New England roundup #9

Still from Massachusetts DOT rendering of the Brickbottom station on the extended Green Line.
Still from Massachusetts DOT rendering of the Brickbottom station on the extended Green Line.

Transit and transportation are this week’s common thread:

  • Major League Soccer’s New England Revolution are considering building a soccer-only stadium in the Inner Belt/Brickbottom area of Somerville outside Boston, near the under-construction Green Line extension. “It would put the team within easy reach of neighborhoods packed with immigrants from soccer-obsessed countries, young urbanites looking for accessible entertainment, and suburban soccer families with train connections to North Station,” the Globe reports. Somerville’s mayor hopes a transit-serviced soccer stadium would also drive development in this “no-man’s land of storage and heavy-equipment lots.” For a more skeptical view of the power of sports arenas to drive growth—although one I’m not sure applies in this context—have a look at Michael H. Carriere’s recent essay at HNN (h/t Tim Stewart-Winter, via Facebook).
  • Quebec’s Delegate General in New York, John Parisella, blogged his 11-hour train ride from New York to Montreal on Amtrak’s Adirondack service, and writes, “More than ever I am convinced that a high speed train connection from Montréal to New York is the way to go.” (As someone who’s made the Brattleboro-New York trip, about six hours, Parisella’s account rang some bells.) But as this year-old essay by Yonah Freemark on the blog The Transport Politic discusses, it’s a Boston-Montreal route through New Hampshire and Vermont that has, since 2000, been designated by the Federal Railroad Administration as a preferred high-speed rail corridor. The New England route, Freemark notes, has the political advantage of six senators (theoretically) advocating for its construction.
  • New England business updates, via the Globe‘s business section: regional venture capital activity is down, and a mission statement is mooted.

About this feature: Each week, I compile recent articles and other items relating to New England’s history, its regional identity, and its future. If you come across something interesting or relevant, please submit it for inclusion in a future post. Click here for previous roundups.

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