Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Here We Go Again........

NOW EMERGENCY DECLARED AND SCHOOL CANCELED: Based on the forecast, Somerville has declared a snow emergency effective at 8 p.m., today, Tuesday, Feb. 4. Somerville Public Schools will be closed on Wednesday, Feb. 5. Here are a few reminders about Somerville’s snow policies and links to important information. Please share widely so that we’re all ready for the snow.

1. PARKING BAN: During the snow emergency, parking is allowed only on the odd-numbered side of the road (unless otherwise posted). Cars not moved from the even-numbered side by midnight may be subject to ticketing and towing.

2. PARKING IN CITY LOTS: During the emergency, residents may park in any municipal lot or in designated school parking lots. Meters in these lots (and Citywide) will not be in effect during the emergency. Vehicles may remain in the lots until 2 hours after the emergency is lifted. For an interactive map of City and school lots, click here:
3. METERS NOT IN EFFECT DURING EMERGENCY: During the emergency, meters do not need to be paid. But please note, parking at street meters is allowed only on the odd-numbered side of the street and meters are back in effect two hours after a snow emergency ends.
4. WHO TO CALL: Residents with non-emergency requests should call 311. For emergencies, please remember to call 911.
5. MORE INFO: More Somerville snow info can be found here:

Friday, January 24, 2014

Somerville Youth Girls Softball

Batting cages are OPEN Sunday!
These are open hours, no appointment or scheduling required.  Girls can stop by ANYTIME during the scheduled hours.  Stay for 20 minutes, stay for 3 hours.  This is a great opening to get instruction on hitting fundamentals and mechanics.  Other softball programs in the region would jump at the chance to get more batting cage time—take advantage of this FREE opportunity.  The batting cages are located in the Edgerly Education Center, corner of Otis & Cross Streets right here in Ward 1.

Somerville Youth Softball Organization

Food For Thought Regarding Proposed Casino in Everett

Our neighbors in Charlestown have welcomed our participation in these meetings and I know they have been working hard on their response to the Wynn DEIR.  Personally, I am against a casino in Everett for a lot of reasons but what is most disconcerting to me is the total lack of consideration and input from surrounding communities that will be affected greatly - Yes, SOMERVILLE.  It has been confirmed that the Charestown community meeting regarding the Wynn Casino will be on Tuesday, January 28th at 7:00 P.M. at the Knights of Columbus - 545 Medford Street.  Help spread the word.

RA/SS Advocacy Coalition Working Group Charlestown, Massachusetts

To: Elizabeth Dello Russo, Executive Director Anthony Gallagher Vineet Gupta

From: Evelyn Addante, Marc Older, Bill Lamb, Liz Levin, Ivey St John Working Group for the RA/SS Advocacy Coalition

Date: January 7th, 2013

Re: Wynn Casino DEIR Analysis and Questions

The City of Boston has been planning changes to Rutherford Avenue and Sullivan Square since the late 1990’s. During the course of the last four years and dozens of meetings Charlestown residents have developed the current plans for Rutherford Avenue and Sullivan Square. The community looks forward to the creation of a vibrant and livable community with safe access to the Sullivan Square T station, whether traveling on foot, by bicycle or car at all times of day in this currently underutilized area.

Wynn Everett now proposes to build a hotel/casino that will result in a large percentage increase in traffic through Boston (Charlestown) for its daily operations.

The narrative below addresses many questions developed by the RA/SS Advocacy Coalition Working Group, and are based on a review of Wynn’s DEIR Volume 1. 

Mitigation Issues for 2017 Opening: 
To facilitate access to its hotel/casino Wynn Everett proposes to implement Sullivan Square Project Mitigation Off-Site Improvements (DEIR pg 4-169) & (Table 18-1 Proposed Transportation Mitigation Measures). These measures are:

A coordinated traffic signal timing plan for Maffa Way/Cambridge Street, and adjacent signals, and installation of interconnected signals at the intersection of Rutherford Ave/Sullivan Square circle.

Widening of Main Street approach to the intersection with two approach lanes. Cambridge Street/I-93 off ramp (intersection 52 aka 53) improvements (DEIR Table 18-1) to include widening of the off-ramp approach. 

Commitment to fund planning and conceptual design of SS and RA. Note: we believe that funding is assured from government sources for the next phase, and is scheduled to start this month. 

Please show detailed plans (similar to casino entrance plan shown in Figure 2-5 pg 63) for resulting roadway design changes. Plan should indicate any proposed land takings as may be required to gain additional width.

Please demonstrate that if these improvements are completed, the LOS in Sullivan Square will be satisfactory at the time the casino opens in 2017 to accommodate the added casino traffic.

Please provide the anticipated interim plan (2017) LOS for each hour between 6:00 AM and 12:00 AM on a typical Friday at the Rutherford Avenue/Main Street intersection in 2017.

