Bus Network Redesign Draft Comments Due July 31, 2022
If you haven’t heard about the Bus Network Redesign, the MBTA is currently proposing a redesign of the 50+ year-old bus network, with changes planning to roll out over the next few years, starting next spring. Comments on their draft proposal are due July 31, 2022. We encourage SASS members to submit comments to help preserve bus access for our community. While we were glad to see the creation of high frequency routes, ending bus routes such as the current 87 route along Somerville Ave, and the 80, 88, 89, and 91 routes would disproportionately impact residents in Clarendon Hill, Winter Hill, Mystic Ave; working-class residents, students, seniors, disabled residents, and others without cars who aren’t within a 5-10-minute walk of the new GLX, or who want to travel to destinations that are outside the area of the GLX, such as Davis Square, Dilboy stadium, or Market Basket.
Some other puzzling oversights:
- Broadway, which was heavily featured in the MBTA’s own TikTok video, will not be seeing increased service, even though it has a bus priority lane
- No increased service on the bus priority lane on Mystic Ave, where residents rely on buses to get to jobs, appointments, and supermarkets
- No bus routes along McGrath Highway
- No bus routes along Alewife Brook Parkway (access to Dilboy Stadium, connecting West Somerville, East Arlington, Medford to Alewife Station)
- No bus routes connecting to 3 of the 6 new Green Line Extension stations: Ball, Magoun, and Gilman.
If you see a new or missing route that would help you get around by bus easier, please submit your comments either on the feedback form accessible at the bottom of this page [https://www.mbta.com/projects/bus-network-redesign/update/bus-network-redesign-proposal] or by sending email to BetterBusProject@mbta.com before July 31, 2022. Please include some of these asks for your neighbors. SASS has also submitted a letter, which you can read (feel free to borrow parts or all of it) here.
Somerville Bike Network Plan
The City has released the first draft for Somerville’s bike network plan and is taking public input. Please take a look and provide feedback on what you like or would want changed so that the plan can provide an all-ages-and-abilities connected bike network. In particular, does the plan provide safe access to schools, grocery stores, daycares, and other key destinations? Does the plan show good connections to nearby cities and towns? Will the plan get you or your kids to places you need to go safely and comfortably on a bicycle?
Please weigh in on the City’s public input map. There is currently one more pop-up event happening this month where the City is collecting input:
July 26, 3:30pm – 5:30pm, Assembly Square on Great River Road
Somerville Citywide Parking & Curb Use Study
The city shared some draft recommendations in some virtual public meetings last month. These are currently recommendations, so make sure you are signed up for updates as this project moves forward. We at SASS plan on making sure we prioritize our limited parking resources for those who need it most and reduce our reliance on cars wherever we can by creating safe and pleasant alternatives. Our city cannot meet our climate and safety goals while dedicating so much space to vehicle storage.
Update on McGrath and Mystic
Construction is well underway and the safety improvements are starting to take shape. While many aspects of the current in-progress project are not ideal, it feels so good to see things that everyone in SASS helped advocate for start to take shape. Take a virtual walk with Chris Dwan’s twitter thread, though with the rapid progress and raised crosswalks being completed later today, even this might be outdated soon.
Safe Streets on Halloween
Children ages 4 to 8 are about 10 times more likely to be killed by motor vehicles on Halloween night than they are during other autumn evenings (citation). This year we’re encouraging more folks to close streets for Halloween – there are a few closures around Somerville (eg Lexington Ave) and they’re very popular with the kids. All you need to do is file a block party permit and the city will close the street to traffic for a few hours. Permits take at least 1-2 months to approve, so start thinking about it now. To file the permit, you’ll need an example of the fliers that you’ll hand out to notify your neighbors – feel free to download this flier as a template. Once you’ve got approval, let please folks know on our listserv or Facebook!