By William Tauro

Was the recent closing a few years ago of the McGrath Highway offramp that leads down to Target and Burger King in the best interest of the residents and business owners of Somerville or was it a big mistake or an intentional plot?

Is the city deliberately trying to drive property and business owners to disgust and failure via sabotaging roadways to stall more developments and certain Somerville retailing businesses?

By looking at all the most recent actions over the past few years its very hard to tell what side this adminerstration is on.

During rain storms it severely floods and resembles a miniature swamp that also helps spread disease with mosquitoes and flies living amongst the mess.

The city’s homeless population now resides inside the closed off tunnel in deplorable conditions causing a much greater health risk to themselves as well as to the neighboring residents.

Human feces can be seen under the bridge’s tunnel as they now use it for a restroom as well. The stench of urine outweighs the former stench of the incinerator on hot days.

Just look back five years ago at the elimination of over one hundred parking spots on McGrath Highway/Medford Street in Somerville converting it only one side parking.

Then again just only four years ago the city tried eliminating the remaining all of the parking spaces on that same road but lost the battle.

Luckily for these residents and business owners this time around the neighborhood and this very paper fought back against the city’s parking elimination plans and were victorious over keeping the parking spaces.

If that had gone through it would’ve deprived hundreds of residents and dozens of business owners the right to park in front of their own homes and businesses. Their customers would’ve given up due to the lack of parking and going elsewhere to do there businesses.

Now new theories are surfacing regarding the reasoning behind why the McGrath Highway overpass exit offramp that leads down to Burger King, Target, Hub Glass, Carroll Roofing, John’s Auto Sales and many more properties along Somerville Avenue have been closed down for over a few years now?

What was the reasoning for it? If you ask the mayors office they tell you that the overpass is coming down. But then again when is the overpass coming down in 10 years, 20 years, 25 years?

So what was the reasoning/motive that the overpass has been closed down now this early in any phase of demolition?

The state and city just recently spent almost over $21 million to refurbish that overpass only a few years ago and now they’ve close it off, you can’t make this stuff up!

Are the city hall engineers trying to starve business owners there by depriving them of motorist the use of that vital offramp to conduct business in that area.

An offramp that is crucial for the survival of many businesses in that area. Could it be part of a bigger plot to prolong another stalled development that was underway in that area as well?

Here we are four years later with hundreds of businesses on that street as well as in Ward 2 who are starving for customers due to lack of parking spaces and now motor vehicle traffic.

In other words was city hall out to cut off their circulation by closing the offramp? Was it intentional? Was city hall setting these businesses up for failure? Is it a plot to get them to leave their property via financial stress and have their own developer to come in and redevelop the area?

We are hoping that the new Board of Alderman can recognize that there is a serious problem here. We are hoping that they will take the necessary steps to re-open that offramp before more business failure begins to emerge.

The former Ward 2 Alderman for that area, the mayor and as well as for the Somerville Chamber of Commerce didn’t look out for the ward’s many business owner’s best interest and wellbeing.

Isn’t that why we have Aldermen and a Chamber of Commerce to help local businesses thrive or should the property and business owners all have to lawyer-up to get this offramp re-opened and have somebody outside the city represent them before failure is upon them?

We have noticed that in this past year or so that new lighting on the closed offramp and sealed off tunnel have been installed.

What is the reasoning for this? Why are they doing this to the residence of that ward? Why doesn’t the new board of alderman put their foot down and possibly even grow a spine and do the right thing here.

Mr. Mayor and the honorable board of Aldermen, please do the job that you were elected to do. Help your constituents! This offramp being closed is hurting people, hurting businesses and hurting Somerville!


  1. These closings also make it more difficult for those of us who live in East Cambridge. There is more traffic due to the wasted amount of roadway. The crisscross bike lanes don’t help either!

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