public forum’ Rawson said. ‘It is well worth it to make this modest investment in the final stretch of the process to ensure everyone is both informed and heard.'”

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Residents get important Green Line updates at public meeting

GLXWorkingGroup_020516The Green Line Extension Working Group met yesterday for the first time in a long time, getting updates from the head of the MBTA and the interim project manager of the GLX. Despite the snow, about 100 residents joined the meeting in support of the project. A few highlights:

  • The goal of the new project team is to try to reduce the scope of the GLX in order to bring it back down to the $2 billion currently budgeted. (Here’s the team.)
  • John Karn of ARUP summarized the areas being explored to cut costs (view the presentation), including:
    • Lowell cross section: slim down the right-of-way area and potentially cut the Community Path (something STEP finds unacceptable).
    • Stations: redesign stations to be “smaller, more spartan but functional,” which STEP supports. Unfortunately, that might also include redesigning station access and egress, which could negatively impact the Community Path.
    • Union Square: consider alternatives for this stop, such as a commuter rail stop or bus service – not at all acceptable.
    • Viaducts: reduce their size, mass, and number (which might also include cutting the Community Path).
    • Maintenance facility: make it much smaller and simpler.
    • Schedule/productivity: work off-peak hours and shut down the commuter rail to save time and money.
  • We finally got to see cost estimates for various components of this project, including Lechmere station ($72 million in contractor bid), Union Square station ($40M), Washington station ($50M), and more. (Here’s the detailed spreadsheet.)
  • There will be multiple public meetings to involve the community in this process between now and May, when the team’s report is due to the MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB). (Here’s their schedule.)

Here’s video of the entire meeting:

Below are detailed notes from our friends at MGNA

INTRODUCTION

This was the first Working Group meeting since the project was put on pause due to the projected cost escalation, and a new project team was installed to fully re-examine the project to determine whether it still will be built, and in what form. Chairperson Doug Carr said the Working Group was eager to be engaged in the process and offer its input and expertise, noting that many of the members have been involved with the project for 10 years or longer.

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Green Line public meeting this Friday!

The Green Line Extension Project Working Group will meet this Friday morning from 10-12 to hear from the state:

  • Where things stand right now, including next steps and timelines
  • Preliminary redesign concepts – an early peek at some of the options they’re exploring to bring down costs
  • Project budget overview

Please come to show support for the Green Line! There will be time for public comment, so make sure your voice is heard as we fight for a Green Line Extension will full functionality to serve our community. Meeting details.

If you want to catch up with the key documents before the meeting, here are some highlights:

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