June 18, 2013
Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization
10 Park Plaza, Suite 2150
Boston, MA 02116-3968
Re: Draft Transportation Improvement Program (TIP):
Green Line Extension, Mystic Valley Parkway/Route 16 segment
To Whom It May Concern:
The Massachusetts Chapter of the Sierra Club has long supported the planned extension of the Green Line from its current terminus at Lechmere Square in East Cambridge, to Somerville and Medford. I have twice testified at public hearings for this project on behalf of the Chapter, and we have also submitted written comments both then and on other occasions, expressing our strong support for the project and offering several recommendations that we felt would further improve the new transit line, particularly concerning the design of its stations, and lessen possible negative impacts.
In particular, the Chapter has criticized MassDOT’s plan to make College Avenue station in Medford the “temporary” terminus of the Medford branch for several years due to a shortage of funding, one mile short of its final destination of Mystic Valley Parkway/Route 16, and relegating the final link to Phase II of the project. Two years ago we joined many other community groups after learning that the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) was considering dropping this final link of the extension altogether, thereby permanently terminating the Green Line at College Avenue—a proposal the agency quickly abandoned in the face of massive public outcry.
Last year the MPO programmed $8.1 million for Federal Fiscal Year 2016 to begin the planning and design of the Green Line Extension between College Avenue and its terminus at Mystic Valley Parkway, the start of the 6-year, $190 million plan for this phase of the project. Thus it is a pleasure for the Chapter to offer our wholehearted support for the MPO’s programming of $29.9 million for FFY 2017 to continue the Route 16 station planning. Both geographically and economically, this is the logical destination of this new line, where it can better serve Medford, Arlington and other neighboring communities. This project should be expedited to eliminate any further delays.
John Kyper, Transportation Chair
Sierra Club, Massachusetts Chapter
10 Milk Street Suite 632 Boston MA 02108 tel: 617.423.5775 fax: 617.423.5858 www.sierraclubmass.org