Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Longfellow Bridge Project on the Cambridge side: MassDOT speaks on its actions supporting global warming.

1. Analysis.
A. General.
B. Specific.
(1) Trees already destroyed.
(2) Trees slated to be destroyed.
2. Stephanie Bundy, 6/24/13.
3. Prior Reports.
4. Contacts, Miscellaneous.

1. Analysis.

A. General.

Below I am reprinting a formal response received by Misha from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation concerning the irresponsible destruction of trees as part of the Longfellow Bridge project.

I am printing this response substantially in total in spite of the uniform censorship of meaningful environmental comment in the City of Cambridge. I may change my mind and just present a summary. But right now, I am printing substantially the entire thing.

I am printing this response because I respect MassDOT. My gut feel is that MassDOT has been dealing with the City of Cambridge and the rottenness of the City of Cambridge has rubbed off.

The short of the answer from MassDOT translates as:

“Why did not YOU keep me from doing this terrible thing?”

This is MassDOT’s decision. MassDOT is responsible for an irresponsible decision whether or not the public has objected to MassDOT’s irresponsible decision and whether or not MassDOT has kept its actions secret.

Complying with Environmental Notification Form requirements and providing public announcement buried in fine print telling about things being destroyed does not make the destruction right.

This is MassDOT’s project. It is not the duty of meaningfully concerned people to read the fine print by which the project is analyzed. It is MassDOT’s duty to perform in a responsible manner.

There are still excellent trees which have not been destroyed and which should not be destroyed.

B. Specific.

(1) Trees already destroyed.

I have provided you photos of the irresponsible destruction of the grove of trees above the subway in Kendall Square just before the subway emerges from the ground.

MassDOT has destroyed those excellent trees for convenience.

The alternative is five years of detours, five years of detours which the belligerently irresponsible City of Cambridge would have fought. Cambridge destroys trees on mass and it gets away with it because it has a massive machine lying about it and a city newspaper printing its con games as if they were reality and suppressing reality even after it has photographic evidence and even after, in the Alewife project, the key, and false, defender has published a letter in the Chronicle bragging about the destruction.

Whether this irresponsible and totally needless destruction was disclosed in advance is irrelevant. It was needless, wasteful, and yet another fight for the destruction of our world through helping out global warming.

(2) Trees slated to be destroyed.

I have twice published photos of the excellent trees on the ramp from Memorial Drive to the Longfellow Bridge.

I specifically recall public discussions of drainage correction being accomplished, and the story changed as the matter progressed.

During the preliminary meeting I attended, the creation of a natural drainage system on the Boston end of the Longfellow Bridge was announced with no meaningful explanation of what they were draining. I publicly responded to the lack of explanation with the interpretation that they were draining off poisons being dumped by the Department of Conservation and Recreation on the nearby Ebersol Fields, and that they were taking this action to neutralize the belligerently irresponsible DCR.

More recently, MassDOT explained that the Boston drainage was intended to drain off the Longfellow Bridge.

At no time was I made aware that there was a similar project on the Cambridge side and I most definitely was not told of the destruction of excellent trees as part of this project, either on the Cambridge side or on the Boston side.

Only with Misha making me aware of the destruction pending on the Cambridge side was I made aware of this outrage. I hope the drainage system on the Boston side is not equally destructive.

It is flatly and simply outrageous to casually destroy excellent trees as part of this week’s new approach to the environment.

That is called global warming.

Good intentions and misguided theory are just as destructive as honest belligerent chain sawing. Our world cannot tell the difference.

2. Stephanie Bundy, 6/24/13.

As part of the rehabilitation of the historic Longfellow Bridge and construction of a new Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant pedestrian bridge across Storrow Drive to the Esplanade, several trees must be removed or transplanted.

The tree protection and removal plan has been presented at numerous public meetings and hearings during the previous phase of the project, including general public information meetings and hearings for the Environmental Assessment, Environmental Notification Form and Notices of Intent. MassDOT has also coordinated extensively with the Department of Conservation and Recreation in preparing the plan and understands the value residents and visitors place on trees. Every effort has been made to minimize the number of impacted trees through careful design. A landscape architect and a certified arborist are part of the project team.

