Last night many residents gathered at a community meeting to discuss the design of the new Orange Line stop at Assembly Square. MBTA project staff and the design consultant provided an overview of the preliminary design for the station, which includes just one headhouse for entry and exit. This was followed by a comment period during which many people argued for a second headhouse.
STEP’s Wig Zamore created a set of slides as background information and recommendations about the station design, pointing out the obvious need for a second headhouse. One headhouse would mean a less visible station, a long walk to many Assembly Square destinations (including IKEA), less effective bike connections, and poorer accessibility. Download the slides.
Notes from Wig Zamore about the slides…
This will be the first new MBTA subway stop in almost a generation when
opened in 2014 or so, a great accomplishment made possible by Somerville
community activism, the generous donation of $15 million by Federal Realty
and IKEA, a $25 million earmark from Congressman Capuano and the hard work
of many others. We owe great thanks all around for this. Total estimated
cost currently $47.5 million.
The Assembly Square settlement reduced total projected vehicle trips per day
from 100,000 to 50,000. We just spent $15 billion (capital cost) to $22
billion (with interest) on the Big Dig which adds 50,000 new vehicle trips
per day. The Assembly Square T-stop is critical to removing 50,000 future
trips per day from our regional highway system, with most of those on I93.
The sustainability of Assembly Square and Somerville is entirely dependent
upon good execution of the new Orange Line T-stop, with two headhouses
rather than one, and excellent walk bike connections throughout the
Total US petroleum use goes 70% to transportation, 5% to residential and
commercial, 24% to industry and 2% to electric power generation (1% rounding
error). Whether you are interested in greenhouse gases or in US balance of
payments you should thoroughly despise highway dependent development.
Including structured parking the Assembly Square IKEA will enclose roughly
the same amount of above grade space as 5 or 6 Home Depots, the Alewife MBTA
garage or a large downtown office tower. Yet IKEA’s store energy use is
over 90% from customer driving and less than 10% from building energy
A transit friendly IKEA and Assembly Square could easily save 100 to 200
MILLION GALLONS OF GASOLINE, 2 to 4 BILLION MILES OF DRIVING, and 2 to 4
BILLION POUNDS of CO2 in a generation. It is not easy to save 1 to 2
MILLION TONS of CO2 but it can be done here by stretching the value of a
single T-stop with good walk and bike connections.
IKEA is only 330,000 square feet of retail in a district that will have
1,400,000 square feet of retail space and 5,000,000 (Federal Phase 1) to
10,000,000 (Long Term Vision) total square feet of buildings.
WE NEED TO GET THE DRIVING DOWN and FUTURE MBTA USE UP !!!