City Council Letter on the Grand Junction attack on the Charles River White Geese
I filed a large package with the Cambridge City Council and have given you a link to the city clerk’s posted copy, at http://www2.cambridgema.gov/CityOfCambridge_Content/documents/LaTremouille%20com.pdf. That is a very large file and a lot is lost because color documents have been reproduced in black and white.
I have hesitated to post it because I am pushing my application knowledge and because this is a lot of work. I have broadened my knowledge, so here goes. I will lead with the three attachments. They are so important, I do not want to lose them way down in this report. The appendices will be posted separately.
The actual letter will follow the attachments.
Page 7 in the City Council report, link above. I am at a loss as to where I have it stored in all its colorful glory, and this report is way too late as it is.
September 19, 2012
Cambridge City Council
c/o City Clerk
City of Cambridge
795 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
Councilor / Representative Timothy Toomey, Chair
Committee on Economic Development, Training
Cambridge City Council
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
RE: Grand Junction Development Discussions and Related (Alewife, Charles River, Urban Ring rail)
This follows up on my comments at the Committee Meeting of August 7, 2012 concerning a small vehicle highway on the Grand Junction which would inflict very major destruction on the Charles River. The report continues the Administration’s lie that there is only one rail proposal for mass transit / Urban Ring planning.
[Ed: See attachment 1, above with regard to the route analysis. Attachment 2 shows a new fence blocking access between the two animal areas on either side of the Grand Junction.]
The proposed small vehicle highway, for environmental, animal abuse, and cost reasons, should not go south of Memorial Drive. The route should turn east just prior to the buildings on Memorial Drive on either side of the Grand Junction. This responsible alternative should be built between the building on the corner of Memorial Drive and Vassar Street and the building behind it on Vassar Street. There is an ample undeveloped area there to get the route to Vassar Street where it could connect to Memorial Drive.
The responsible route would remove major harm to the environment and to the Charles River White Geese. It would give bicyclists much more direct access to Memorial Drive and would significantly reduce costs.
This small vehicle highway as proposed would have major, destructive impact on the Charles River both on the Cambridge side and on the Boston side. The supposed Boston side proposal does not even show any form of linking on the Boston side, perhaps because it would be so destructive and expensive.
The 2006 report is notable for blatant hypocrisy giving, as usual, the false impression of concern for the environment, particularly the impression of concern for the Charles River White Geese, the 30 plus year residents whom Cambridge and its friends have been attacking and deliberately starving since 2004.
The 2006 report features a photo of the head of one of the members of the gaggle on its front page. The photo is part of the standard format throughout this outrage. The proposal would destroy for animal use the tiny nesting area to which they have been confined. Destruction would be accomplished by building a new highway at perimeters of this area (see pages 3-3, 3-4 and 3-5). The proposal would block access between this area and the hill east of the Grand Junction by building a fence along the railroad track (page 4-6). Pages 3-5 and 4-6 are attached.
On page 3-5, after reviewing the planned destruction, back up the Grand Junction to the point where this broken light / dark line intersects with a light solid line. This is the point where responsible planning would connect the proposed small vehicle highway to Vassar Street by running the new highway between the two buildings through the opening to the right and then to Memorial Drive. Compare the amount of work and expense involved in the two routes and compare the convenience to bicyclists on the two routes. There is no meaningful competition between the two routes. The Vassar Street route is the better of the two on all counts.
Cambridge has forced this tiny area on the Charles River White Geese as their sole habitat by the outrages at the Magazine Beach playing fields. You are now building another impenetrable thicket to make the northern part of this tiny area inaccessible to them. See Appendix 3. Now you are destroying this area to them by this circumferential highway and the bizarre fence. And the Administration’s proposal, once again, is nonsensical if you share the Administration’s supposed goals.
And the Administration lies of affection for these beautiful animals by using that photo including a goose’s head throughout the document.
This irresponsible proposal would build on the deliberate starvation of these beautiful thirty plus year residents since 2004.
As with past destruction on the Charles River and the mass animal killings and woodland destruction at Alewife, the destruction on the Charles River associated with the small vehicle highway on the Grand Junction is totally avoidable.
