Two More GLX Sound Barrier Meetings Next Week

Faithful readers of the blog already know about the next week’s Green Line Extension noise barrier meetings for neighbors living near the new Lechmere and College Ave. stations. Just in case you missed it, here’s the details:

  • Lechmere Station, serving the Glass Factory Condominiums, North Point, and East Cambridge: February 4, 6:00-8:00pm, Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center (41 Second St., Cambridge)
  • College Avenue Station, serving Tufts University and South Medford: February 5, 6:00-8:00pm, St. Clement School (579 Boston Ave., Medford)

Please come if you can!

Green Line Extension Seeks Public Art for New Stations

The Green Line Extension is seeking public art submissions for its first three stations.

The Green Line Extension is seeking public art submissions for its first three stations, including the redesigned Lechmere station. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

The first three stations on the new Green Line Extension—Lechmere, Union Square, and Washington St.—are approaching the 60% design threshold, and now, MassDOT is looking for local artists to help make these stations beautiful. Artists are encouraged to submit their designs for public art at the new Green Line stations, and everyone who’s interested should strongly consider attending a prequalification/information session on Thursday, February 6 at 5pm at the GLX Project Office (100 Summer St., Suite 250, Boston). You can read the full Request for Qualifications here.

All applicants will need to apply through MassDOT’s online platform. All submissions are due by noon on Thursday, February 20. With the vibrant arts communities in Cambridge and Somerville, I know our local artists will come up with some brilliant designs!

 

Two Green Line Noise Barrier Meetings This Week

The site of the forthcoming Washington St. station on the Green Line Extension, near Washington St. and Joy St. in Somerville.

The site of the forthcoming Washington St. station on the Green Line Extension. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

This week, the MBTA continues its series of public meetings regarding noise barriers on the new Green Line Extension. The next two meetings focus on the neighborhoods surrounding the Washington St. and Gilman Square stations, affecting neighbors in Winter Hill, Prospect Hill, and East Somerville.

The Washington St. meeting takes place on Tuesday, January 14, from 6:00-8:00pm at the Holiday Inn (30 Washington St., Somerville). The Gilman Square meeting is scheduled for the following night, Wednesday, January 15, from 6:00-8:00pm at the Armory (191 Highland Ave., Somerville). As always, you can find more detailed information about the Green Line Extension here.

Green Line Extension Neighborhood Meetings Start January 8

A map of the upcoming Green Line Extension public meetings. Image via MassDOT.

The Green Line Extension will run through some of the most densely populated neighborhoods in our Commonwealth, and the MBTA is looking for your input regarding noise mitigation. With that in mind, the first of six neighborhood meetings will be held from 6:00pm-8:00pm on January 8 at the Somerville Holiday Inn (30 Washington St., Somerville).

Each meeting will focus on the neighborhoods surrounding a single Green Line Extension station, with the first meeting zeroing in on Inner Belt, Brickbottom, and Union Square. I’ll be reminding neighbors of each meeting as it approaches, but here’s the full schedule:

  • Union Square Station, serving Union Square, Brickbottom, and Inner Belt: January 8, 6:00-8:00pm, Somerville Holiday Inn (30 Washington St., Somerville)
  • Washington Street Station, serving Prospect Hill and East Somerville : January 14, 6:00-8:00pm, Somerville Holiday Inn (30 Washington St., Somerville)
  • Gilman Square Station, serving Winter Hill: January 15, 6:00-8:00pm, Center for the Arts at the Armory (191 Highland Ave., Somerville)
  • Lowell Street & Ball Square Stations, serving Magoun Square: January 22, 6:00-8:00pm, Center for the Arts at the Armory (191 Highland Ave., Somerville)
  • Lechmere Station, serving the Glass Factory Condominiums, North Point, and East Cambridge: February 4, 6:00-8:00pm, Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center (41 Second St., Cambridge)
  • College Avenue Station, serving Tufts University and South Medford: February 5, 6:00-8:00pm, St. Clement School (579 Boston Ave., Medford)

If you have any questions about which meeting you should attend, please contact MassDOT at info@glxinfo.com

Green Line Extension Small Business Event Tomorrow

The Green Line Extension is committed to working with small and disadvantaged businesses. Visit tomorrow's informational meeting at 10 Park Plaza in Boston to learn more

The Green Line Extension is committed to working with small and disadvantaged businesses to build and redesign seven stations, including Lechmere. Visit tomorrow’s informational meeting at 10 Park Plaza in Boston to learn more. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

The Green Line Extension is an enormous project, and the work will include everything from demolition to electrical, plumbing to roofing, concrete, steel, glass, track, HVAC and more. The MBTA has pledged to work with locally owned small businesses and DBEs for the Green Line Extension, and tomorrow, local business owners can meet face-to-face with the MBTA and the project’s general contractor at a meeting at MassDOT headquarters (10 Park Plaza, Boston) from 3:30-5:30pm.

To attend, interested contractors and vendors must register by emailing Mark Smith at WSKdbe@jfwhite.com. The Green Line Extension is an incredible business opportunity for workers and businesses in Cambridge and Somerville, and I strongly encourage all interested contractors to attend.

MBTA Seeking Volunteers for Green Line Construction Working Group

The MBTA is looking for a few good neighbors to help on the GLX project.

