E-Mail Comments to MPO on Draft 2010-2013 TIP and Air Quality Conformity Determination

(Submitted to MPO 9/21/09)

This note is with regard to the 2010-2013 Draft Transportation Improvement Program.

  1. The MPO should make sure that the Green Line Extension project, which is required by the Federal government, is included in the TIP. If it is not, there is a good chance that the TIP will be rejected by the Federal authorities, leaving the Green Line Extension and other transit projects requiring Federal investment in limbo. Similarly, the MPO should make sure that the Assembly Square Orange Line T-Stop is included. Both of these are far too large and complex projects for any official document that omits them to be a credible reference for decision making.
  2. Please consider additional funding sources, such as iCubed funding, to support the second head house at the Assembly Square T-Stop. This is required not only to provide adequate access to transit from Assembly Square, which is about the size of downtown Boston between South and North Stations, but also to mitigate severe access problems for citizens with disabilities. In order to get to IKEA, citizens currently have to go up and down more than 3 flights of stairs. The MBTA is already under court order to improve access to mass transit for citizens with disabilities, and it is much easier to build access into a new station than to retrofit it into an existing station.
  3. Please consider transferring funding for the MacArthur overpass on McGrath Highway in Somerville to mass transit, for instance in support of the second head house at Assembly Square. McGrath Highway was originally intended to be a ground-level boulevard, and the overpass breaks up southeast Somerville and makes access to the Inner Belt area very difficult.

Thank you for your attention.

David Dahlbacka