This past Wednesday, we had a great rally with local residents and elected officials that drew over 200 people to demand highway justice for residents living near Mystic Ave and McGrath Highway. The event was covered by many major news outlets, such as this article in Boston.com and this coverage on TV 7NEWS and Boston 25 News. Before the rally began, we escorted the elected officials along MassDOT’s Corridor of Death, so they can experience what our neighbors experience when they go to their local supermarket. The rally showed massive support for changes in this area, but we’ve got more work to do to keep the pressure on MassDOT — MassDOT is holding two virtual meetings in the upcoming days and we need to make our voices heard by showing up or leaving comments.
1. TONIGHT, Tuesday, June 1 6PM – 8PM: MassDOT + MBTA Capital Investment Plan. You can find more details about the meeting and public input can be provided in several ways, including sending an email with your comments in any language to: MassCIP@state.ma.us.
In your comments, ask MassDOT to include a minimum of $2 million for noise barriers in the vicinity of East Somerville and a minimum of $2 million for improvements to the Rt. 28/38 corridor in Somerville. Improvements should include dense tree cover along Mystic Ave. and Foss Park and an expanded and accelerated road safety improvement project with elements such as raised crosswalks, sidewalk-level protected bike facilities, ADA-compliant pedestrian ramps, and a road diet for Rt. 28 north of Broadway.
2. Tuesday, June 8, 6PM – 8PM: Somerville I-93 Viaduct Presentation. You can find more details and submit written comments here. This will be a three-year construction project, done at night, and will detour highway traffic onto Somerville residential streets, without any plans for mitigating the long-term impacts of air and noise pollution.
In your comments, tell MassDOT to prioritize the lives of people over steel, and to build sound walls as a necessary mitigation measure for the long-term air and noise pollution impacts that are linked to higher incidence of asthma and cardiovascular disease in these environmental justice neighborhoods.
MassDOT is trying to get away with just paint and new crosswalks, but we need the sound and anti-pollution barriers for our neighbors as well!
And, if you haven’t yet, please sign and share the Letter to MassDOT! Stay safe and get involved!
All the best and safe streets for all,
SASS Organizing Committee