Assembly Square and Casinos

This takes a bit of chutzpah:

Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone, an outspoken opponent of casinos and of the expanded gambling law, said he was disappointed though not surprised by the state action.

“The process failed and the Gaming Commission voted despite not having the answers to all the serious, outstanding questions [about the Wynn plan],” he said. “This is the consequence of a fundamentally flawed piece of legislation that allows one community — Everett — to make a decision that impacts an entire region.”

Hayes Morrison, Somerville’s director of transportation and infrastructure, said the city is facing major traffic changes because of the project.

Noting that about two-thirds of the predicted 25,000 daily vehicle trips to and from the casino would go through the already overburdened Sullivan Square in Charlestown — and that three of the roads from the square lead directly into Somerville — she said the project would add to congestion and send cars onto local streets.

The state has invested significant sums in the “redevelopment potential of Somerville and the traffic in Sullivan Square has the potential of devaluing that investment,” she said, noting in particular the adverse effects the project could have on the Assembly Row development, across the river from the casino via the Wellington Bridge.

The increased traffic also could jeopardize the success of the Union Square redevelopment, said Morrison, who called Wynn’s plans for addressing the traffic issues at Sullivan Square “extremely vague.”

A lot of government money has gone into Somerville to help build Assembly Square and the Green Line extension. These developments not only don’t pay money to neighboring communities they are taking money from them. I wonder how much input Somerville got from the surrounding communities when they were planning Assemble Square? And I just love how they worry about the increased traffic into Sullivan Square from the casino, but don’t note that Assembly Row will also add lots of traffic to the same Square–at least the casino is going to put in a bunch of money to try to mitigate the extra traffic.

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