SomerVision, as any sentient Hub dweller surely knows by now, is Somerville's 20-year master plan for adding more than 6,000 homes (this in a city where 62 percent of the housing stock remembers World War II) and a slew of business activity around revitalized squares like Gilman and Ball. Much of this hinges on extending the Green Line through the city clear into Medford, bringing back the trolley service that Somerville eschewed in the middle of the last century because it wanted to be... what it became: an alternative to Boston, though not one, we're sure, anybody running the city anticipated.
Well, SomerVision took a step sideways yesterday as the MassDOT board approved $44.8 million in funds for engineering and design work on the Green Line Extension. We say sideways because the $44.8 million is hefty, indeed, but the total estimated cost is more than $1 billion (and likely to grow). And that remaining money is supposed to come from an MBTA close to selling a kidney to pay down debt (state Transportation secretary Richard Davey called the Green Line extension "critical to Somerville," but there "continues to be a long-term financing challenge...") and from the federal government, which has its own problems.
· Medford, Somerville Trolley Link Work O.K.'d [Herald]
· SomerVision Sees 6,000 New Homes, Lots of Green Line Riders [Curbed Boston]
· SomerVision: One Step Closer to Reality [Curbed Boston]