Friday, May 10, 2013

Will Cambridge, MA, USA stop lying about the Urban Ring Transit Plan?

1. Cambridge City Manager.
2. General.
3. Why the lies?
4. Letter to the head of the Cambridge Development Department.

1. Cambridge City Manager.

In the comments volume to the South Station ENF, pages 123 and 124 are the comments of the Cambridge City Manager, dated April 9, 2013.

The last three paragraphs read:


As the project moves forward, Cambridge would appreciate being involved in discussions regarding further design and selection of the layover facility alternatives, with a particular interest in Beacon Park Yard.

The South Station Expansion Project is a responsible first step to start bringing the transit system in the Boston region up to a world-class standard. As difficult as it is in these challenging fiscal times, it is critical that we keep in sight other expansion projects, such as the Urban Ring circumferential transit project, without which our economic competitive edge will continue to erode.

Please do not hesitate to contact me to discuss this further or contact Jeff Rosenblum at or (617)349-4615.


Beacon Park Yard, of course, is not in Cambridge, but very clearly, Harvard’s empire building there is directly related to environmental destruction on the Charles River and on Memorial Drive in Cambridge. This destruction is supported by the City of Cambridge.

Jeff Rosenblum managed a meeting on Wednesday, May 8, 2013, of a newly formed Transit Advisory Committee. He asked members and audience for comments on transit defects.

The transit defect I commented on was Cambridge’s now 22 year record of falsely describing the Urban Ring circumferential transit project. I discussed the project in detail on May 7, 2013 at

Mr. Rosenblum carefully noted all comments on very large sheets stuck on the wall. My comment did not make the sheets.

I followed up with the letter at the end of this report.

2. General.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013, at, I went into the real plans of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for Urban Ring rapid transit, including key state maps of the proposal.

The Urban Ring rapid transit concept recognizes the reality that the Boston area subway system is a spokes oriented system. If you want to get anywhere on the system, either you use the line nearest you and go to a place on that line, or you take the line into Downtown Boston and transfer to one of the other spokes.

The Urban Ring rapid transit concept would build a new line which does not go through downtown Boston but which crosses the outgoing spokes and allows transfers among the Orange, Green and Red Lines. This would improve rapid transit service without further overloading the already overloaded central system.

I have worked on this concept since 1986. I was the first person to propose the alternative system which, increasingly, is looking like the only one of the two alternatives on the table which is likely to go forward. It is far superior to the alternate both from a transportation perspective and from an environmental perspective. This is the Kenmore Crossing alternative, named that way because it would cross the Charles River on a route going through Kenmore Square.

The Cambridge government being the Cambridge government (“barbarians” according to the Chief of Police of the City of Worcester, MA, USA) favors the other, clearly inferior, proposal. Cambridge, in its distressingly typical behavior, tells people that the superior alternative, the Kenmore Crossing, does not exist.

3. Why the lies?

Cambridge lives through corrupt practices.

One of the key corrupt practices is secret definitions.

Cambridge’s secret definition of “Urban Ring” is that the responsible, much more likely alternative does not exist.

The con games used tell people that they, to be politically correct, must support rapid transit.

And, to support rapid transit, they must support the “Urban Ring.”

But they lie about what the “Urban Ring” is.

They tell people that the inferior alternative is the ONLY alternative on the table.

I have given you the key plans from the MBTA, the local rapid transit manager.

The Kenmore Crossing is heavy rail, “Orange Line” technology. The Cambridge alternative is streetcars

The Kenmore Crossing is environmentally responsible in how it crosses the Charles River. The Cambridge alternative would devastate the animal habitat in which live the Charles River White Geese.

The Kenmore Crossing is strikingly better in its key interaction with the existing Green Line (streetcar) branches running out of Kenmore Square. Its proposed Urban Ring - Yawkey Station - Kenmore Station megastation brilliantly provides covered connections among the three Green Line branches, the central Green Line service, the Urban Ring, and Commuter Rail, while giving excellent service to Fenway Park.

