By Daniel Sullivan
(The opinions and views expressed in the commentaries and letters to the Editor of The Somerville Times belong solely to the authors and do not reflect the views or opinions of The Somerville Times, its staff or publishers)
Recently I attended a forum on the future of public transportation in Massachusetts. It was held at 50 Middlesex Ave in Somerville. I was invited by State Senator Pat Jehlen. So I’ve been making friends in high places. Not really a big deal.
At the podium Senate President Rosenburg, impressed with the turnout remarked, “I had to send 18 senators back to the State House.” Someone in the crowd said, “Why don’t we all go to the State House?” Someone else – and I won’t say who – quipped, “Oh no, that way we’d never get anything done.” All in good fun.
There were about 80 of us and we split off into focus groups of 8 or so. My concern in particular was the completion of the Green Line Extension. That could be a beautiful thing if we did it right. State of the art stations with heat would be nice. The building of a foot bridge which could cross the rail bed and make possible a walk/bike path with only a little more imagination could extend eastward, all the way to the Charles.
Others had very ambitious, expensive, but doable ideas, including the building of a tunnel which would connect North and South stations and a commuter railway which would run alongside Rte. 128 (Rte. 95 to newcomers) from Gloucester to Braintree.
The meeting wrapped up in about three and a half hours, none of which hours were wasted. State Transportation Secretary McGee, (sorry to keep namedropping) when I told him I write, invited me to a meeting of the same concern in the North Shore. This will happen in April. There will be nine of these workshops going on in the Commonwealth between now and May.
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