Traffic Advisory: Westbound portion of Cambridge Street Tunnel will be closed on Thursday 10/30

On Thursday, October 30, the City of Cambridge’s contractor, MIG Corporation, will close the westbound portion of the Cambridge Street Tunnel (traveling towards Harvard Square), in order to place new concrete wearing surface. The westbound lanes will be closed from 4am – 3pm. Motorists traveling in the eastbound lanes will not be impacted. Message boards and detour signs will be highly visible during this closure. Emergency vehicles will maintain access at all times.

4th Annual “Great Pumpkin Glow” at Kendall Square

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Middlesex County is celebrating Halloween with the 4th Annual Pumpkin Carving Corporate Challenge this Wednesday from 4:30pm to 7:30pm at Kendall Square. The competitive pumpkin carving contest will be followed by a cocktail party, and is a great way to give back to the community while enjoying a crisp fall afternoon with your co-workers. Click here to register for the event.

What: The Great Pumpkin Glow at Kendall Square

Where: North Plaza, 300 Athenaeum Street

When: Wednesday 10/29, 4:30pm – 7:30pm

Community meeting on Foundry Building this Wednesday

The City of Cambridge is hosting a community meeting for an update and discussion on the Foundry Building this Wednesday from 6PM to 8PM at the Walter Milne Ballroom Cambridge Citywide Senior Center.

Community_meetingAll are welcome to attend, but the City is asking that you sign up here to help them plan for the right number of people. For more information on the Foundry Project, please visit the project page.

Ground Officially Broken at Skatepark

After more than a decade of committed advocacy, ground was officially broken at the future site of the Lynch Family Skatepark today. Despite gusty winds and heavy rainfall, the event was attended by an impressive collection of public officials, skateboarders, BMX riders, and inline skaters, as well as skateboarding legends Tony Alva and Christian Hosoa. The event was also attended by urban development advocates, as well as important benefactors Peter Lynch of the Lynch Foundation and Steve Van Doren, Vans’ Vice President of Events and Promotions. Congressman Michael Capuano was also in attendance, and reminded the crowd of the relentless advocacy spearheaded by Renata von Tscharner, President of the Charles River Conservancy (CRC), who in turn praised the individuals and groups that contributed to turning this formerly downtrodden area to an artistic public recreation space.

Rep. Toomey with Sen. DiDomenico and Renata von Tscharner

Rep. Toomey with Sen. DiDomenico and Renata von Tscharner.

The 40,000 square foot skateboarding and recreation facility, which will be located adjacent to the Zakim Bridge and nearby North Point Park, is the result of a collaborative effort between the CRC and the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). von Tscharner also reminded the crowd that the project wouldn’t have been possible without generous support from Vans, The Lynch Foundation, the City of Cambridge, and the Boston Redevelopment Authority. The project has also received support from more than 400 skaters and their parents, who helped design the park and donated what they could to support the development. Once constructed, the park will be managed, maintained, and operated by DCR as a state park. Vans, the sneaker and skateboarding company, plans to hold two large-scale, professional skating events at the park annually. Please click this link for more information about the Lynch Family Skatepark.

More Sullivan Courthouse Documents Made Public

Yesterday morning, my staff were given access to a significant volume of documents detailing the proposals the state received for redevelopment of the Sullivan Courthouse in East Cambridge. This document disclosure came in response to a public records request I made this summer and follows the release of the purchase and sale agreement between DCAMM and Leggatt McCall earlier this month. My staff were given physical access to the documents at DCAMM’s offices in the McCormack Building in downtown Boston, but could not remove the documents to copy them. I expect that DCAMM will provide me with a complete digital or hard copy of the documents within the coming weeks. For now, I am able to provide some “scans” of the documents that my staff were able to take with their cell phone cameras. These documents include information regarding the appraisal of the courthouse, bid prices, and the evaluation criteria that DCAMM used in selecting Leggatt McCall as the developer.

