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Dear Neighbor,

Since the November election, we have had plenty of disturbing national news.  I have found the best thing is to focus on things we can do something about.  Here are a few things happening locally on transportation issues where people have made a difference and continue to do so.
The appointment of John Dalton, with extensive transportation experience in Chicago and Dubai, as program manager for the GLX is a clear sign that the administration is committed to moving forward on the project.  I first met him two weeks ago at a meeting with other legislators and MBTA staff on improving Red Line capacity. 

On Wednesday, legislators from the GLX corridor met with him.  The GLX team plans an aggressive procurement schedule, with the issuing of a Request for Proposals to contractors coming in March 2017.  This document gives contractors a chance to propose how they would build and deliver the GLX.  The team expects to hire a contractor to begin construction no later than February 2018. These are important steps to protect the $1 billion federal commitment and the hard work of so many people in bringing this project to the forefront of Massachusetts transit policy.
At the 2 upcoming public meetings,
the GLX project team plans to present updates on the project and answer questions on the project in more detail:
December 7 at Somerville High School Auditorium, 6-8pm
December 14 at Medford City Council Chambers, 6:30 – 8:30pm



Last week, I met with Friends of the Community Path to discuss the GLX and efforts to retain as much of the path as possible in the project. They have created a wonderful presentation outlining alternatives to MassDOT's proposals.  The Friends' plan calls for an all off road path that could possibly cost the same as MassDOT's plan.  I look forward to a response from MassDOT about how these ideas could be integrated into the GLX planning and procurement process. Take a look at the Friends' presentation and Facebook page.
Changes in flight patterns in 2013 have concentrated airplane takeoffs and landings over particular neighborhoods in our district (especially North Cambridge, West Somerville, and Medford) and other communities.  People in those neighborhoods describe constant noise especially after 11 pm and before 6 am, disturbing sleep, health and the quality of life.  Here is a presentation by Logan and MassPort CAC member Myron Kassanabe on the problem.

Rep. Jonathan Hecht convened a meeting of legislators and constituents in July on the noise issue.  A letter from legislators led to our meeting on Nov. 18 with senior FAA administrators, Congresswoman Katherine Clark and representatives of Congressman Capuano and our Senators, and members of the Municipal Working Group.  FAA administrators assured us that they are working to ensure more community engagement by MassPort on this issue. 

The FAA and MassPort have commissioned a study by MIT to examine alternatives that could reduce noise or spread it
more fairly.  MassPort's press release says it will look "at the feasibility of reducing the persistent level of noise from RNAV departures through a case study analysis of a major departure procedure from Runway 33L, which would benefit communities west of Logan."  Unfortunately, that study will not be finished until next September, but we hope it will lead to positive change and we will continue working to ensure transparency and community input into the study.

I also met last week with members of the Boston West Fair Skies Working Group.  People concerned about this issue may want to get involved with them and attend their next meeting on January 25 in Winchester.

Recent tragic fatalities in our area have made us all more aware of the need for infrastructure and education to promote safety for everyone.  Cambridge is working on solutions for Inman Square, a confusing and dangerous area. There will be a meeting to discuss an intriguing proposal by the Boston Cyclists Union on Thursday, December 8.  You can view the proposal and lots of interesting comments here.
Copyright © 2016, Committee to Elect Pat Jehlen
All rights reserved.

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