What is particularly disheartening about the current DEIR document is that it proposes to extend the Green Line only as far as College Avenue by 2014; the terminus at Route 16 would then be considered at some indefinite time in the future, which I would take to mean: “probably never in our lifetime.” Further, the College Avenue design in the current report represents a worse case scenario — a strawman, really, as if the authors want to maximize opposition to the Route 16 terminus. Specifically, the design in the DEIR necessitates the destruction of two major commercial properties.
If taking of these properties were entirely necessarily, I would be in favor of dealing with that fact. But it isn’t so. An early EOT design accommodated the existing buildings, and MGNA has provided another (better, I think) design with a slight curvature of the tracks to avoid shaving the buildings. You can take a look at the various designs here.
MGNA feels strongly that the Secretary of Environmental Affairs should NOT accept the Draft Environmental Impact Report as a Final EIR, as MassDOT is requesting.
Rather, the secretary should require MassDOT to continue and correct the Environmental Impact analysis, including an evaluation of MGNA’s alternative design for the Route 16 station, or a similar one, that would preserve two major office buildings on Boston Avenue, lower the project cost, maximize its benefits, and fulfill the commonwealth’s legal commitment to bring service to the Medford Hillside area by December 31, 2014.
MGNA has summarized the key issues from its DEIR analysis in two documents that comment letter writers can use for easy reference:
+ An easy-to-read three-page Summary Analysis of 15 major points about the DEIR, both positive and negative.
+ A Comprehensive Analysis of the major unresolved issues in the DEIR and other areas MGNA feels require further study while the project remains under state environmental review.
Your written comments on the DEIR are crucial, as the Secretary of Environmental Affairs has the authority to require MassDOT to complete this project in the most appropriate and beneficial fashion!
Be sure to send your comment letters to be received by Friday, January 8 to:
Secretary Ian Bowles Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Attn: Holly Johnson, MEPA Analyst
100 Cambridge Street, Suite 900
Boston, MA 02114
If you have questions or need assistance with our comment letter, please email us at email@example.com
Talking points on the DEIR from Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership (STEP)
Not that it directly relates to the immediate action needed regarding the DEIR, but I’d like to point out that Medford City officials have been largely useless regarding Green Line extension design, organization, and preparation. (Somerville totally puts us to shame.) In particular, we need a new mayor. Who wants to run?