DEP/EOT attempt to shirk responsibility 12/14

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DEP/EOT attempt to shirk responsibility 12/14

Postby Pete » Tue Dec 07, 2004 1:43 pm

Well, here we go again. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Executive Office of Transportation (EOT) will be holding a hearing on Tuesday, December 14 to address their upcoming attempt to reassess the remaining three transit projects under the Central Artery mitigation agreements -- the Green Line Northwest Extension, Arborway Restoration, and the Red/Blue Connection.

If you want to make it clear to these people that their efforts at weaseling out of commitments they've failed to kill repeatedly is transparent and unacceptable, please do your best to show up and say so.

Date: Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Time: 1-4pm
Location: Gardner Auditorium, State House

Further info and meeting agenda available at http://www.arborway.net/lrv
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Postby Pete » Tue Dec 14, 2004 4:36 pm

Did anyone else attend? I made it for about an hour. I was most impressed by the Somerville Alderman putting the state on notice that it can expect a lawsuit in Federal court if this process proceeds.
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Postby vanshnookenraggen » Tue Dec 14, 2004 6:43 pm

Bah! If only I had check this site this morning. Oh well I can still make the Silver Line opening on Friday (11am for VIPs and 1pm for everyone else).
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Postby jack615 » Tue Dec 14, 2004 9:50 pm

I was also at the meeting, was a very interesting one, it was so clear to see how passionate the people of Somerville are for the extension of the Green Line, and that people in JP for most part want to see the arborway line restored. But i really got to wonder why we are even doing this, shouldnt these projects be done or under construction. I want to say as an aside, that I was proud to see a good representation of people from my area Lynn, to show that the Blue Line to Lynn is also a worthy project, along with those projects required since 1990. But i will follow the project and continue to go to meetings to make sure the Transportation big wigs do the right thing.

Jack
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Postby Ron Newman » Tue Dec 14, 2004 11:27 pm

And a Blue Line extension to Lynn would make the Blue-Red connector at Charles a considerably more compelling project.
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Postby apodino » Wed Dec 15, 2004 3:55 am

Apparently the legislature is fed up with this as well. Now the gloves are off. Let the lawsuits fly.

http://news.bostonherald.com/localPolitics/view.bg?articleid=58878
Rich "Dino" Martin
A one time happy rider of Arborway and the old Washington St. El.
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Postby Pete » Wed Dec 15, 2004 11:20 am

There were comments in another thread disputing the idea, but as I've said, I think pretty much everyone in Somerville is behind the Green Line going there. What will show the fault lines, though, and what transit activists need to be aware the state will try to exploit, is the differing opinions on which route is taken. There have already been some public disagreements on whether the east side route or the Union Square route should be the main thrust, and whether the remaining route should be a branch, or offered some other kind of service. The best thing for everyone on the Somerville side would be to come up with a preferred alternative they can all get behind, because otherwise the MBTA/EOT is going to jump right in and try to use it as a wedge. It's how they work.
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Postby Ron Newman » Wed Dec 15, 2004 11:51 am

I think Somerville's preference is pretty clear: two branches, one terminating in Union Square, the other following the Lowell line to West Medford. Stations on the latter at Washington Street, Gilman Square, Lowell Street, and Ball Square (beyond that, it's Medford's line).

Medford needs to start speaking up a lot more -- their voice has been nearly inaudible so far.
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Postby jwhite07 » Wed Dec 15, 2004 12:47 pm

The T is trying to say that the Silver Line branch to Logan Airport makes a Red Line-Blue Line connector unnecessary. Only problem with that is not everyone currently trying to transfer between the Red and Blue lines is necessarily going to the Airport -- and the Silver Line won't even offer a third option to the Orange and Green lines because it isn't going to serve the Blue Line at Airport Station!

Doesn't strike me as all that difficult to dig a quarter-mile long ditch up Cambridge Street and make a proper direct connection between the only two subway lines that don't have one.
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Postby Ron Newman » Wed Dec 15, 2004 12:54 pm

At one point I thought the T was going to propose a pedestrian connector between State and Downtown Crossing as an alternative to the Red/Blue connection. What happened to that idea?
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Postby Pete » Wed Dec 15, 2004 1:02 pm

I though it had to be planned before the recent tall office building between the two went up, and wasn't. But I don't know that for sure.
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Postby Ron Newman » Wed Dec 15, 2004 1:45 pm

Such a connection would only have to get from Franklin Street (the north edge of Downtown Crossing station) to Milk Street (the south edge of State station). Is there a new building on that block of Washington?

In cold or rainy weather, I'd gladly walk through such a connection, even if the route is a bit convoluted. It would be cool to be able to walk underground from the Common to the Old State House or Exchange Place.
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Postby Pete » Wed Dec 15, 2004 3:15 pm

I'm thinking of 33 Arch, and it may very well have been that it wasn't so much necessary but expedent to design a route through it to accomplish this connection.
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Postby ceo » Thu Dec 16, 2004 3:39 pm

Ron Newman wrote:I think Somerville's preference is pretty clear: two branches, one terminating in Union Square, the other following the Lowell line to West Medford.

Actually, the ideal is a route through Union Square that then tunnels under Prospect Hill and joins the Lowell Line out to West Medford. This is, of course, the most expensive option, and hence the least likely to get built. (Speaking purely ex recto, I imagine the extra expense would more be because of having to build a tunnel through Union Square than tunneling through the hill.)

The problem with two branches is that it doesn't do much for making it easier to get between Union Square and the rest of Somerville.

The Somerville Journal reports that Mayor Curtatone and several aldermen took the T from City Hall to the hearing to make the point of what a pain in the ass it is. Took them an hour, partly because of the Green Line shuttle bus. I think they'd have done better to take the #88 the other way, to Davis, and get on the Red Line.
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Postby Ron Newman » Thu Dec 16, 2004 4:35 pm

The tunnel option was dropped from the list of alternatives early on, because of expense and possible impracticality. So the two-branch alternative is the best remaning one for Somerville.
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