Staff edit: We are now hosting the documents on Tim’s website so you do not have to create a Scribd account in order to download them. These are direct links to the PDF files:

Make East Somerville shine this Saturday and win fun cleaning prizes

East Somerville Main Streets (ESMS) is partnering with Alderman Matthew Mclaughlin to host a Fall Clean Up, and they would love to have your help. If you’re interested in volunteering to make East Somerville the most beautiful neighborhood in Somerville, please contact ESMS at projectassistant@eastsomervillemainstreets.org or call at 617.676.5307. ESMS will provide prizes for “Best Before and After!” and “Weirdest piece of trash.”

When: Saturday, October 18th, 10:30am (Rain Date: Sunday, October 19th)

Where: 115 Broadway (East Branch Library)

 

Head of the Charles Road Closures and Parking Restrictions

The Head of the Charles Regatta is this weekend. It is the largest two-day regatta in the world and attracts an estimated 300,000 spectators to the Charles. Please take a minute to review this press release from the Department of Conservation and Recreation for information about the road closures and parking restrictions that will be in effect:

The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will close roadways, and portions of some roadways, to accommodate the Head of the Charles Regatta this Saturday and Sunday, October 18 and October 19. Parking also will be restricted in some areas beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, October 15. All parking restrictions will be strictly enforced. It is illegal at all times to park vehicles of any kind on parkland. All illegally parked vehicles will be towed.  Commuters should also expect delays on Soldiers Field Road on Friday, October 17, between 6:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. as crew teams load in equipment for the event.          

WHERE and WHEN:

Lane Closures: Saturday and Sunday, October 18 and 19, 2014

Soldiers Field Road westbound

Right lane closed (Drop off only)
Western Avenue to North Harvard Street ramp
Saturday & Sunday: 8 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Soldiers Field Road westbound
Right lane closed
Herter Lot No. 2: Drop off only
Saturday & Sunday: 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.

North Harvard Street Ramp
Soldiers Field Road westbound – Shuttle Bus Access only
Saturday & Sunday: 9:00 a.m. (TBD by State Police – 4:30 pm)

Memorial Drive CLOSED
Between Western Ave and Fresh Pond Parkway
Saturday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m./Cleanup finished
Sunday: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m./Cleanup finished

Parking Restrictions: Wednesday, October 15 through Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014

Soldiers Field Road
Lots 1-4
Wednesday, Oct. 15 – Sunday, Oct. 19
10 p.m. Wednesday – 8 p.m. Sunday

Memorial Drive westbound
#940 Memorial Drive to Mt. Auburn Street
Saturday, October 18 – Sunday, October 19
8 a.m. Saturday – 9 p.m. Sunday

Cambridge Boat Club (Gerry’s Landing Road at Memorial Drive)
Wednesday, October 15 – Sunday, October 19
10 p.m. Wednesday – 8 p.m. Sunday

Riverside Boat Club
Thursday, October 16, 6:00 p.m. – Sunday, October 19, 8:00 p.m.

Magazine Pool Driveway
Thursday, October 16, 6:00 p.m. – Sunday, October 19, 8:00 p.m.
(Drop off Only)

MWRA Cottage Farm Pump Station Lot
Thursday, October 16, 6:00 p.m. – Sunday, October 19, 8:00 p.m.

Parking is available on Greenough Boulevard on the westbound side, from Buckingham Brown and Nichols (as posted) to Grove Street. Greenough Boulevard eastbound side parking from Arsenal Street to the Marsh Post is as posted. Parking is not allowed along the guardrail or anywhere else on Greenough Boulevard.

