Yesterday the MBTA opened its first new rapid transit station in 27 years at Somerville’s Assembly Square. It’s the first Orange Line station in Somerville and one of six transit stations slated to open in the city in the next decade with the other five being part of the Green Line Extension project. The station will serve as a key component of the mixed-use, transit-oriented Assembly Row development, and is predicted to be used by 5,000 passengers per day by 2030.
The station was financed through a public-private partnership, with the Assembly Row developer Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRIT) picking up about 30% of the total cost. State and Federal funding will cover the remaining cost of the station. The decision by the City of Somerville to issue bonds for $25 million of other infrastructure improvements at Assembly Square was key to gaining MBTA approval of the project.
Assembly Square was once a thriving manufacturing center that hosted, among other industries, a Ford Motor Company assembly plant which produced the famous “Edsel” brand of cars in the 1950s. However, the site experienced an extended economic and physical decline after Ford decided to close its manufacturing plant. The construction of elevated highways in the 1970s cut Assembly Square off from surrounding areas and played a role in decisions by the remaining industries to move their business as well. In 1980, The City of Somerville declared the area blighted and substandard, and started a 20-year urban renewal plan that would turn the area into a retail mall.
The new Assembly Square Mall attracted some new retailers, but didn’t achieve the economic growth envisioned by the city. The formation of the Mystic View Task Force in the late 1990s was key to the creation of a new 20-year plan that called for a mixed-use concept that would promote economic growth and increase the standard of living for local residents by offering open space and public amenities.
Earlier this summer, phase one of the smart growth project was completed with the opening of 32 retail outlets, a theater, restaurants, the “Legoland Discovery Center,” and a waterfront park at the Mystic River shore, complete with bike paths and an amphitheater.
Although the majority of construction at Assembly Station is now complete and the station is open to passengers, some work at the station will continue through November. Please click here for more information on remaining construction work.
The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation is hosting a Consumer Shred Day on August 27 at the Davis Square Farmers Market from 12 pm to 5 pm – across from Flatbreads located at 45 Day St in Somerville. Attendees will be provided educational materials on a variety of consumer issues including: landlord/tenant rights; lemon laws; home improvement contracting; low-cost banking options; protecting against identity theft; managing credit and debt; and more. Additionally, a shred company will donate its time to accept consumer documents for secure shredding and hold a press event with local officials to discuss identity theft prevention.
What: Consumer Shred Day, Davis Square Farmers Market
• There will be a short 30 minute speaking program beginning at 12:30-1pm, concentrating on identity theft prevention and the importance of protecting personal information.
• Van on site to accept documents for shredding from consumers from 1:00 to 3:00 pm
When: Wednesday, August 27 from 12 pm to 5 pm
Where: 45 Day Street, Somerville, MA
The Friends of the Grand Junction group is hosting a sequel to their successful February bike ride on Sunday, August 24. The Bike Tour of the Corridor II: Summer Edition will take off at noon at the BU Bridge, and will follow the route of the future Grand Junction Path from the BU Bridge to the Somerville Community Path connection. There will be multiple explanatory stops along the way, and the tour is open to all. For more details and to RSVP, please visit this link.
The City of Somerville and the MBTA are hosting a Green Line Extension (GLX) public meeting regarding the Medford Street Bridge Construction on Thursday, July 31, 2014 at 6 PM. It will be held at the Public Safety Building (220 Washington Street) in Somerville.
GLX construction is underway and will involve periodic traffic impacts near the Medford Street Rail Bridge for the next six to eight months. The MBTA and the City of Somerville will present the construction schedule for the Rail Bridge area, and all associated traffic diversions at this meeting. Also, the GLX team along with Barletta Heavy Division, Inc., Phase 1 contractor for the GLX Project, will present other information followed by a Q&A.
For more information about the GLX project, please visit this link or email the GLX team at: email@example.com.
When: Thursday July 31, 6:00 PM
Where: Public Safety Building, 220 Washington Street, Somerville, MA
Beginning on Monday, July 21, 2014 for approximately three weeks, Medford Street in Somerville will be closed to traffic between McGrath Highway and Ward Street to allow for top coat painting of the Medford St. Railroad Bridge.
Pedestrians will still have access through Medford St. as one sidewalk will remain open during the duration of the closure. A map of the traffic diversion plan can be found on the GLX website here.
This work is part of the widening of the Medford Street Railroad Bridge to allow for Green Line tracks to run alongside the Commuter Rail tracks, and is an important step in bringing the Green Line to Somerville.
