As was reported in the Somerville Journal earlier this week, Waste Management, which operates a waste transfer station in the Brickbottom area of Somerville, will be required to vacate its location on Poplar Street by October 1st, 2012. The eviction of the transfer station was a goal that Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone articulated in his 2011 State of the City address:
“We aim to reclaim the Brickbottom and this is an essential step to making that happen,” said Curtatone in a press release. “This represents an opportunity to build a new gateway to the city.”
The old Somerville municipal trash incinerator was built in 1907, according to “Beyond the Neck: The Architecture and Development of Somerville, Massachusetts,” and the tan-brick building survived the demolition that occurred all around it. Sometime in the 1990s, the building was converted into a trash transfer station, basically a depot on the way to dumps or incinerators. Read the rest of Andy Metzger’s October 4th, 2011 article on the removal of the transfer station.
This is exciting news for an area that has seen decades of stunted growth after most of the neighborhood was demolished to make way for the Inner Belt Expressway, a highway transportation project which was never completed. It is my hope that the future completion of the Washington Street station as a component of the Green Line Extension will pave the way for strong, mass-transit based redevelopment of the transfer station and surrounding areas.
As can be seen in the photo above, the close proximity of the transfer station to the planned Washington Street station makes it a prime area for mixed-use or residential development with excellent access to the Green Line and local bus service, and a short walk to shops, bars, and restaurants in Union Square. I am looking forward to seeing how this space will grow and change for the better in the coming years.
In May, I joined several of my colleagues on a site visit to two intersections in Somerville that posed a possible safety hazard to pedestrians due to the layout of the crosswalks and condition of the markings. During the site visit, I discussed the concerns that I had and the concerns that residents had expressed about the intersections with officials from MassHighway. I have learned that MassHighway has developed initial plans to signalize the crossings, a step that would significantly improve pedestrian safety.
Because these improvements are still only in the initial planning stages, I will be continuing to use this space to provide updates on the project as new developments are communicated to me in the weeks and months to come.
Somerville High School Auditorium – map
A public informational meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 20th at 6:00 p.m. in the Somerville High School auditorium to discuss the future of the McGrath O’Brien Highway. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), which gained ownership of the Route 28 corridor as a part of the 2009 transportation reorganization law, has begun a conceptual planning study in partnership with the City of Somerville to consider the future use of the highway and the potential for the removal of its elevated sections.
There is an exciting opportunity here to participate in the planning of a Route 28 that offers greater access and promotes connectivity. Lowering McGrath would allow us the opportunity to take what is now a barrier that divides neighborhoods in East Somerville, and change it into a destination that unites neighbors instead. The future Green Line Extension also creates a significant opportunity to redesign McGrath into a space that is mindful of multi-modal transportation and serves to nourish local businesses.
I encourage you to attend this meeting if you have an interest in planning the future of this highway. Renovations to the McCarthy Overpass (which carries Rt 28 over Washington Street) will also be discussed, and there will be a question and answer session with MassDOT officials at the end of the meeting.
Should you require access or language accommodations, please contact Regan Checchio at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-357-5772 x14.
Warren Street – map
The 85th annual feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian will be held on Warren Street on September 10th and 11th. Festivities will begin on Saturday at 2 p.m. with rides, music, games, and food. A candlelight procession will begin at 6:30 p.m. at 17 Porter Street, and there will be a healing service held at 7 p.m. There will be live music on Cambridge Street on Saturday night, including The Reminisants, Ayla Brown of American Idol fame, and Bobby Rydell.
Festivities on Sunday will begin with a procession at 8:30 a.m. to St. Francis of Assisi Church for a mass that will begin at 9:30 a.m. There will be a parade starting at 1 p.m., and more music and festivities Sunday evening.
This feast is a classic community event and one of the longest continuously running celebrations of its kind in New England. All are welcome and I hope to see you there!
For more information about the feast and a complete schedule, check out www.cosmas-and-damian.com.