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Somerville gets green line

Granted, it was made of paper, but no matter: Local residents and officials held a mock groundbreaking tonight for the Green Line extension, now scheduled to arrive in Somerville sometime over the next century or so. The Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership posts photos.

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Comments

this is 2032 news.

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I think you are being a little overoptimistic there. I might still be alive then, after all.

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These poor people are going to be heartbroken when they finally get the Green line and realize that it's terrible.

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Even the green line through your area is better than being on a throughly stuck and hoplessly late bus through the area ... not to mention that its usually a two or three bus ride to get where you are going.

Explain how a grade separated light rail line is "terrible" compared to paying two fares (because one bus is "inbound" and the other "outbound") and riding for over an hour to get 4 miles?

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They should make it an annual tradition.

Symbolic shovels could be passed down from father to son.

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Somerville will be sued by Fidelity Investments any day now...

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A long, drawn out, slow clap for you my friend.

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93Fast14 had many, many more obstacles and yet it was done in a summer. GreenLineFast16 could be finished in about 6 weeks with similar commitment and effort.

Oh, but 93Fast14 was a Federal project. The Meffuh Mayuh may think that he can demand trinkets from the project contractor because it went through the city, but that didn't have any stalling power or traction because the Feds don't play that.

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Two good examples of how transit projects can be funded and quickly built when the political muscle gets behind it.

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Other than being a mostly federally-funded project (as opposed to a partially federally-funded project), I don't see why the Green line should be any different at all. Same MassDOT on both projects, right?

As a general comment, a better case needs to be made to the abutters and future users of every major infrastructure project that it is in their interest to have a more intense, but much shorter disruption to their lives. Given the success of the 93Fast14 project and the Cedar St. bridge replacement on Rt. 9, MassDOT might actually be able to credibly do so.

While we're on the subject, can I get a Fast200 (miles) for a real HSR line to NYC?

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The MBTA is a "part" of MassDOT but retains its status as a separate legal entity (essentially budget streams don't cross). So, for the line to get built/extended, the MBTA needs the money (primarily to purchase the land necessary).

This whole issue comes back down to the horrendously stupid way the MBTA is currently debt-strapped by the state's Big Dig costs and financed through the sales tax.

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Okay, so I was uncharacteristically loose with language, but I am not sure that what you said is 100% correct.

Certainly the MBTA is its own legal entity and is authorized by its enabling statute to receive federal monies in its own name.

I do not believe, however, that this precludes discretionary federal monies that are transferred to MassDOT from being spent on projects dealing with the MBTA (for example, something like the Anderson RTC). I think that the DOT would be free to spend some of the funding it receives on this project.

In any event, given this governor's desire to centralize as much as possible, the reality is that the MassDOT brass is going to be heavily involved with any large projects undertaken by the MBTA, even if the money comes out of different pots. Actually, I would argue that the MBTA will be (informally of course, so as to retain the image of independence) prevented from doing anything substantial without the affirmative acquiescence of MassDOT and the Governor.

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I don't know the exacts on federal funding to these entities, but I do know that federal dollars have to be tagged for their purpose before they go out the doors of Congress. I don't believe MassDOT gets any general funding from the Federal government in any way. For MassDOT to get "funds" to deal with an MBTA project, they'd have to have "MBTA Project" written on them before they were handed to MassDOT.

In the meantime, since MBTA is its own entity, I have a feeling (again, total speculation) that if they wanted to get Federal funds to accomplish something like a project, they'd have to ask for them themselves. It has always seemed like the whole system gets sketchy once you start calling these Authorities their own entities (similar to how the MBCR is not the MBTA...but it is).

So, what I said before is all true. I'm guessing here in this comment that it extends to how they'd have to get to federal dollars as well.

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