Impact of environmental destruction on the Charles of this nature has already been condemned by last fall’s joint report of the Department of Transportation and the Department of Conservation and Recreation concerning connectivity on the lower Charles River basin and in the reports on the Anderson, Western Avenue and River Street Bridges.
Any connection of the new Grand Junction highway on the Boston side can only be done with the same construction on the river involved with regard to the Cambridge side of the three bridges. Construction on the Cambridge side would involve the same destruction of fragile land, plus would be highly harmful to the valuable 30 plus year resident gaggle of the Charles River White Geese.
Almost all ground vegetation between the BU Bridge and the BU Boathouse has been destroyed by your agents since 2003. The state does nothing which is not acceptable to the Cambridge administration.
The fake environmental assessments give no mention to this latest heartless animal abuse, although your heartless abuse of the Charles River White Geese would be a fraction of the mass animal kill achieved by you in the unnecessary destruction at Alewife last October and November. Please see Appendix 3.
The report includes repetition of the flat out lie which the Administration has been putting out concerning the rail options in the Urban Ring, to wit that the Kenmore Crossing option does not exist. Among other things, the report gives detailed analysis of impact on everything going on on the Grand Junction except for the rail alternative the Administration claims does not exist. This analysis in the PDF version is at pages 110 to 138 of the 158 pages in the document. Please see the official MBTA maps in Appendix 1 showing the reality of the Urban Ring rail proposals.
The legislature has given the lie to the decade plus falsehoods by subsidizing the Kenmore Crossing, the responsible Urban Ring rail alternative. The legislature has funded the Kenmore Crossing alternative by providing millions for the rebuilding in place of Yawkey Station, a key part of the Kenmore Crossing. Yawkey Station is a station which the Administration’s BU Bridge crossing needs to move to near BU’s Marsh Chapel. But the administration says that the Kenmore Crossing does not exist.
Appendix 1 responds to and proves as lies the pattern of repeated statements by the Cambridge Administration concerning the Urban Ring rail system and its relationship to the Grand Junction that the only Urban Ring rail alternative is its favorite, the BU Bridge crossing, and that the Kenmore Crossing does not exist.
Appendix 2 goes into the lies by which Cambridge has indulged in massive, valueless environmental destruction at Alewife including totally wasteful destruction of acres of irreplaceable woodland last October and November including killing of hundreds of animals. This effort is ongoing since intentions are very clearly to massively multiply the environmental destruction and killings.
Key in the current situation is stalling by North Cambridge residents associated with the Cambridge Machine to make the responsible alternative unavailable to the City Council and the only option available perhaps total destruction of Alewife. They want people, once again, to yell at local developers rather than yell at the City Council and the Cambridge Administration which should be taking underground property rights by eminent domain for flood storage, but the developers are going forward and the possibility of joint use of their properties could quickly disappear.
Please note that appendix 2 is dated. The property between the parking lot and the Alewife Reservation is now also proposed for condo construction. The two condo projects should, along with the massive parking lot be built with an underground easement for flood storage which is badly needed by North Cambridge. Destruction, so far, at Alewife will only protect against the worst possible storm in two years. Underground construction by easement could satisfy full 100 year flood needs. Delay would give “no choice” other than massive expansion of the already unreasonable environmental destruction and mass animal killing.
As a third photo attachment I am enclosing the 160 CambridgePark Drive developer’s plans. You have destroyed most of the area below the river marked “Alewife Brook Reservation”. The yellow structure is the first of the planned condos. The area between it and the destroyed “Alewife Brook Reservation” is the second project. The parking lot which is readily available for use for flood storage stretches to the right of the 160 project to Alewife Brook Parkway.
Appendix 3 goes into the existing outrages achieved at Magazine Beach and this year’s attacks on the destroyed nesting area.
None of the destruction in the appendices has been meaningfully discussed in public prior to the fact. Lies and lies of omission have been normal.
Appendix 4 is my point by point notes on the 2006 study.
Robert J. La Trémouille
Attachments: 3 copied pages and 4 appendices as stated above.
Department of Transportation
10 Park Plaza, Suite 4160
Boston, MA 02116
Department of Conservation and Recreation
251 Causeway Street, Suite 900
Boston, MA 02114-2104