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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

MassDOT Reveals Plans for Lowell Street (Magoun Square) Station

Lowell Street Station

Running alongside the Maxwell’s Green Development, at some point in the future (hopefully), will be the Green Line Station at Lowell Street. Drawing inspiration from the industrial history of Max Pac, the station will be scaled to fit in the existing dimensions of the neighborhood and will include new crosswalks closer to the station. This will, of course, have to work in conjunction with traffic calming tables that Maxwell’s Green developers are obligated to install on Lowell Street per the covenant signed with the city of Somerville.

The entire front of the station will serve as a drive through-style drop off and pick up point at sidewalk level, making an easy transition from Lowell Street for motor vehicles. Walkability past the station is only possible on the opposite side of the station as the current setup of the front forces walkers on the station side of Lowell Street to enter the station in order to get past it. This point was brought up during the MassDOT meeting.

According to the plan, all overhead utility lines will be removed and placed underground and some reconfiguration of a Maxwell’s Green Sign will occur to ensure safety of residents exiting and entering the development and the station. Secured bicycle parking will be enclosed in the building due to a limited amount of space outside. Presenters of the design commented on the narrowness of the station and how features from the other stations would have to be creatively included at Lowell Street.

A light, cream color will be applied to the structure of the landing to cause a warm illumination and avoid the station being too bright for abutters. Similarly to the Porter Square station, granite bollards will separate the pickup/drop off section from the front of the station and will have trash receptacles and newspaper boxes embedded in them.

One concern for some residents surrounds the name of the station. The previous and following stations are located directly within their namesake squares (Ball and Gilman respectively), therefore, are named accordingly. However, the proposed Lowell Street Station is not directly in Magoun.  According to the provided matrix, MassDOT is not sold on the Lowell Street name and is still considering other possibilities. Residents and some businesses of Magoun Square would like the station to feature this name.

Ball Square Station

MassDOT will present plans for Ball Square tonight at 6pm in the Medford City Hall Council Chambers.

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