Somerville Speakup Line:A Letter to Governor Charlie Baker Pleading For Help

October 10, 2018

Governor Charlie Baker

Office of the Governor

Massachusetts State House

24 Beacon Street, Room 280

Boston, MA 02133

Dear Governor Baker,

I am writing you today in the hopes that you could help the residents and business owners located along McGrath Highway, Somerville Avenue and Medford Street in Somerville.  

Back in 1986, my family moved their business to Medford Street in Somerville.  For many years, there were 2 offramps available from McGrath Highway to those working and living on Somerville Avenue and Medford Street.  One of those offramps made it easy to access businesses like Burger King, John’s Auto Sales, Target, Fallas, Hub Glass and Carroll Sons Roofing.  A few years ago, 1 of the 2 offramps was closed abruptly with jersey barriers by Mayor Joseph Curtatone.

Unbeknownst to businesses and residents living and working in this area, we were never notified that the offramp would be closed.  The City of Somerville and the State used $21,000,000 dollars of the tax payer’s money to refurbish the closed offramp adding new lighting.  I’m sure the business owners and residents would like to use the offramp they essentially paid for.

With all the construction and road closures due to the Green Line Expansion, it has made it even more difficult to access Somerville Avenue and Medford Street by just having 1 offramp open.  The merge of cars, buses, bicyclist and students attending Somerville High School from those streets and surrounding streets has now become a serious safety issue.  There have been many times I’ve witnessed students and bicyclists almost being struck by a car or truck.  And don’t forget the many accidents that occur trying to merge onto that 1 open offramp.  It seems that the City of Somerville is not concerned about the safety of those individuals.  When will Mayor Curtatone’s office care? Do we need to wait until someone is seriously injured or even killed?

The Greenline Expansion is now underway.  Businesses are being bought and torn down allowing for many condos and townhouses to be built.  I can only imagine what the traffic situation will be once those condos and townhouses are completed.

The residents and business owners that are affected by the offramp closure have notified Mayor Curtatone’s office, Somerville Chamber of Commerce and past Alderman Maryann Heuston many times.  We keep getting the same answer “the offramp will be torn down”.

The residents and business owners and those that have accessed the offramp in the past to get to Somerville Avenue and Medford Street would appreciate any help you could provide.  If there is another reason besides “the offramp will be torn down” please let me know.

I look forward to hearing from you or someone in your office.

Regards,

Kelley A. Connerty

cc:  Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone

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