MassDOT's Design Build team White-Skanska-Consigli is transplanting eight trees on the Boston side of the bridge and nine on the Cambridge side. These trees are marked with green ribbon. Transplanting will be completed by the end of June. Tree removal will begin after the 4th of July. Trees that will be removed during Phase 1 of the project are marked with a yellow ribbon and paint. Trees that will be removed in a later phase are marked with a yellow ribbon only. Please refer to the Tree Protection and Removal Plan for details.

3. Prior Reports.

A. May 24, 2013: Large Number of Excellent Trees [Marked for Imminent for Destruction Near Longfellow Bridge, Charles River, Cambridge, MA, USA - Approvals obtained by lying through omission.

B. May 30, 2013: Longfellow / Kendall, Cambridge, MA, USA - Update on Tree Destruction.

C. June 8, 2013: Longfellow / Kendall / Memorial Drive New Photos, WBZ.

D. June 18, 2013: Kendall Destruction Starts Wednesday June 18. Cambridge, MA, USA.

E. June 19, 2013: Objections sent on Kendall Destruction, Cambridge, MA, USA.

F. June 19, 2013: First Kendall Square Destruction Accomplished, Cambridge, MA, USA.

4. Contacts, Miscellaneous.

Massachusetts Governor’s Office email form: http://www.mass.gov/governor/constituentservices/contact/.

State environmental people, DES Hotline: ESF.Hotline@state.ma.us.

MassDOT Accelerated Bridges Program: 857-368-8904 or Stephanie.Boundy@state.ma.us

All Massachusetts Legislators’ emails: http://charlesriverwhitegeeseblog.blogspot.com/2013/04/emails-for-all-massachusetts.html.

Cambridge, MA, USA city councilors: Council@cambridgema.gov.


For people listening to Boston Sierra Club endorsements of environmentally destructive members of the Cambridge City Council, you should be aware that

(1) using the world’s definition of “environmentalism,” there are no environmentally responsible members of the Cambridge City Council, and

(2) there are Cambridge Machine activists very visible and apparently very active in the Boston Sierra Club.

If you are talking to a person associated with the Boston Sierra Club, do a credibility check. Ask if they are familiar with the “Urban Ring” rapid transit proposal. This is a subway proposal designed to link the existing subway spokes. I have been working on it since 1985. Cambridge raised the project in a comment to an environmental Impact Statement in the last month or so.

If the Boston Sierra Club “expert” answers “yes,” that he / she is familiar with the Urban Ring rapid transit proposal, ask how many rail options there are. If the answer is “one,” you are getting the flat out lie put out by the City of Cambridge.

Cambridge’s flat out lie is that, of the TWO rail options, the only one that exists is the environmentally destructive streetcar option which the City of Cambridge supports. This option would be highly destructive to the environment near the Destroyed Nesting Area of the Charles River White Geese.

The reality is that THE STATE LEGISLATURE HAS SUBSIDIZED THE OTHER OPTION, the responsible Orange Line / heavy rail option, the Kenmore crossing. The state legislature has subsidized the expansion of Yawkey Station as part of the massive Fenway Park area project which has gotten recent press.

Cambridge’s nonsensical proposal would move Yawkey Station three blocks. The Cambridge proposal would not work without moving Yawkey Station. The Kenmore Crossing uses the now subsidized and being expanded Yawkey Station as part of a brilliant megastation.

You should immediately respond to such nonsense from a Sierra Club “expert” by having nothing more to do with this person. Whether the person is stupid or venal is irrelevant, the person has no credibility and is not worthy of your time.

It is frequently difficult to pin these irresponsible people down in general. The deviant behavior in my test is extreme. They are pious in their demands that, if you are politically correct and pro environment, you have to rubber stamp them. Please do not waste your time arguing about destruction they can wiggle around.

Turn your back on them and walk away fast.