Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Mayor Curtatone Demands Accountability on Greenline Extension Timeline

Message from Mayor Curtatone:
In light of yesterday's announcement about the Green Line, I want to be clear about where we stand as a community. A four-year delay of the Green Line Extension bereft of any tangible commitments from the Commonwealth is simply unacceptable. Somerville deserves a transparent, accurate timeline for the Green Line Extension, with clear deliverables. Fundamental matters of social justice, economic justice and environmental justice are at stake in this project. Governor Patrick promised to extend rail transit to the most densely populated community in New England and he needs to break ground while he is still Governor. The State must do better than declare it is going to miss the legally mandated 2014 deadline for the extension with vague promises that it is still “behind” the project.

I plan on meeting with the Governor to help restore sanity and accountability to this process. Residents and business owners in Somerville, Cambridge and Medford need to inundate the Governor, their state representatives, MassDOT and the MBTA with letters, calls and emails demanding a definitive plan for the Green Line Extension be adopted. This is a clear case of the people needing to remind the government of its responsibilities.

Voice Your Opinion:

Sign Our Petition: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/greenline/ and add your own comments

Contact Gov. Patrick:
Phone: 617-725-4005
Email: http://1.usa.gov/RDe1E
Address: Massachusetts State House, Office of the Governor, Office of the Lt. Governor, Room 280, Boston, MA 02133
Twitter handle: @MassGovernor
Blog: http://engage.blog.state.ma.us/blog/

Contact the MBTA:
Ombudsman: 617-973-7777
Customer Comment Form: http://www.mbta.com/customer_support/contact/

Contact MassDot:
Phone: 617-973-7000
Email: http://bit.ly/pmycPq
Address: Massachusetts Dept. of Transportation, 10 Park Plaza, Suite 3170, Boston, MA 02116.

Email Your State Representatives:


  1. Hopefully, Somerville will become a leader in a charge to reform the MBTA funding paradigm. In 2000, by moving to the "forward funding" structure and pushing the remainder of the Big Dig debt onto the MBTA's shoulders, the state effectively hamstrung the Authority's ability to both operate and improve and has chosen to operate first while delaying improvements onto extended timetables.

    The only solutions are either to improve the funding for the MBTA to allow them to accomplish debt servicing, maintenance, and improvements simultaneously, or have the state relieve the MBTA of its debt burden that was unjustifiably given to it as part of pretending that the state had finished paying for the Big Dig. Otherwise, the only other answer is as the state did recently to allow the MBTA to close its budget gap by tossing it a menial lump sum of money (so much for forward funding) this past year. The state could toss another lump to the MBTA, enough to start the Green Line Extension, but all that accomplishes is kicking the can down the road to the next under-served community.

    Good luck. I truly hope this is the straw that finally breaks the state's back in ignoring the problem it created 11+ years ago because it seems no matter how many studies of the MBTA conclude the exact same thing, nobody on Beacon Hill wants to address the problem and it truly effects us all.

  2. Mr. Mayor, as a Medfordite, I too am outraged by this delay. Our cities are bearing the brunt of the air pollution from the increased traffic on I-93 brought on by the Big Dig. The Green Line extension is meant as a mitigating measure for that self-same air pollution, and if the Commonwealth won't commit to meeting its legally mandated deadline, then it is time to seek an appropriate remedy, by closing a lane on I-93 to bring vehicle emissions back to their pre-Dig levels. Maybe that will give the Commonwealth the impetus to meet its obligations.

  3. Thank you for taking a stand, Mr. Mayor. I signed the petition, tweeted it out, and will be sending letters as well. I've been living in Somerville for more than 20 years and have heard one excuse after another in regard to the continued delays. I really appreciate your support on this vital issue. What upset me the most about yesterday's announcement was the increasing lack of commitment in the tone. I feel like they'd wiggle out of this at the first opportunity. They have to be held accountable, and set a clear timeline with tangible deliverables, as you say. So thank you!

  4. Wow, up until a few weeks ago I hadn't heard much about what the mayor was doing other than making it more difficult to park. If he keeps railing against this stall on the T extension and the wal-mart supermarket, he's going to look a lot better at election time. If he'd just fine Ika for not moving in quickly enough and find a way to roll some heads at the MBTA because the buses that run to Somerville are never on time I'd join his campaign team.

  5. What hasn't been stated clearly is that this delay causes the loss of ALL FEDERAL FUNDING for the project (about 75% of the budget) which was contingent on the project being completed before 2015.

    Nowhere in the MBTA report is it mentioned how the missing funds will be obtained. In my opinion the delay is a smoke screen to cancel the project outright for "lack of funds" in 4 years when it becomes obvious they had no intention of doing it at all.

    Furthermore their stated reason for the delay is at odds with the reality that they could lay track over most of the path now AND build most of the stations now while the remaining (few) issues are mitigated. The GLX does not have the same degree of right-of-way issues that the Greenbush line did. It is most CERTAINLY at odds with the degree of lost funding that the decision causes.


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