The Cambridge Alternative would move Yawkey Station three blocks further from Fenway Park and would provide inferior connections to the Green Line Branches. The connection to the Commonwealth Avenue (Boston College) line, in particular, involves walking through a tunnel over the Massachusetts Turnpike, getting out on the sidewalk on the south side of Commonwealth Avenue, and walking across multiple traffic lanes to a station with minimal protection from the elements. The Cambridge Alternative would put a station close to the residential part of Cambridgeport with corresponding negative impacts. That Cambridgeport station, of course, is kept as secret as possible.

The state legislature is subsidizing expansion of Yawkey Station in place as part of a large private funded project going in across from Fenway Park. That investment makes it all the more likely that the ultimate choice between the two alternatives will be the Kenmore Crossing. Would the state throw this good money away for Cambridge’s inferior alternative?

But Cambridge lies in its public information on the Urban Ring. Cambridge says the Kenmore Crossing does not exist. Cambridge says that all that exists is the Cambridge preferred route.

And is it at all surprising that all those well meaning people from Cambridge support an irresponsible alternative?

They have flat out been told there is no other alternative.

And a lot of people from the Cambridge influenced Boston office of the Sierra Club certainly seem to have been given the same false information.

4. Letter to the head of the Cambridge Development Department.

I sent the following letter on May 9, 2013, copy to the Cambridge City Council and Cambridge Chronicle.


Assistant City Manager Brian Murphy
Community Development Department
City of Cambridge
344 Broadway
Cambridge, MA 02139

Dear Mr. Murphy:

This is a follow up on the initial meeting of the Transit Advisory Committee last night.

Comments were taken and recorded concerning problems in transit matters. One item mentioned was the Urban Ring rapid transit proposal. The Urban Ring has been a matter of misbehavior from the Development Department for years.

I have been working on the Urban Ring since 1986. The Kenmore Crossing alternative, which was adopted by the MBTA as one of the two alternative crossings in about 1991, was my idea back in 1986.

To the best of my knowledge, the City of Cambridge has consistently falsely stated the Charles River Crossing alternatives. As late as last August, the Community Development Department communicated to the Cambridge City Council once again that the only river crossing being considered is the one the City of Cambridge supports.

The Kenmore crossing, in sharp contrast to the Cambridge preferred crossing, is environmentally and transportation wise excellent. One key part of the Kenmore crossing has received a government subsidy in the legislature’s payment for upgrading of Yawkey Station in place. By contrast, the Cambridge preferred crossing would require the moving of Yawkey Station about three blocks.

The excellent megastation of which Yawkey Station would be a part in the Kenmore Crossing is one of the key factors which make there no real comparison between the Cambridge preferred crossing and the Kenmore Crossing.

I raised the consistent false information put out by Cambridge calling the Cambridge preferred crossing the only Urban Ring Charles River crossing as one defect in transit matters. The chair was consistently taking notes on comments. He did not seem to record this comment. Would you please add my comment to the record, and correct the behavior of Cambridge so that Cambridge communicates honestly concerning the Charles River Crossings under consideration in the Urban Ring rapid transit project.

Honesty is a good reason for the change. A stronger reason is that it looks like you are losing.

As part of a related discussion, I have posted reproductions of the official maps at Please note that there is no way I will refer to more than 20 years of dissemination of false information by supposed experts as other than lies.


The record of the City of Cambridge can be assessed by looking at third party reactions by third parties who understand key parts of the situation.

The Police Chief of the City of Worcester directed strikingly pointed comments at Cambridge without lowering himself to name the city. His descriptive word was “barbarians.”

Judge, jury and appeals courts damned Cambridge in their analysis of the destruction of the life of Department Head Malvina Monteiro in retaliation for her filing a civil rights complaint defending the rights of women employed by the City of Cambridge. The trial judge called Cambridge “reprehensible”. The appeals court refused to dignify Cambridge’s appeal with a formal opinion and spoke of “ample evidence of . . . outrageous misbehavior.” The jury more than tripled damages in a penal award.

The record of Cambridge on environmental and animal abuse issues is outrageously bad.