If you have any questions, you can reach the Green Line Extension Project via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 855-GLX-INFO (855-459-4636).
The MBTA will hold a public hearing to review an Equivalent Facilitation Request by the Green Line Extension (GLX) on Thursday, July 10, 2014. The hearing will be held at the Dr. Albert F. Argenziano School at Lincoln Park, 290 Washington Street, Somerville, MA from 6:00 pm-8:00 pm in the cafeteria.
The Equivalent Facilitation Request is required as part of the project’s application for a Full Funding Grant Agreement with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).
“Equivalent facilitation” permits the FTA and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations to accommodate innovation in accessible design. It allows the development of improvements in vehicle, facility, or equipment design that provides for equal or greater accessibility, but would not strictly meet the required design standards. Equivalent facilitation is covered under federal law by 49 CFR Part 37.
Increasing accessibility is a key goal of the GLX project, but due to sloping roadway conditions near several of the stations, there are a few isolated instances where station designs currently do not comply with design standards created by the ADA. In order to deviate from these standards, the MBTA must do so in a way that provides equivalent or greater access, and receive a “determination of equivalent facilitation” from the FTA administrator.
This hearing is an opportunity for the public to review and comment on the MBTA’s application for a determination of equivalent facilitation before the MBTA formally submits it to the FTA. A draft of the application is available for review on this link.
For more information about the GLX project, please visit this link or email: email@example.com.
When: Thursday July 10, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Where: Cafeteria at Argenziano School at Lincoln Park, 290 Washington Street, Somerville, MA
For the second consecutive year the Somerville Arts Council, the City of Somerville, and the Boston Dance Alliance are partnering up to produce a city-wide dance festival. Check out all local and regional talent in squares, parks, and lots across the city in June. Admission is free for all visitors.
June 2014 Calendar
June 7, 7:00 PM
Magoun Square/CVS lot
Deborah Mason, Youth Dance Company
June 20, 8:30 PM
Veterans Memorial Rink Alley
Stefanie Weber/Creatures of Habitat
June 21, 8:30 PM
Janelle Gilchrist Dance Troupe
June 23, 8:30 PM
City Hall Concourse
Andary Dance and Friends
June 27, 8:30 PM
Bank of American parking lot
Reject Dance Theatre, 83paperbirds & inFluxdance
For more information on the performers, please visit this link.
The Green Line Extension (GLX) Project Team will hold a public meeting to review the latest design plans for the Community Path on Wednesday, May 14 at the Holiday Inn in Somerville on 30 Washington Street from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
MassDOT Secretary & CEO Richard A. Davey announced on April 30th that as part of the Green Line Extension project, the project team will both design and construct the multi-modal Community Path to be built along the GLX in Somerville and Cambridge. The 1.9 mile path will connect four GLX Stations: Lowell Street, Gilman Square, Washington Street and the relocated Lechmere. When complete, the path will provide a connection that will give pedestrians and bicyclists a continuous route from Bedford to Boston. More information about the project is available on the Green Line Extension website. If you have any questions on the Green Line Extension Project, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information or to request reasonable accommodations and/or language services for the Community Path Meeting, please contact Joe Sgroi at email@example.com or 617-996-0771.
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.
Somervillian Michael Terrio is fighting cystic fibrosis and needs your help. Image via GoFundMe/New Lungs for Michael Terrio.
One of our neighbors, Michael Terrio, is a small business owner and a lifelong resident of Somerville. He’s also approaching the seventh year of his fight against cystic fibrosis, and he and his family need our help.
When he was diagnosed with CF in 2007, Michael’s doctors told him he had three years left to live. He’s proved them wrong so far, but he’ll need a double lung transplant to really beat back this disease. He’s scheduled to travel to Pittsburgh, where he’ll undergo tests and be placed on a transplant list. After that, he and his medically required travel companion will have to stay in Pittsburgh until, God willing, he receives a transplant.
The Terrios family is asking for your help in defraying the costs of their father’s trip to Pittsburgh. Here’s how you can help:
- Attend the fundraiser at On the Hill Tavern (499 Broadway, Somerville) on Saturday, November 30, at 7:30pm. There will be a 50/50 raffle, door prizes, a cash bar, and plenty of food donated by On the Hill Tavern. Suggested donations are $25, but no donation is too big or too small.
- Donate to Michael Terrio’s GoFundMe page.