Tag: East Cambridge Planning Team

Positive Steps Forward for Green Line Extension

East Cambridge & East Somerville – map

After years of countless meetings, public hearings, letters and tireless advocacy from so many involved community members, I’m pleased to announce that the Commonwealth has reached a major milestone in the extension of the Green Line through Cambridge, Somerville and Medford with the release of the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA).

The Green Line Extension will vastly improve the state of public transportation in the City of Somerville, making our community easier to access for residents and visitors. As this project moves forward, however, we need to make sure it is done in a way that is right for the people who live near it and the people who will use it when it is completed.

Before a project of this magnitude can be undertaken, it is important that we study the potential impact on the environment, the safety of the community, and the quality of life for the Green Line Extension’s immediate neighbors. Last year, EOEEA released a Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Assessment (DEIR/EA) detailing the effects of the proposed extension.

In January, I sent a letter with my comments regarding the DEIR/EA to Secretary Ian Bowles of EOEEA. I used my comments to express many of the concerns that members of the community had voiced to me. On June 15th, the FEIR was released, and I am happy to say that many of the changes to the DEIR/EA that our community advocated for have been included in the final report.

First and foremost of these changes is the decision about the location of the new Green Line maintenance facility. In the letter that I sent to the Secretary in January, I expressed my concern that the use of Yard 8 for the maintenance facility (which was at that time the favored option) would negatively impact the residents of the Brickbottom area, and would potentially stifle future economic development within the Inner Belt. In my comments, I stressed that Option L, one of the two alternatives presented in the report, was a far better choice for the location of the maintenance facility. Thanks to the active participation among members of the community, including elected officials, the Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership (STEP) and the residents of Brickbottom, I am pleased to report that MassDOT has chosen Option L as the preferred site for the maintenance facility.

This is a victory for the residents of East Somerville and East Cambridge for a number of reasons:

• Option L will create more separation between residential areas and the maintenance yard.

• It will not preclude road construction between Brickbottom and the Inner Belt, meaning that future economic development in the area will not be hindered.

• The Brickbottom Artist Building, Hampton Inn Hotel, Glass Factory Condominiums, and future developments on Water St. will experience no more than one decibel of additional noise from the Option L maintenance yard.

• The placement of the facility in an existing industrial area will mean that the local environment will not be substantially altered.

• The yard will comply with all state and federal air quality regulations, and will reduce the amount of storm water drainage at the site.


Option L (center in blue) would produce less noise for Brickbottom residents than Yard 8 (bottom left in blue).

In my January letter, I also expressed concerns over the design of the proposed Lechmere station overhaul. These concerns were echoed by the East Cambridge Planning Team (ECPT), and I am pleased to see that the redesign includes better door access from the north and south sides of the station, as well as fare collection and other amenities that are now fully inside the station, shielded from the elements. The bus drop-off/pick-up area will now be directly connected to the station by a door, and the station will be fully handicap accessible.

One of my most pressing concerns about the Green Line Extension project is that it will move Lechmere station to the opposite side of the Monsignor O’Brien Highway, creating a potentially dangerous situation for the thousands of commuters that will now need to cross a wide, busy street to access Lechmere from East Cambridge. The layout that has been proposed since the DEIR includes accommodations for a wider pedestrian crosswalk, and the FEIR makes the recommendation that a median no less than 20 feet wide be constructed on the O’Brien Highway in order to shield pedestrians from turning traffic. Although this is not an ideal solution for the commuters travelling to the station from East Cambridge, it is a vast improvement over earlier proposals. I will continue to fight both in the State House and City Hall to make pedestrian safety a top priority as the project moves forward.


The proposed Lechmere station layout found in the June 15th FEIR.

Finally, I want to share with you my excitement at seeing the Green Line Extension moving closer to becoming a reality. The release of the Final Environmental Impact Report marks a significant step forward for a project that will be crucial to the future of East Somerville. Affordable and efficient transportation is critical to any urban area, and the latest numbers indicate that the Green Line Extension will increase daily ridership by 52,000 people by 2030. That means that each day, 25,000 fewer miles will be travelled by cars through our communities! Now that, my friends, is a breath of fresh air.

