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Thursday, December 8, 2011

New Green Line Schedule Intensifies Importance for Constant Communication

I think the Green Line will come to Somerville. There, I said it. Call me overly optimistic or a dreamer, or someone who believes in legal obligation, but I do. I really do think the Green Line will come to Somerville. I know I am not the only one that believes this, but I am certainly one of the very few who will say it publicly. I await all of your comments below ;)

With this said, the new schedule released by MassDOT intensifies the need for constant communication before, during and after construction has completed on the Green Line Extension I think will come to Somerville.

At last Tuesday’s Ward 5 ResiStat meeting, a great presentation on everything Somerville residents, business owners, city and elected officials are doing to bring the Green Line down the track before I’m forty was conducted for attendees. At this meeting, I brought up the importance of keeping local businesses in the loop and on the radar and asked what Somerville planned on doing to make this happen. I was asked for my “suggestion.” I responded that I think certain departments in City Hall could put their heads together and come up with a plan. I did, however, offer my suggestion after the meeting in an enlightening conversation I had with the Transportation and Infrastructure Director of OSPCD.

With completion of the Lowell Street stop (hopefully renamed to Magoun Square Station) set for 2014, there is still a small window of time to put in place an action plan that involves small business owners, residents, and necessary Somerville City/Elected officials together and communicating so that construction of the station(s) has minimal negative impact on businesses. Organizations like the Chamber of Commerce and Somerville Local First can also be great sources of assistance when it comes to spreading the word about local businesses and the importance for residents to spend locally as much as they can. By working together, we can maintain the vitality of Somerville businesses during the difficult construction time of the Green Line stations.

My suggestion is this: look at other places around the United States of America and see where transit has been constructed in and around residential neighborhoods including small business districts, copy their achievements, improve on their shortcomings and avoid their mistakes. Somerville cannot afford the trickle-down effect of silence and we all have an important role in assuring the Green Line is implemented successfully.

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