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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Alderman O'Donovan Would Prefer Green, But Will Settle For Purple...

At tonight's Board of Alderman meeting, a conversation with Congressman Mike Capuano started off as a discussion on funding cuts at the federal level that will impact Somerville, but ended as an impromptu back and forth on the Green Line Extension.

Never missing an opportunity to talk about his ward, Alderman Sean O'Donovan acknowledged how much Ward 5 would benefit from the proposed extension, but admitted that he is not optomistic that it will become a reality. Making it very clear that he is supportive of the Green Line Extension and would prefer the line to run through the city to Medford as proposed, he would accept a short term compromise of having the purple line stop at points in Somerville, going as far as to say that residents in the Magoun Square area would agree to it if it were available tomorrow. The commuter rail does run underneath the Lowell Street bridge.

Congressman Mike Capuano also agreed wholeheartedly with Alderman O'Donovan's concerns, admitting that he advocated passionately for the Commuter Rail (purple line) to be put in a position to accommodate more Somerville residents. He also pointed out the benefit of having multiple rail line stations where residents can exit one train and board another at the same location. 

Congressman Capuano ended his thoughts on the subject by encouraging the city to have a unified voice on the Green Line Extension if they sought a greater chance of it becoming a reality.


Anonymous said...

Unless the commuter rail was converted from diesel to electric, creating more stops would make air quality and environment worse. Diesel trains spew the most crap when accelerating from a stop. Adding rail stops might improve transportation a bit, but it would not help environmentally, and even transportation improvements pale in comparison to the green line extension.

Chris Meiman said...

I think Alderman O'Donovan and Congressman Capuano were exactly right in their comments on the Green Line. We moved into the neighborhood in part because of the promise of the GLX and still hope it can be constructed in the future. If in the short term, we can get Commuter Rail stops at Ball Square, Assembly Square and Union Square, that would help. Though Congressman Capuano was not interested in more buses, I would still like to see a beefed up Route 80 bus much like the Route 39 bus through Jamaica Plain that carries larger numbers of passengers and runs more frequently, especially on weekends. Like both men said, something is better than nothing and I would hope this is a first step. To the anonymous point before about the diesel engines, I agree that more pollution isn't desirable, but what is the continued effect on our environment if we are left with nothing as Capuano suggested is very possible?