August Calendar

Correction: The East Cambridge Planning Team Meeting with Alexandria was incorrectly listed as Monday the 12th. The 12th is a Tuesday. Thanks to Fred Fantini for the correction.

This monthly calendar represents only a small portion of the many interesting things happening in Cambridge and Somerville. If you would like to add another event, or a link to your own calendar of events, please email my office at toomeyblog@gmail.com.

Other Local Calendars:


August in Cambridge
City Calendar

August in Somerville
City Calendar
The Growing Center


SomerMovie Fest August Schedule
Mayor Curtatone and the City of Somerville offer free screenings of movies, projected at parks around the city. All movies are on Thursday nights, starting at dusk.
Thursday August 7: Spiderman 3 @ Conway Park, Somerville Ave map
Thursday August 14: Hairspray @ Foss Park map
Thursday August 21: We Are Marshall @ Prospect Hill Park, Munroe St map
Thursday August 28: Enchanted @ Hodgkins Park, Holland Ave map

Tuesday, August 5
National Night Out
Cambridge: Rindge Field map
Riverside Press Park on Memorial Drive map
Somerville: Foss Park map
Hit the streets and parks with your neighbors and local law enforcement for the 25th Annual National Night Out. This is a great chance to have fun bringing the community together and raising awareness about crime prevention.

Wednesday, August 6 @ 7pm
Museum of Science Wind Turbine Community Meeting
East End House, 105 Spring St, Cambridge map
Join David Rabkin from the Museum of Science at the East End House to learn about the Museum of Science’s plans to install five types of small wind turbines–2 in Cambridge and 3 in Boston. A great chance to learn about some innovative ideas for alternative energy.

Thursday, August 7 @ 11:00am
Summer in the City: Art of Black Dance and Music
Donnelly Field, 67 Berkshire St, Cambridge map
From the City of Cambridge calendar:
The Cambridge Arts Council invites you to enjoy “Summer in the City,” a series of free, interactive and multicultural events and performances held in parks and open spaces throughout the city. On August 7th, join performers from Art of Black Dance & Music as they teach the common history of humankind through African-rooted dance, music, and folklore.
Rain site:
King Open School, 850 Cambridge St map

Tuesday, August 12 @ 7:00pm
East Cambridge Planning Team (ECPT) Meeting on Alexandria

Kennedy School Cafeteria, 158 Spring St, Cambridge map
ECPT has organized a neighborhood meeting with representatives from Alexandria Realty to discuss the current proposal for biotech development in East Cambridge.

Wednesday, August 13 @ 11am
Somerville Mayor’s Senior Picnic

Nathan Tufts Park, Powderhouse Circle, Somerville map
The Mayor’s Senior Picnic is an annual event, inviting all Somerville senior citizens to enjoy a picnic lunch in the park complete with music, entertainment, food, and dancing. Sponsored by Mayor Curtatone and the Somerville Council on Aging, the Picnic is one of the year’s largest events.

Thursday, August 14 @ 7pm
Wellington Harrington Neighborhood Association (WHNA) Monthly Meeting

Vin-Fen, 950 Cambridge St, Cambridge map
This month WHNA will be speaking with members of the Cambridge Police Department about crime concerns.

Thursday August 21 @ 7pm
Oldtime Baseball Game
St. Peter’s Field, Cambridge map
From the City of Cambridge: The Oldtime Baseball Game features players wearing a dazzling collection of flannel uniforms that represent virtually every era in baseball history – including the Boston Braves, St. Louis Browns and Brooklyn Dodgers. Players are chosen from colleges and universities from the Boston area, with an occasional retired big-leaguer added to the mix. Plan on bringing a folding chair or blanket. Parking will be provided.
For directions, and more information, please visit http://www.oldtimebaseball.com


July Calendar

Please contact me for more information on any of these, and help make this schedule more complete for next month by contacting my office about your local event or calendar!