Image credit: Fcb981, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

TRAFFIC ADVISORY: MBTA Red Line weekend diversion – October 11

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) will close the Longfellow Bridge this Saturday (October 11) to all motor vehicle travel, except MBTA buses as part of the Longfellow Bridge Rehabilitation Project. The closure is necessary to implement an MBTA Red Line diversion which will allow MassDOT’s design/build contractor, White-Skanska-Consigli JV, to perform work in close proximity to the Red Line tracks that is not possible during MBTA service hours. Buses will replace Red Line trains for service between Kendall/MIT Station and Park Street Station, with a stop at Charles/MGH Station. The bus route and stops are shown on the map below. All shuttle bus stops are accessible for people with disabilities. Bus service will be in place for Boston and Cambridge-bound Red Line customers during service on Saturday, October 11. Red Line trains will resume service on Sunday morning, October 12.

BusRoute-Red Line Diversion

MBTA buses will be the only motor vehicles permitted on the bridge. All other motor vehicles, including passenger vehicles, trucks and all other buses, will need to use one of two routes to reach Boston. One route uses Memorial Drive westbound to make a U-turn at Ames Street for access to Memorial Drive eastbound to Land Boulevard and Charles River Dam Road (Monsignor O’Brien Highway/Route 28) to reach Leverett Circle. A second route uses 3rd Street and Binney Street to reach Land Boulevard. Truck restrictions are in place for Memorial Drive.

BostonBound_wknd-Red line diversion

The Cambridge-bound detour remains in place using a signed route from Charles Circle following Charles Street to Leverett Circle, Monsignor O’Brien Highway/Charles River Dam Road and Edwin H. Land Boulevard.

DetourRoute_CB_rev-red line diversion

Emergency response, bicycle and pedestrian access will be maintained across the bridge during this weekend diversion. Please note: Bicyclists must walk their bikes on the sidewalk across the Longfellow Bridge to ensure the safety of all bridge users. The Massachusetts Avenue Bridge and Dr. Paul Dudley White Bike Path across the Craigie Dam Bridge can be used as an alternate route to ride bicycles across the Charles River.

The Longfellow Bridge, which connects Boston and Cambridge over the Charles River, is being rehabilitated as part of a three and a half year, $255.5 million effort funded through Governor Patrick’s Accelerated Bridge Program. Rehabilitation of the iconic “salt and pepper” Longfellow Bridge will improve structural integrity and capacity, meet modern codes, including ADA accessibility, and create a safer configuration for more modes of travel.

Click this link for more information on the project and traffic management plans. For questions, to report issues and concerns related to construction or to be added to the project email distribution list, please call the project hotline at 617-519-9892 or email longfellowbridge@state.ma.us.

Courthouse Purchase and Sale Agreement Released

DCAMM delivered to my office this morning a full copy of the purchase and sale agreement (below) for the Sullivan Courthouse, along with the first, second, and third amendments to the agreement first amendment to the license agreement, and second and third amendments to the purchase and sale agreement, in accordance with the Supervisor of Records’ letter dated October 3rd. The purchase and sale agreement gives us information about the terms of the sale, including the price. These are the only documents I have received from DCAMM thus far.

DCAMM Ordered to Release Courthouse Records

This summer, I filed a public records request with the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) for documents related to the sale of the Sullivan Courthouse in East Cambridge.  With this request, my goal was to obtain more information about the bid selection process and criteria that were used by DCAMM in selecting Leggat McCall Properties as the developer for the courthouse, and to obtain information about the sale price in order to help inform the public conversation about the site’s redevelopment.

DCAMM has been tight-lipped about this information for years now, and has refused all informal requests for this information, as well as an invitation to participate in a working group I organized this Spring.  Predictably, DCAMM denied my initial public records request. I appealed their denial with the Secretary of the Commonwealth on grounds that the information I sought was no longer exempt from Massachusetts Public records law and should be made available for public review.  I received notice today (posted below) that the Supervisor of Public Records has made the determination that the records I requested can no longer be withheld, and DCAMM has been ordered to provide the requested records within ten days. I will be sure to post an update here if and when I receive the records from DCAMM.

Public Records Appeal Decision

Image credit: Pingswept, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

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