September 06, 2007

State public hearing on Green Line extensions

Speak out for the Green Line Extensions!
Thursday, Sept 6, 1 pm or 5 pm
Mass. Dept. of Environmental Protection
Washington Street Conference Center
2nd Floor, Rooms A, B & C
1 Winter Street, Boston (map)

The state is trying to back away from its promise to fund 100% of the extensions. The project is late now and may be delayed by two more years to look for Federal funds. The state’s application to US EPA to change the transit commitment deadline from 2011 to 2014 has not been honest about the project status. The Green Line project is at risk.

Annually the Executive Office of Transportation (EOT) must submit a report on the Green Line. On September 6th the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is holding two public meetings to hear public comments about this report.

As it stands now the report is misleading because it leaves out important information:

  • The Green Line extension still has not been fully funded as previously promised.
  • We are behind schedule for the 2014 commitment, and even the proposed 2016 plan.
  • Federal regulations require it to be a strong priority in state and MPO plans, but it is not.

Please attend one of the meetings if you can and insist that the EOT transit report tell the whole truth, and that you will not accept any more delays or excuses. It is our chance to be heard.

If you can't attend, send your comments to:
Katherine Fichter
Executive Office of Transportation, Rm. 4150,
Ten Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116
Christine Kirby
Massachusetts DEP
1 Winter Street, Boston, 02108-4746

Background Information

1. In Somerville, the densest city in the Northeast, we are exposed to dangerous vehicle pollution from traffic on I93 and Route 28, and 200 diesel commuter rail trains that pass through every day. State public health records show many excess deaths in Somerville from lung cancer and heart attack compared to Massachusetts averages even though our residents smoke less.

2. Somerville is an “environmental justice” community with a very high density of minority, low-income, non-English speaking residents. Many in Somerville do not have cars and are completely dependent on public transit. Buses stuck in traffic and the lack of clean, convenient transit stink.

3. Since 1990 the state has been legally obligated to extend the Green Line through Somerville to Medford to partially offset the dangerous levels of pollution from the Big Dig (I-93). Service was supposed to begin in 2011. The Green Line extensions will improve our air quality and service.

4. In November 2006, to settle a lawsuit over the lack of progress, the state committed to fully fund the project but delayed its completion to 2014. Since then it has not provided the necessary resources to meet the schedule and there has been too little progress.

Insist the State Honor Its Commitment – Our Health is at Stake!