City of Somerville

Agenda Item
Work Completed
Sep 12, 2019 7:00 PM

Calling for improved accessibility at the forthcoming Union Square Green Line Station.


Department:City CouncilSponsors:Ward Three City Councilor Ben Ewen-Campen, Ward Five City Councilor Mark Niedergang, Ward Four City Councilor Jesse Clingan, Ward Seven City Councilor Katjana Ballantyne, Ward Six City Councilor Lance L. Davis, City Councilor At Large Mary Jo Rossetti, Ward One City Councilor Matthew McLaughlin, City Councilor At Large Stephanie Hirsch, City Councilor At Large Wilfred N. Mbah, City Councilor At Large William A. White Jr.



Official Text

WHEREAS:              The 2019 Accountability Report "Assessing the MBTA's Progress on the Strategic Plan," prepared by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, found significant shortcomings in the MBTA's progress towards its stated goal of expanding accessibility across the MBTA system; and


WHEREAS:              Construction on the long-awaited Green Line Extension station in Union Square is slated to begin soon, marking a critical moment in the long-sought goal of providing high-quality public transportation options to the area, a goal for which Somerville and Cambridge have invested $50 million and $25 million, respectively; and


WHEREAS:              The current station design in Union Square continues to raise serious concerns regarding accessibility for those people approaching from points South, including from Cambridge; and


WHEREAS:              The current station planning process is complicated by the involvement of the GLX Project Team, GLX Constructors and a private developer (US2), the latter of which has agreed to provide a staircase, but not an elevator, from the top of Prospect St, directly down to the station; and


WHEREAS:              Any person unable to use this proposed staircase would have to walk approximately 850 additional feet (the length of almost three football fields) in order to access the station's at-grade entrance at Bennett Court & Prospect; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT


RESOLVED:              That the Somerville City Council urges MassDOT, the City of Somerville, and the private developer US2, to work collaboratively with residents and community groups to improve the accessibility of the Union Square GLX Station for people with mobility impairments; AND BE IT FURTHER


RESOLVED:              That a copy of this Resolution be presented to Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, Mayor Joseph Curtatone, MBTA GLX Project Program Manager John Dalton, Governor Charles D. Baker, and the Somerville delegation in the State Legislature, on behalf of the Somerville City Council.

Meeting History

Mar 28, 2019 7:00 PM Video City Council Regular Meeting

City Councilor Scott recused.

Councilor Ewen-Campen requested improved accessibility at the planned Union Square Green Line Station. Currently, there are only stairs from Prospect Street and if you are disabled or have a stroller, you have to walk an extra 850 feet to get to the platform. Councilor White said that when Governor Patrick left, the estimated cost of this project was approximately $3 billion. When Governor Baker took office he said essentially that he was willing to move forward with the project if the costs could be reduced to $1.3 billion, which is what the State had committed. Then the engineers went through the project specifications and came up with a base bid. The winning bid came back at $1 billion. The original bid proposal included canopies and elevators. There should be funds available to restore these features.

May 13, 2019 6:00 PM  Housing and Community Development Committee Committee Meeting
Sep 4, 2019 6:00 PM Video Housing and Community Development Committee Committee Meeting

See 207890

Sep 12, 2019 7:00 PM Video City Council Regular Meeting