Somerville Journal: Monday’s public hearing
State wants to hear Monday why Somerville needs a Green Line stop
State officials have rescheduled the Green Line meeting for next Monday, March 14, at 6:30 p.m. at the high school auditorium.
Mayor Joe Curtatone said public participation is critical at the meeting, which has twice been postponed due to snowstorms.
“We’ve been snowed out twice, but we can’t lose momentum now,” Curtatone said. “Heavy turnout at these meetings sends the state a clear message that Somerville means business, that we are united in our desire for this Green Line extension.”
The meeting is a follow-up to a State House hearing held on Dec. 16, where state officials were criticized by some participants for not holding the hearing in the communities affected by possible transportation funding cutbacks.
In recent months, the MBTA has considered reneging on the commitments it made more than a decade ago to extend the Green Line through East Cambridge, Somerville and Medford. The agreements were made in exchange for the state getting the go-ahead on the Big Dig, which has brought even greater numbers of cars and trucks through Somerville and other communities.
Curtatone warned that support is growing for the Blue Line extension to Lynn and other transportation projects, even though they are not part of commitments the state made more than 15 years ago in exchange for clearance to build the Central Artery tunnel.
“We still don’t have the $1.5 million we need just to fund the next study phase,” Curtatone said. “Other projects may be worthy, but the state has made a legal commitment to this project and it must follow through.”
The March 14 meeting will be chaired by Robert Gollege, commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection, and Daniel Grabauskas, the governor’s Transportation Secretary.
For more information about the public meeting, please call Stuart O’Brien, project manager in the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development, at 617-625-6600, ext. 2500.