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!

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

We’re Building a New Park, and We Want to Hear Your Voice

Residents of East Cambridge, mark October 11, 2012 on your calendars: that night, at 7pm, there will be a public hearing at the John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center at 55 Broadway regarding the construction of a new park.

The proposed park will run along the westerly edge of Galileo Galilei Way between Main St. and Binney St., and we’d love to hear your opinions on how to make this park the best it can be.

Political junkies, don’t fret: I know the Vice-Presidential debate is that night, but it doesn’t start until 9pm.

Broadway Sidewalk Reconstruction Community Meeting Jan. 11th

The City of Cambridge has begun planning for the renovation and reconstruction of sidewalks on Broadway between Prospect Street and Portland Street. Please see the notice below for information about an upcoming community meeting that will be held to discuss the coming construction:

Date: Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Time: 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Location: Fletcher Maynard School Library, Second Floor, 225 Windsor St

Dear Broadway Neighbor,

The City of Cambridge is currently developing plans to reconstruct the roadway and sidewalk on Broadway between Prospect Street and Portland Street. Please join us at the community meeting to learn more about the project, give your feedback, and discuss options for sidewalk materials.

OVERALL PROJECT GOALS

  • Improve deteriorating roadway and sidewalk infrastructure.
  • Enhance the area for all users – pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.
  • Improve the safety of pedestrians going to and from Sennott Park (Tremont Street).
  • Increase the number of street trees.
  • Improve drainage to reduce ponding on the roadway.

SIDEWALK MATERIALS – CITY POLICY

The City’s policy is to replace existing sidewalks with the same material (concrete with concrete, brick with wire cut brick). During construction, property owners are given the option of changing their sidewalk material, as described below.

  • Keep existing sidewalk material – no cost to property owner.
  • Change from brick to concrete – no cost to property owner.
  • Change from concrete to brick – property owner pays the differential cost.
  • The City’s policy provides flexibility for property owners, but results in a mix of sidewalk materials.

SIDEWALK MATERIALS – BROADWAY

  • The existing sidewalks on Broadway are a combination of concrete (75%) and brick (25%), similar to the mix of sidewalk materials throughout the city.
  • This project can follow the City policy for sidewalk material, as described above, which will continue the mix of materials on a property by property basis.
  • Or, we can implement a more unified approach by providing a concrete surface for the walking area and a brick feature strip, as shown in the photo. In addition to creating a unified look for the street, this approach has the benefit of providing a concrete surface for the walking area, which is strongly preferred by people with disabilities, while maintaining a visually appealing mix of brick and concrete.

The meeting location is accessible; however, persons in need of ADA / Title II accommodations should contact Brian McLane at 617-349-4824 or bmclane@cambridgema.gov. To receive future updates related to construction of Broadway via email, please contact Kelly Dunn, Community Relations Manager at kdunn@cambridgema.gov or 617-349-4870.

Community Meeting Recap

Last night I hosted a community meeting at the Cambridge Police Station to discuss the recent rash of armed robberies that have occurred in Cambridge and have been concentrated in the East Cambridge and Wellington-Harrington neighborhoods. The meeting was packed with at least one hundred residents, and was well attended by Cambridge Police officers and administrators, including Police Commissioner Robert Haas.

The best news that we have learned is that there have been no new incidents since the incidents that occurred over a 2-3 day span last week. Police believe that a total of five robberies in Cambridge are linked to each other, but that similar robberies have also occurred in other communities in the Boston area. While the police stressed that it is important for residents to remain alert and on guard, they believe that the pattern is moving out of Cambridge and into the surrounding area.

Even if the threat of robbery has declined, police still advised residents to familiarize themselves with what they should do if they are robbed. The most important thing is to comply completely, especially if the assailants are armed. Belongings can be replaced but your life cannot be. Do not chase after the robber when they leave.

Someone who is robbed should seek help immediately and call 911 with the closest available phone. If the police do not arrive right away, do not be alarmed and stay where you are. The first priority of responding officers will be to search the area in which you were robbed. Once a search has been conducted, police will respond to your location.

While police are currently reluctant to release specifics about their investigation, they have said that they have a number of leads that they are investigating. They do not believe the suspects are Cambridge residents and have said that the suspects have been changing the vehicle that they use as a getaway.

In order to prevent additional robberies, the Cambridge Police have heavily stepped up police presence in neighborhoods where robberies have occured. A number of plain-clothes detectives are also patrolling the neighborhoods and are on the lookout for suspicious persons.

The city and the Police Department are taking this crime spree extremely seriously and are doing everything possible to prevent future incidents from occurring and to bring the perpetrators of last week’s crimes to justice. If you believe that you have information that may aid police in their investigation of these crimes, please call 617-349-3300 or send a text to TIP411 (847411) and begin your message with “TIP650″ (no quotation marks).

Public Meetings for the Month of October

Charles River Basin Connectivity Study

Three public meetings have been scheduled to discuss the Mass Department of Transportation and the Mass Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Charles River Basin Connectivity study. This study is being carried out as a way for MassDOT to closely examine the various gaps that preclude a seamless connection across Charles River Basin bridges, their sidewalks, and adjacent intersections. The connectivity of the path system throughout the Charles River Reservation will also be studied. These meetings will serve as an opportunity for the public to hear from MassDOT’s design consultant before the study is carried out. The focus of the presentation will be on an analysis of the existing conditions in the Charles River corridor that has already been carried out.

Meetings will be held at the following times and locations:

  • Tuesday, October 11, 6:30 to 8 PM, Shriners Hospitals for Children, 51 Blossom Street, Boston
  • Thursday, October 13, 6:30 to 8 PM, Community Rowing Boathouse, 20 Nonantum Road, Brighton
  • Tuesday, October 18, 2011, 6:30 to 8 PM, Morse School Auditorium, 40 Granite Street, Cambridge
Green Line Extension Environmental Assessment

A public meeting will be held to discuss the Environmental Assessment of the Green Line Extension and potential interim project offsets that will be required due to the delay in the extension’s completion date. MassDOT will be taking suggestions for interim project offsets from the public, provided that suggestions conform to the following guidelines:

  • Proposed interim offset projects and measures have to be able to be in place by December 31, 2014.
  • Suggested projects or measures have to be within the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth, i.e., they cannot be private, local, or federal.
  • Quantifiable air quality benefits have to be associated with any potential interim offset project or measure.
  • Projects and measures that only reach their full potential once the GLX is in place are unlikely to work.
  • Proposed interim offset projects and measures are not required to be within the GLX corridor, but MassDOT understands the importance we put on this requirement.  It is worth noting here that for the Fairmount Line Improvement Project delays, MassDOT chose projects within the Fairmount corridor only.

This meeting will be held on:

  • Thursday, October 20, 2011, 6 p.m. open house, 6:30 p.m. hearing, Somerville High School, 81 Highland Avenue, Somerville