Final forums held on Route 28X plan

By 
Alex Owens, Special to the Reporter
Sep. 4, 2009

The state Executive Office of Transportation held a community meeting concerning the controversial 28X Blue Hill Ave. enhancement at the Mildred Ave. Community Center on Monday followed by a second meeting at the Dudley Branch Library on Wednesday. These were the final public meetings held before the EOT submits its application on Sept. 15.

Planners presented project concepts to a crowd that seemed to be overwhelmingly opposed to the 28X enhancement, an atmosphere EOT officials have struggled in since the first meetings in June.

“I have talked to riders all along [the 28 bus route],” said project manager Scott Hemway. “From 90 percent of riders outside of these public forums, I have yet to hear that [28X] is a disastrous idea.”

Since its initial proposal, the EOT has made changes to the plan in response to criticisms, such as adding more trees along Blue Hill Ave. than exist currently, and preserving more left turn lanes and parking than in the original plan. Many community members remain skeptical, however.

“It would be a shame if this project does not go forward without the opinion of the ridership,” said Hemway. Out of the assembly of around fifty at Monday’s meeting, four were regular T riders.