Green Line
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Somerville Journal: Green Line announcement

“Next stop, Somerville!”
When Romney’s administration announced last year that it was considering backing out of the plan, Somerville residents and politicians responded in droves at the State House and at local meetings to protest the move.
The local outpouring worked.


By Brock Parker/ Journal Staff
You asked for it Somerville, and you’re going to get it.
State transportation officials are recommending the extension of Green Line train service through Somerville and onto Medford, and a Green Line branch that will run into Union Square.
The announcement was made to cheers from about 80 people in Union Square Wednesday.
“We’re committing to not only build the Green Line that was committed to [in 1990], but we would like to build it to West Medford and also to Union Square,” said Doug Foy, the state’s development secretary.
“It’s absolutely terrific,” said Wig Zamore, one of the leaders behind grassroots group Somerville Transit Equity Project, which has fought to bring the Green Line to Somerville.
“Like Red Sox fans, we can’t believe we won after all these years,” said Mayor Joe Curtatone.
Recommending the Green Line extension Wednesday ends months of speculation that Gov. Willard Mitt Romney’s administration was seeking to back out a state commitment in the early 1990s to extend the Green Line through Somerville. The commitment was made as part of the state’s plan for the Big Dig.
When Romney’s administration announced last year that it was considering backing out of the plan, Somerville residents and politicians responded in droves at the State House and at local meetings to protest the move.
The local outpouring worked.
The Green Line extension to Medford is the only outstanding commitment from the Big Dig that the Executive Office of Transportation is recommending should be built.
EOT Secretary John Cogliano is not recommending proposals to extend the Green Line along the Arborway in Jamaica Plain. He’s also not recommending a plan to build a Red Line/Blue Line connection. Instead, the EOT is recommending additional stops and improvements to commuter rail service along the Fairmont Line into Dorchester.
In a letter recommending the Green Line extension into Somerville to the state Department of Environmental Protection, Cogliano wrote the train line “is projected to yield significant reductions in vehicle miles traveled, hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide that will make it an important element of the commonwealth’s plan to meet air quality goals.”
Foy said state “hopes and expects” to build the Green Line extension into Somerville by 2011-2014.
“I believe that it is now possible [to transform] the city that has possibly the worst transit system in metro Boston into possibly the best,” Foy said.
Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey was also in Union Square for the Green Line announcement Wednesday, and said “it’s time to make up for lost time” on transportation projects, such as the Green Line, that have been neglected during the Big Dig.
Curtatone said bringing the Green Line into Somerville will create economic growth and will cut down on pollution.
“I can guarantee that my sons, Cosmo and Joseph, and all the children of Somerville, will breathe cleaner air than their parents have,” Curtatone said.
A map of the Green Line extension transportation officials displayed at a press conference Wednesday included new T stops in Union Square, at Gilman Square, at Lowell Street, in Ball Square and three stops in Medford, including one on College Avenue.
In a statement Wednesday, Congressman Michael Capuano, D-8th, said the announcement to extend the Green Line through Somerville is “welcome news.”
“This will significantly enhance our public transportation infrastructure and add transit service where it is clearly needed,” Capuano stated. “I have been advocating for these projects since I took office, and will continue to do all I can to move them forward, including working to secure federal funding.”
Extending the Green Line into Union Square and through the city into Medford is expected to cost about $438 million, according to an MBTA study released earlier this month.
Medford Mayor Michael McGlynn said Medford has been eagerly awaiting a Green Line T stop at Tufts, but Medford still needs to discuss where the train line will end in Medford.
“We want to make sure that whatever expansion takes place, that it doesn’t impact negatively on our neighborhoods,” McGlynn said.
Zamore said there is still a lot of work to be done on how the Green Line will affect Somerville neighborhoods, too.
“There’s going to be a lot of work left [to do],” Zamore said. “I think we can just take the momentum that has stunned people the last two to three years and we can get this project going and [get shovels in the ground.].”

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