With state officials expected to soon announce plans to build the GreenLine extension to Somerville and Medford, reaction in those citiesdiffered dramatically yesterday.
While Somerville officials were ecstatic about the project, Medford officials were cautious.
Yeah, I mean, the T has really messed up everyplace else it’s been, like Davis Square or East Arlington …
You have an incredible unification and support for this," saidSomerville’s mayor, Joseph A. Curtatone. ”I understand the concerns ofthe Medford residents, but they need to look at what the Red Line didto Davis Square. Davis Square was a dump, and now it’s thriving."
Seriously, what’s wrong with those nervous Nellies in Medford? (David, can you fill me in?) Is it really a matter of parking in West Medford? That seems like a solvable problem any number of ways, from parking permits to new lots. And Medford really needs a few T stops — getting around there without a car (or with) has always been a pain. Won’t the T take cars *off* the streets?
It has always seemed to me that Medford is one of the towns that does population density pretty well, warehousing middle-class folks in decent highrises and other relatively small-footprint housing developments. So much the better if they have more and faster ways (i.e. trains) to get to work.
And this is really pretty cool:
According to Stephen Mackey, president of the Somerville Chamber ofCommerce, the Green Line extension is predicted to create 7,000 housingunits, and 25,000 or more jobs in 7 million square feet of newcommercial development, largely around the Inner Belt and Brick Bottomareas of the city, both near the Boston-Cambridge line.
The areas adjoin the $2 billion-plus North Point development in EastCambridge, a planned community of housing, office buildings, lab andretail space on 45 acres of what is now railyards and industrial space.
I’ve been wondering when we were going to use that space properly. 7,000 housing units is a big deal. With the space crunch in this area, maximizing what we have is that much more important. And we don’t do as good a job of it as even places like Chicago, which has tons of decent, relatively affordable high-rise housing.
Come on folks, do the deal.