North by Northeast

My Public Comment on the Green Line Extension in Medford
6 May, 2008, 9:31 pm
Filed under: General

Below are the comments I submitted to the Green Line Extension public comment web site.

I live in Medford Hillside. My property currently abuts the commuter rail line. I fully support the Green Line extension. It should run as far as possible. It would make most sense to me to run it all the way to the West Medford Commuter Rail stop, since there’s already some parking there and people will be tempted to drive to the end of the Green Line to park and ride. This isn’t a bad idea, although no area in Medford is really suited for it much. It’s also sad that there’s no connection to Medford Square. Maybe a fast (free?) shuttle would be a good idea, like there is from UMass/JFK Station to UMass and the JFK Library. That works pretty efficiently.

I’m writing on May 6th, after it has been proposed that a College Ave and a Winthrop St stop be combined into one stop in between. I think this a bad idea. There are a large number of riders who use the three buses that pick up at the Winthrop Stop. This area is an ideal spot for a station, it’s centrally located.

There are many more riders at the Winthrop stop than the College Ave stop. However, I would expect many more people to appear at College Ave for a train instead of the terribly infrequent bus service. Thus a dedicated College Ave station makes sense, as it would be an excellent spot for students to access Tufts.

The spot for the combined spot is poor. It means *everyone* would have to walk a long way, because there is limited housing near there. After living in Brookline for several years, I can attest that there are T stops much closer together in Brookline. And they’re all busy.

It’s so important that while we’re laying track and having major construction that we get as much infrastructure as possible. These types of projects are only attempted every generation or two, so when they come through, they need to be as extensive as possible. Populations are only going to grow in this area. Gas is only going to climb in price, and our environment continues to be in peril.

Electric trains are the answer, and we need as many of them as possible. We need them to run as frequently as possible. The bus service in the Hillside is way too infrequent. I commute to UMass Boston once a week. I *drive* to Alewife, pay for parking, and ride the Red Line in. I should (and would prefer) to ride a Bus to Davis Sq. and get the train there. But the wait going in and coming home is too long, it’s an utter waste of time. I consider myself a treehugger, and I still drive to Alewife. When environmentalists are doing this, you know the public tranist system is not doing its job. If the Green Line were here now, I’d take it to Park Street and switch to the Red Line there.

One last note, it would be wonderful if a pathway was built within the railway area for pedestrians, bikes and other human-powered transportation. I used to commute by bike to Cambridge. It is not for the faint of heart. If it could be combined with the Somerville Community path (and thus the Minuteman Path ) that would be ideal. We should take this opportunity to support all forms of alternative forms of transit, and get the most bang for our tax dollars for this project.

Thanks for your time and effort.


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