Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Don’t shout FEIR in a crowded auditorium

Comments for the Green Line Extension public meeting this evening, as delivered by Lisa:

I live in Medford Hillside, and I look forward to the day when the Green Line Extension comes to Route 16, so that I can actually walk to the Green Line. I am gravely disappointed that the state is still not planning to extend the Green Line to Route 16 by the end of 2014.

I believe that the decision to use the College Avenue Station as a terminus is a terrible mistake for the project as a whole and for my neighborhood. The Route 16 Station would allow Somerville and Medford residents to take the Green Line to green space and grocery shopping. The Route 16 Station would serve Medford Hillside, West Medford, West Somerville, and East Arlington, including the environmental justice neighborhoods that were used to justify the entire extension, but are ignored by the proposed project. The Route 16 Station would provide thousands of residents with better access to jobs, to education, and to health care. And the Route 16 Station would avoid the negative impacts of having College Avenue as a terminus. The Green Line Extension is supposed to benefit Medford Hillside with access to the Green Line, not burden us with more traffic and more pollution.

College Ave will serve Tufts and South Medford, but it will not serve Medford Hillside. The map of Medford Hillside in Appendix C of the FEIR is wrong. The walk access analysis in that appendix is misleading, deliberately hiding the fact that almost nobody in Medford Hillside lives within half a mile of the College Ave station.

More than 2,500 people signed a petition asking for the Route 16 Station. We filled the Route 16 Station Workshop beyond the room’s capacity. We submitted over 100 letters supporting the Route 16 station in response to the DEIR. We’ve done our part. You’ve said that Route 16 is your preferred alternative. It’s time to start treating it that way.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

1 comment:

Michael said...

Cut from the middle because of time constraints on speakers:

I’m glad that MassDOT was willing to work with residents, city officials, and other stakeholders to come to a better decision on the location of the maintenance facility. I wish MassDOT were ready to do that for the location of the terminus. The Draft Environmental Impact Report was supposed to include a complete analysis of the Route 16 Station by December 1, 2008. Nineteen months later, MassDOT has still failed to complete that analysis. MassDOT has admitted that the cost estimates for the Route 16 Station were grossly inflated with unnecessary property takings and bridge reconstructions, but still holds out cost as the reason to avoid completing this project correctly. The funding details for this entire project are still up in the air, but somehow Route 16 remains off the table.