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264Mystic Crossing Update and Transportation Bond Bill Support

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    Aug 13, 2004
      Hi All,
      It's been awhile since we all talked and I have some good and bad news to share.
      First, I hope this finds you all well and enjoying the summer ( I know I am).
      Bad News next: There has been no movement by the state on the Crossing or Path Extension. Planning should have started by June 1st and scuttlebutt has the DCR caught between the need for a Crossing and the lack of funds to upgrade the dam itself to meet the requirements of such a crossing. I think we had all hoped to have at least had some word back on our request for the DCR to form a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) that would help the DCR create a crossing plan that is economically feasible. I know we must cut them a little slack as the DCR has undergone a location change as well as personnel changes. There is a new Deputy Commissioner of Planning: Karst  Hoogeboom who believes that a Mystic Crossing is a long shot because of the issues DCR has.
      Now the Good News: Sen. Jarret Barrios has successfully introduced a number of items in the Transportation Bond Bill that supports our work (see previous email). The bill has been signed by the Governor but still needs to have funds appropriated for these projects (see language below). Ivey St. John has met Kaart Hoogeboom and is trying to line a meeting with him to discuss the Crossing at the dam.
      Next Steps: We need to keep the Crossing on the DCR radar screen. A draft version of a support letter is in the file section of the Mystic Crossing Yahoo Group for all of you to use. Everett is having it's 2nd Annual "Take Me to the River" Festival on Aug 28, 2004 and we had 7000 people attend last year. If anyone would like to man a table there we can set up a couple of graphics and perhaps collect some signatures. Let me know if your interested.
      If you have any other suggestions for keeping this issue alive please reply here!
      From Colin Durant, Sen. Barrios Office:
      In response to our recent press release re: bike and pedestrian victories, many of you have made specific inquiries about the specific language included in the Bond Bill.  I have provided that below.  This is language that was approved by the House and Senate and has been signed by the Governor.  The Legislature passes the Transportation Bond Bill to prioritize funding for important transportation projects.  It is then up to the Administration (ie. Governor's Office) to pick which projects go forward based on necessity and other variables they determine.  By providing funding in the Bond Bill we are one step closer to making these projects a reality.

      Bike to the Sea Language:

      ; provided further, that not less than $70,000 shall be spent for the planning, design and construction of a bicycle path on the Saugus Branch Rail line from Main Street in Malden to the Tileston Street Bridge in Everett and on-road improvements connecting such path to Wellington Station

      Mystic Crossing Language:

      Provided further, that funds shall be expended for the construction of a pedestrian and bicycle crossing across the Mystic River in the vicinity of the Amelia Earhart Dam, located in Everett and Somerville

      Route 99 Language:

      provided further, that funds shall be expended for the development of a renovation design plan for Lower Broadway of route 99 from Santilli Circle in Everett to Sullivan Square in Charlestown;

      MBTA Limited Liability Language:

      SECTION 1. Chapter 82 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2002 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after section 35 the following section:-

      Section 35A. The board or officers authorized to lay out highways or town ways may lay out, construct and maintain rail trails under the laws relative to the laying out, construction and maintenance of public ways. For purposes of this section, a rail trail shall mean property converted from the former use as a railroad right-of-way to a use as a publicly-owned, improved and maintained corridor for bicycle, pedestrian and other non-motorized public transportation, recreation and associated purposes. Rail trails may be laid out on property a city or town has acquired by fee, easement, lease, license or otherwise and may be subject to a reversion allowing the railroad company or authority to reclaim the property for rail purposes upon written notice. The owner of such reversion shall be exempt from liability for any claims associated with use of any such rail trail including claims for damages that may arise under section 15 of chapter 84 and section 38 of chapter 161A.

      Officer Patrick Johnston
      Everett Police Marine Division
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