North by Northeast

An Open Letter to Congressman Markey in Support of the Route 16 Green Line terminus
25 October, 2008, 10:14 am
Filed under: Local, politics | Tags: , , ,

Below is the text of my correspondence, sent this morning, to my U.S. Representitive, Congressman Ed Markey of the 7th district. It urges his public support of the Route 16 terminus for the Green Line extension through Medford. For more on this issue, please visit the Medford Green Line Neighborhood Alliance web site.

Dear Congressman,

I’m writing to urge your public support for a local issue here in Medford that has a strong, positive impact on Eastern Massachusetts, on which you can have a very positive impact on I urge your support and leadership for the MBTA Green Line Terminus at Route 16 in Medford.

I’ve been working along with the Medford Green Line Neighborhood Alliance to ensure that we take this once in a lifetime opportunity to build as much infrastructure as possible to benefit the future generations of our city.

As a new resident of the city (3 years) I got involved too late to help support the state’s initial plan to have the Green Line terminate at the West Medford Commuter Rail Stop, which is the line’s logical terminus. I sincerely regret this. I feel the residents of that part of town made a poor choice for the future of our city, for our environment and for our neighbors who rely on public transportation to make their lives in the greater metro area possible.

I hope that you do not make the same mistake I did, but in regard to the Route 16 terminus, supporting it too late to make a difference.

I am a home owner on Orchard Street. My backyard abuts the railway that will be under strenuous construction for an untold number of years to make this extension possible. I am willing to deal with that inconvenience for the greater good of our city, its citizens and our environment. Right now, I deal with very loud commuter trains passing every 15 minutes or so, from which I get almost no benefit. At 2 in the morning, CSX freight trains roll by and shake my house, only about 25 yards from my newborn son’s nursery and my own bedroom. It’s about time something moved through that ravine that benefitted its neighbors instead of only annoying us.

As a former resident of Brookline who lived very near to the C-line, I know the noisiest that line can be, on outdated tracks that make the trains squeal. Even that noise would be many times more acceptable than what I have now, but that does not benefit me. New tracks and new trains on the all-electric Green Line would be nearly silent compared to the diesel behemoths that pass by now. Improved sound walls that the EOT has promised with construction will actually make my situation better, despite increased traffic in my backyard. The new sound and vibration damping will work with commuter trains and freight trains as well as the much quieter electric trolleys.

I believe that this is the first time I’ve written to you that I’ve urged you to take a stance on an issue I didn’t believe you already favored. I’m very appreciative of your leadership in high-tech and communications issues, such as net neutrality. In all, I’m extremely pleased that you are my Representative. I hope that you’ll come through for me here, in an issue that perhaps one of the most personally important to our city’s life.

Please feel free to contact me personally if you would like any additional input from a direct abutter to the tracks.

Thank you for your time.

Brian W. Christiansen