July in Cambridge
City Calendar of Events

July in Somerville
City Calendar of Events
Growing Center Calendar

City Dance Party (Cambridge)

Friday, June 27 7-11pm
Mass. Ave @ Cambridge City Hall map
Come on down and dance in the streets outside city hall! All ages are welcome and encouraged for an old-fashioned block party.
More Info

Cambridge Sq. Dedications
Saturday, June 28
10am – Bryan Lounsbury Sq., Van Norden and Middlesex St. map
In memory of Cambridge resident and Private First Class in the United States Army in Fort Hood TX, Civil Air Patrol member Bryan Lounsbury.
11am – Chief Reagan Sq., South Normandy Avenue and Sunset Road
map
In honor of the late Cambridge Fire Chief Daniel J. Reagan.
12pm – Collins and Foster Sq., Merrill St. and Broadway Ave map

Centro Presente Press Conference
Monday, June 30 @ 11am
54 Essex Street, Cambridge map
Centro Presente, a local organization to assist the Latin American immigrant population in MA, will be announcing its move from Cambridge to Somerville.
More Info on Centro Presente

Grand Feast of the Imperio Mariense

Sunday, July 6
Filharmonica Santo Antonio, 575 Cambridge St, Cambridge map
Casa do Benfica, 178 Elm St., Cambridge map
The Feast will start at 10am in Saugus with Mass and the famous soups of Divino Espirito Santo. Then it moves to Cambridge for music and dancing.

2pm –
Music at Filharmonica Santo Antonio
4pm -
Dance group Rancho Folclorico at Casa do Benfica
5pm – Music of Tony Borges at Casa do Benfica
6pm – Music of Jorge Ferreira at Casa do Benfica

East Cambridge Planning Team Alexandria Roundtable
Wednesday, July 9 @ 7-9ish pm
East End House, 105 Spring St, Cambridge, MA 02141 map
The East Cambridge Planning Team will be hosting a round table discussion with Alexandria Realty to address neighborhood concerns about this large development and to see how we can work together to make this project work. Neighbors are invited to attend.


Wellington-Harrington Neighborhood Association Meeting
Wednesday, July 9 @ 7pm
Vin-Fen, 950 Cambridge St., Cambridge map
All residents and businesses of the Wellington-Harrington neighborhood, also known as Inman-Harrington neighborhood, are encouraged to attend this informational meeting.

50 Tufts Street Contamination Meeting
Thursday, July 10 @ 7pm
Capuano Early Childhood Center, 150 Glen St, Somerville map

The Friends and Neighbors of Glen Park, a neighborhood association concerned about environmental contamination originating at 50 Tufts Street, Somerville, will hold an informational meeting for all interested parties.

Gloucester Hornpipe and Clog Society
Sunday, July 12 @ 7pm
The Growing Center, 22 Vinal Ave, Somerville map
Growing Center July Calendar
A five-member band with lively, fun music for all ages. Sponsored by The Growing Center in Somerville, who work to promote community events in Somerville.

Holy Ghost Parade
Sunday, July 13 @ 9:30am
26 Springfield St. Somerville map

The Portuguese American Civic League Holy Ghost Committee holds its annual Feast on July 11th,12th, and 13th, with a parade on Sunday morning.

East Cambridge Planning Team Meeting
Wednesday, July 23 @ 7-9ish pm
East End House, 105 Spring St, Cambridge, MA 02141 map
The East Cambridge Planning Team will be hosting their second monthly meeting for residents of East Cambridge. Meetings are regularly scheduled for the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month. Neighbors are invited to attend.


Mayor Simmons’ Harvard Yard picnic
Wednesday, July 30 @ 11:30am
Harvard Yard, Cambridge map

This is a picnic for resident seniors in Cambridge, hosted by Mayor E. Denise Simmons and Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust. Tickets can be obtained by calling the Mayor’s office at 617-349-4321 or at the Cambridge Senior Center across from City Hall.