Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Analysis of the Urban Ring Certificate and Update

Bob La Trémouille reports:

1. Analysis by Archie Mazmanian.
2. Update from the State: Comments Posted.

1. Analysis by Archie Mazmanian.

Archie Mazmanian provides the following.

I apologize to Archie and the reader for my delay in posting this. I have been overloaded and I thought it was a lot longer than it is.


There follow some of my initial reactions to MEPA’s Certificate dated March 6, 2009, in response to EOT’s RDEIR/DEIS filing. It runs some 9 pages and is available via EOT’s Urban Ring website: www.theurbanring.com.

1. While the bottom line of the Certificate calls for EOT to “ … submit a Notice of Project Change [NPC] to identify early action items and address issues pertaining to the phasing, financing, timing of construction, and implementation of the overall project … “ in effect it calls for a “do-over.” Reading between the lines, the Secretary tries to make lemonade out of the lemon that is EOT’s RDEIR/DEIS.

2. The Certificate state: “ … the NPC should include a copy of each comment letter … and thoroughly respond to each substantive comment received.” This is to be accomplished “ … no later than June 30, 2009.” I can hardly wait. The Certificate, at its end, lists 72 “Comments Received.”

3. For some reason, the Secretary gushes over “A Better City” (ABC), a not-for-profit (but perhaps not charitable) organization made up of developers and their support systems of attorneys, etc. This is the same ABC that lauded the Big Dig through its many travails over a long period of time at great taxpayers’ expense, a significant portion of which expense perhaps made its way into the coffers of ABC members. I recall ABC chastising complaints of North Enders whose neighborhood greatly suffered and was inconvenienced by the Big Dig for such a long period of time. With the same “usual suspects” salivating over Phase 2, what can we expect from ABC if and when Phase 2 gets underway?

4. And the Secretary applauds the CAC for its support of Phase 2. We all know that the main co-chair of the CAC is ABC’s designee. And there are many CAC members who are designees of powerful institutions, such as the LMA, Harvard, MIT and BU. Perhaps a review of the “Comments” made by CAC members representing residential neighborhoods and EOT’s responses thereto may paint a distinct minority position from that of the CAC institutional majority.

You may post this on your website if you wish. Perhaps others with residential neighborhoods interests may wish to provide their comments on the Certificate. Pending June 30th, might we expect CAC or other public meetings?

Thanks, Archie.


I know nothing about “A Better City.” It, however, sounds very much and too much like entities which show up in Cambridge featuring friends of the Cambridge City Manager and the ilk.

2. Update from the State: Comments Posted.

Archie forwarded the following update:


Dear CAC Members and Interested Parties,

All of the comment letters submitted to the MEPA office on the RDEIR have now been posted to the project website, www.theurbanring.com. The direct link to the comment letters is here https://www.commentmgr.com/projects/1169/docs/RDEIR_Comment_Ltrs.pdf

Please let me know if you have any questions or problems accessing the file.



Regan Checchio
Public Affairs Manager
Regina Villa Associates
51 Franklin St., 4th floor
Boston, MA 02110
Ph: 617-357-5772 ext. 14
Fax: 617-357-8361
E-mail: rchecchio@reginavilla.com