February 12, 2008

Community meeting on Union Square Green Line stop

Tuesday, Feb 12, 6:30 pm
Public Safety Building
220 Washington St (map)

We're inching closer to the return of trolley service in Union Square and we want to hear from you about your thoughts for the new route and station.

Union Square area residents, business people, property owners and all interested parties are invited to two community meetings to learn about and discuss the proposed Green Line spur to Union Square. Union Square Main Streets and STEP (Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership) are sponsoring the meetings.

Union Square Main Streets and STEP are holding the meetings to inform the community about the various options being considered for the Union Square spur and to learn neighborhood concerns and priorities.

The first formal step towards construction of the Green Line is currently underway with through the Draft Environmental Impact Review (DEIR) by the state's Executive Office of Transportation. This is a comprehensive analysis of transportation and environmental requirements and will make important pre-design and construction recommendations such as where to locate the stations. There is a citizen's advisory committee for the DEIR project with community representatives from Somerville, Medford and Cambridge. The DEIR team is planning community meetings for early February.

Union Square is the largest commercial district along the proposed route and the transit improvements the Green Line will bring could encourage private investment in the large number of underutilized commercial properties in the Square. The new light rail service promises increased vitality for the neighborhood, both for current small, independent businesses and through new development in the brownfield areas on the eastern side of the Square. Improved public transportation will enable faster and easier trips for commuters and shoppers. The location and design of the Union Square station presents opportunities and challenges to maximize accessibility for pedestrians, to allow for convenient connections with buses and to be centrally located without adding to the burdens in an already congested neighborhood.