Those familiar with the Sullivan Square are very skeptical that changing signal timings and coordination will be sufficient to expedite casino impact, and are convinced the more comprehensive plan the city has proposed will be required.

Future impact at anticipated completion of roadway plans (2023): 
In order to understand the impact of the traffic increases on the community, the traffic information for the hours both preceding and following the peak hours must be known. Please provide a chart/graph showing the LOS delay and queue numbers for each hour between 6:00 AM and 12:00 AM on a typical Friday at Rutherford Avenue and Main Street (53d) in the No-Build and “Real” build 2023 scenarios.

Please show detailed 2023 roadway plans (in form as requested above) for any proposed changes to the current City of Boston Redesign Plan for Rutherford Avenue and Sullivan Square.

What are the daily & peak time vehicle trips through Charlestown? How many will be on each of Charlestown streets? Please identify each street by name.

Please identify percentage of total project traffic which will use Charlestown Streets.

Common sense and resident experience suggest traffic in summer months is significantly less, yet the DEIR states summer traffic is higher. What is the basis for this assumption?

Please explain exactly what BTD traffic numbers were used to calculate 2023 traffic numbers. BTD projected for 2030. Wynn projected for 2023. How was discrepancy accounted for?

Wynn Casino start up target is 2017 Yet all the trip generation data is for a redesigned Sullivan Square featuring the grid pattern & multiple streets to disperse traffic. BTD estimates the Redesigned SS will not be built by that target date. Does Wynn intend to finance earlier construction of the Redesign? If not, what is the work-around plan?

Alternative Transportation Services: 
Please explain in detail all public, shuttle, coach. & water transportation services to be offered to mitigate trip generation impact on surrounding & host communities, identifying how many passengers are expected to use each mode, and how many passenger cars those support services remove from community streets.

Alford Street Bridge: 
The bridge is a drawbridge, and must open for all boat traffic greater in height than the low bridge clearance from the river. What consideration has been given to traffic delays when the bridge is raised? Were delays factored into traffic estimates?

Market Segments, Access Modes, Parking: 

What is Wynn’s market? What are its segments & ages? From what locations will visitors originate? What will be their travel mode? How many will be day-trippers and overnighters?

What is the basis for Wynn’s customer parking spaces, and what will their turnover be? *

What are the locations of off-site employee parking lots?

What is Wynn’s plan for getting emergency services to and from the Monsanto site?

Is Wynn expecting any customers to come and go by helicopter?

How was water ferry service ridership of 1200 per hour calculated?

 *See parking analysis of three other casinos at end of document

Casinos chosen to characterize Wynn Trip Generation Values: 

Casinos selected to develop Wynn trip generation characteristics are too dissimilar to reflect accurately Wynn’s site conditions and requirements; DEIR suggests using land use codes (LUC) for a hotel compensates for this dissimilarity, a highly questionable premise.

LUC values do not recognize that the absence of hotels at the three other sites is mitigated by very robust public, coach, shuttle and subway service.Wynn must be challenged to develop serious traffic mitigation services.

Casino de Montreal:
  • Casino bus #777 delivers clients directly from the metro station. Pick up & drop off are every 20 minutes from 5:30AM to 9:52 PM, and every 10 minutes from 10:12 PM to 1:15AM.
  • Weekly shuttle service from out side Montreal is also provided.

Resorts World Casino, at Aqueduct Racecourse in Queens:

  • A train subway from mid-town Manhattan, with free shuttle service from Aqueduct Station to casino.
  • Q7 bus, connecting E & F Metro lines stops at the Casino.
  • From LI RR, complimentary shuttle service every 20 minutes from two station stops, 8:00AM to 12:00AM.
  • Two other buses offer direct service: Q11, Q 41
  • A shuttle from Brooklyn pick ups at two points and delivers to casino, 10:00AM to midnight, 2:00AM on weekends.
  • Three private coach services offered from mid-town, east and west side Of Manhattan.

Sugarhouse Casino, Philadelphia:

  • Sugar Express, center city route, service every 1 ½ hours, with pick up/ drop off at nine locations
  • Sugar Express, South Phily route: identical service

* Parking values for the three baseline Casinos as exhibited in the DEIR are incorrect, based on specific phone calls to each facility:

  • Sugarhouse: Wynn: 1820, phone call: 1296
  • Montreal: Wynn: 3000, phone call: 2000
  • Queens Aqueduct Site: Wynn 6500, phone call: 10,000
(This may include the racetrack parking.)

Trip Generation Analysis:

Wynn DEIR rejects Sugarhouse Casino vehicle trip generation rates as unusual results, and instead uses the Casino de Montreal and Aqueduct vehicle trip rates. In fact, the higher Sugarhouse Casino rates are more in line with the results found in an ITE research paper from 2000 and another from 1998 (five separate casinos in total).

