Here is the update:
Petition and Demographic Data Support Route 16 Station
for Green Line Extension to Medford/Somerville
MEDFORD (August 4, 2008) — The Medford Green Line Neighborhood Alliance (MGNA) today presented state transportation leaders and local elected officials a citizen petition and a demographic report in support of extending the Green Line to Route 16 (Mystic Valley Parkway) on the Medford/Somerville line.
At today’s meeting of the Green Line Project Advisory Board, MGNA delivered a petition with 2,022 signatures stating support for extending the Green Line to Route 16.
In addition, MGNA presented census data analysis that showed a Route 16 station would put Green Line service within a half-mile walk of 9,116 residents of Medford, Somerville and Arlington who would not have such access if the extension were terminated at a College Avenue station at the intersection with Boston Avenue.
The MGNA report also pointed out that a Route 16 station would provide transit service within a half-mile walk of five environmental justice neighborhoods that would not be similarly served by a terminus station at College Avenue.
The Executive Office of Transportation (EOT) is currently evaluating the College Avenue/Boston Avenue site and Route 16 (Mystic Valley Parkway) as possible locations for the terminal stations. EOT is analyzing factors such as environmental impacts including air quality, right-of-way impacts, costs, and ridership projections. A decision could come as soon as September.
“The citizen petition and demographic data quantify MGNA’s position that a Green Line station at Route 16 has community support, and that it will help the extension project meet two of its most important objectives – improving air quality by providing better transit alternatives to car travel, and providing fair and equitable service to environmental justice communities,” MGNA said in a statement.
The petition signatures were collected online and in paper form over seven weeks, from June 5 to July 31, 2008. Petition signers added numerous comments in favor of a Route 16 station, particularly citing the need to improve public transportation options in the wake of record fuel costs.
“In today’s world of high gas prices, this addition could provide many of us with a cleaner, faster and simpler way of transportation. [It] would be nice to leave my car and walk to the T,” wrote Medford resident Rick Weir.
“The Green Line at Route 16 is an ideal location to be served by transit,” wrote Medford resident Roberta Cameron. “The site directly abuts around 250,000 square feet of existing office and retail space, as well as two affordable multifamily housing developments, with a substantial density of single and multifamily housing in Medford and Arlington, as well as a school all within close walking distance. This dense, mixed-use neighborhood would not be served at all by a station a half mile to a mile away.”
The Route 16 demographic data was analyzed by Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analyst Benjamin Krepp and GIS research consultant Barbara Parmenter. Using 2000 U.S. Census data, the most recent available, they determined which portion of each census block group fell within prescribed distances, or buffer areas, of the Route 16 station location, then estimated the population within each buffer area.
By putting nearly 10,000 additional residents within a ten-minute walk of Green Line service, a Route 16 station increases the potential for the project to shift more person trips from autos to transit, and therefore to improve regional air quality in the corridor, a legal requirement that emerged from the Big Dig project.
And, a Route 16 station would help provide fair and equitable access to stations, ensuring that the project adheres to environmental justice principles that no segment of the population should be denied environmental benefits, or bear a disproportionate burden of the environmental impacts.
A report on the MGNA petition, including all the signatures, and demographic analysis are available on the MGNA website, www.medfordgreenline.org.
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Medford Green Line Neighborhood Alliance
The Medford Green Line Neighborhood Alliance is a group of citizens who support the Green Line extension being planned to Medford, and who advocate for proactive involvement from the city, its residents and all stakeholders to ensure that the extension is completed in a manner that is most beneficial to our community. For more information visit www.medfordgreenline.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.