The Green Line Extension Project Team is looking for new members to join their design working group. The open seats are: Ball Square (2); College Avenue (1); Lechmere (1); Gilman Square (2); and Union Square (1). If you know people who are interested, please encourage them to fill out an application here. Please submit all materials to Ms. Regan Checchio at firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, December 6.
From the MBTA: “We are seeking individuals who live in the three project corridor municipalities, are familiar with the neighborhoods around the proposed facilities, and are users of the MBTA system. Applicants should be prepared to represent their communities, share project information with their neighbors, and report local feedback at Working Group meetings. Preference will be given to applicants who live within the walking catchment area (approximately a one-mile radius) of the proposed facility sites.”
Here’s an interesting new working paper: Subways, Strikes, and Slowdowns. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be an ungated version. But here’s the summary: the author argues that mass transit has a significant impact in reducing traffic congestion, even when it carries only a small fraction of commuters. Why? Because commuters who take mass transit are, very disproportionately, people who would otherwise be driving on the most congested routes. So even the small number of people taken off the roads has a surprisingly large effect in reducing travel delays.
…The author tests this claim by taking advantage of a natural experiment, a subway strike in Los Angeles, and finds that even in LA, where public transit is a very small factor, the strike had a quite large effect on travel delays. And he concludes that the LA subway system easily passes a cost-benefit test.
In December 2012, the MIT urban planning students presented their recommendations on changes for different parts of Somerville, including the stretch along Broadway in Winter Hill. It’s a very detailed & interesting document. One suggestion is to look at the business mix of other successful squares (such as Inman Square) for a model of what kinds of businesses might make sense in our area.