Please provide reasons why the research results by Trueblood and Gude are not relevant to the Wynn Everett development, and explain the rejection of the Sugarhouse Casino rates despite their similarity to trip generation rates found in previous research?

Wynn Resort -Everett
3,072 slots
900 tables

Peak Hour Vehicle Trips based on Wynn DEIR vehicle trip rates
Friday 1,152
Saturday 1,311

Peak Hour Vehicle Trips based on ITE reference (Trueblood and Gude)
Average Weekday 1,812
Average Weekend 1,966

Please note: the peak hour vehicle trip rates calculated in the Trueblood and Gude paper are average weekday and weekend rates which means that Friday and Saturday rates would be even higher.

Mode Share:
Table 2-20 on page 4-119 indicates that 62% of the patron market is within a 30 minutes travel time (including visitors arriving via Logan Airport).
What proportion of the 62% originates from Logan Airport?
What is the number of vehicle trips this represents?
What are the mode choices of patrons originating at Logan Airport?

What is the research justification for 10% of patrons will use the Orange Line, and what market segment will do so?

The DEIR states that “3% of patrons and employees will use water transportation to the Project Site." What is the research basis for this estimate?


Site remediation of Tier 11 site
Dredging for Marina
Removal & replacement of unsuitable soil, sediment & structural material for oyster beds
Bulkhead Restoration
Construction of oyster bed
Garage Construction
Hotel Construction
Restaurant and retail store construction
Landscaping Construction of harbor walk and floating dock

How many trucks/barges/ delivery/removal vehicles will be required for each activity listed above?
To what location will the remediated soil be delivered?
What route or routes will each take to enter and leave?
How many cubic yards or truck loads in each activity must be removed?
What will each activity’s duration be?
What train line is under consideration for removal or delivery of materials?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Mt. Vernon Street Fire

Fire misplaces seven on Mt. Vernon Street this morning.  Somerville firefighters work in freezing temperatures keeping the fire to 2 alarms.  Check out the link above.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

East Broadway Construction Update 1/22

Dear East Broadway / East Somerville Community Member,

Happy New Year!

You are receiving this notification as part of the City of Somerville’s community notification process. You have signed up to receive alerts and information pertaining to ongoing construction on East Broadway, and as part of this process you will receive several emails per month with status updates and schedules for the project through its completion. Throughout the project, updates, schedules and other relevant information can be found at
For the period between Jan. 21 and Feb. 8, the construction schedule is as follows (please note that all dates are subject to change due to inclement weather):
  • Weeks of Jan. 21, Jan. 27, and Feb. 3:
    • Sewer pipe installation. Autumn St. and Rush St. areas. For this work, both Autumn St. and  Rush St. will be closed to through traffic during work hours on these dates. Abutters will be allowed to access the street, and police details will assist with all detours during work hours.
  • Tue., Jan. 21:
    • Pipe bursting at Autumn St. If your property is to be affected, you will be notified by work crews in advance.
  • Tue., Jan. 21 and Wed., Jan. 22:
    • Sewer work at Cross St.
  • Tue., Jan. 21 through Thurs., Jan. 23:
    • Sewer work at Autumn St.
    • Relocation of traffic signals at Cross St.
  • Wed., Jan. 22:
    • Patching trenches. Cross St. to Autumn St.
  • Fri., Jan. 24:
    • Rodent abatement project-wide.
    • Patching trenches. Cross St. to Autumn St.
  • Week of Jan. 27:
    • Sewer work. Cross St. East to Minnesota Ave.
  • Wed., Jan. 29:
    • Patching trenches. Cross St. to Autumn St.
  • Fri., Jan,. 31:
    • Patching trenches. Cross St. to Autumn St.
  • Week of Feb. 3:
    • Sewer work. Minnesota Ave.
  • Wed., Feb. 5:
    • Patching trenches. Cross St. to Autumn St.
  • Fri., Feb. 7:
    • Patching trenches. Cross St. to Autumn St.
 The full three week look ahead is attached here, and available on the City’s construction updates website. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact one of the project staff:
  • The City of Somerville’s Constituent Service Center: 311 (617-666-3311 from outside the City),
  • City of Somerville, Deputy Director of Communications, Jackie Rossetti: 617-625-6600 ext 2614
  • Massachusetts Department of Transportation Project Manager, George Kavalaris: (781) 853-8055
 Thank you!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

No School Tomorrow

A message from the Somerville Public Schools

Due to projected weather conditions, all Somerville Public Schools will be closed tomorrow, January 22nd. In addition, all evening activities scheduled for 6pm or later tonight (1/21/2014) have been cancelled. Check back for updated information tomorrow. Stay safe, everyone! (Today's beautiful winter scene created by Ariyeh Weissman Bennett, third grade student in Ms. Hobbs' ESCS class).