Mayor Curtatone speaks as Governor Patrick and others look on at last year’s Green Line Extension groundbreaking ceremony. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

The MBTA is putting together a panel of citizens to advise on the final design and construction issues associated with the Green Line Extension. Members of the panel—known as the Construction Working Group—will represent their neighborhoods and serve as a communications link between neighbors and the T.

Since this initiative is all about neighborhood engagement, the Construction Working Group is seeking applicants who live within a mile of the Green Line Extension. The Group’s seats will be apportioned based on the Green Line’s new stops, with one representative each from the neighborhoods surrounding Lechmere, College Ave., and Union Square stations (Gilman Square and Ball Square will be represented by two seats each).

The Working Group will meet every few months to make sure the Green Line Extension construction happens as smoothly as possible. To apply, just fill out this form and send it to Regan Checcio by Friday, December 13.

Medford St. in Somerville to Close for Three Weeks

Beginning this Friday, as part of Phase I construction of the Green Line Extension, Medford St. between McGrath Highway and Ward St. in Somerville will be closed for three weeks. This closure is expected to create significant traffic impacts, and you can learn more about detours here.

A map of the detour routes is below. As always, if you have any questions, you can email info@glxinfo.com or contact the Green Line Extension Project at 855-GLX-INFO (855-459-4636).

Detours for the Medford St. bridge construction. Image via MassDOT.

Detours for the Medford St. bridge construction. Image via MassDOT.

A Big Step Forward for the Community Path

A map of some of the existing and proposed multi-use paths in Greater Boston. Image via Friends of the Community Path.

A map of some of the existing and proposed multi-use paths in Greater Boston. Image via Friends of the Community Path.

Those of us who have supported the construction of the Community Path along with the Green Line Extension (GLX) recently received some really good news. At issue was the question of what’s known as “the Fitchburg crossing,” the section of Somerville in which the GLX will bridge the Fitchburg Commuter Rail line. At a meeting last week in Medford, we were delighted to learn that MassDOT has committed to designing a way for the Community Path to bridge this gap and connect Somerville with North Point in Cambridge. This is an exciting announcement for a number of reasons.

Designing the Fitchburg Crossing section of the Community Path means that we are closer to seeing a single, continuous mixed-use path stretching from central Somerville to the Charles. Moreover, since the Community Path will run without breaks for rail or street crossings, the larger regional network of mixed-use paths—including the proposed Grand Junction Rail Trail—will finally be seamless. The Community Path is the critical link between paths on the Charles, like the Esplanade, and the eleven-mile-long Minuteman Commuter Bikeway. With the new design of the Community Path at the Fitchburg crossing, a commuter living in Bedford can get to work in North Point without ever leaving a designated bike path, and families living in Cambridge and Somerville can cycle safely to Lexington Common for a picnic.

I want to thank Governor Patrick, Secretary Davy, and the staff at MassDOT and the MBTA for seeing the long-term value in designing a complete community path. They have shown a commitment to listening to and engaging with the many advocates, residents, and neighbors who want to see the Green Line Extension and Community Path be the kind of projects that we can all be proud of. There’s still lots of work to be done on this project, but last night, we took an important step forward.

Governor Patrick Leads Green Line Extension Construction Kickoff

The speeches are done, and the Green Line Extension construction has officially begun.

The speeches are done, and the Green Line Extension construction has officially begun.

The first phase of construction on the Green Line Extension is officially underway, bringing with it a promise of light rail service to and from a new Union Square station by 2017. Speaking at the event, Governor Patrick and Congressman Capuano emphasized that both sustainable growth and environmental justice require investment for the long term, a sentiment echoed by Mayors Curtatone, Davis, and McGlynn.

I was happy to see so many members of state and local government at the event, but the attendance of local home- and business owners showed what this project is all about. The last two people to speak weren’t politicians but the owners of CasaB, a restaurant in Union Square. The “B” in CasaB refers to one of the owner’s grandfathers, whose love of Latin cuisine inspires the menus of chef Alberto Cabré. Alberto and his co-owner Angelina Jockovich were born in Puerto Rico and Colombia respectively, but they’ve chosen to start their business in Somerville, a decision they said was influenced by the promise of the Green Line Extension.

Alberto and Angelina, along with the tireless community leaders who made today possible, reflect the best of our community. Their speech was brief—they, and we, still have work to do.

Green Line Extension Phase 1 Construction Kickoff Tomorrow

A map of the proposed Green Line Extension. Image via MassDOT.

A map of the proposed Green Line Extension. Image via MassDOT.

Tomorrow, Governor Patrick and Congressman Capuano will join Mayor Curtatone and others for an historic construction kickoff event. Yes, at long last, the Green Line Extension is coming to Somerville!

The Green Line Extension is the fulfillment of a promise to the people of Somerville and Cambridge. Our district comprises some of the most densely populated portions of both our Commonwealth and our nation, and it is time to extend light rail service to the people living in these communities. The process has been challenging, but I have always believed that this is the right project for our district, and I will continue to fight for it.

I applaud the Governor, the Congressman, local advocates, and everyone who has worked so hard for so long to make this a reality. There’s still a lot left to be done, both on bridges and on balance sheets, but I know we can finish the job. If you’d like to join us, we’ll be at 180 Somerville Ave., in the Target parking lot, at 1:30pm.