Mayor Carlo DeMaria has rejected the call by Attorney General Maura Healey that the Wynn Everett casino should be delayed in order to go through a protracted traffic study with state transportation officials.
DeMaria said holding up the casino for years of neglect at Sullivan Square lets other developers – such as in Somerville – off the hook for the traffic they create without any mitigation measures.
“While I agree with the general sentiment that a solution for Sullivan Square is badly needed I think it is incumbent on the state to ensure that the same standards are applied evenly for other large scale projects throughout Massachusetts,” said DeMaria. “Sullivan Square has been left unimproved despite the enormous development activity in nearby Assembly Row and elsewhere…Even more troubling is that placing the responsibility of fixing a broken square solely on Wynn lets other developers who have added to the challenges of Sullivan Square off the hook, never requiring them to mitigate their own traffic impacts or be held to the same standards as proposed by the Attorney General.”
Healey drafted a letter on July 13 to state Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack calling for the delay of Wynn’s environmental certificate until a longer traffic study could be completed regarding Sullivan Square and Rutherford Avenue.
Healy, specifically, said she would like to see the state Department of Transportation (DOT) use its own regional analysis took – the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS).
DeMaria said Healey’s call isn’t fair to Wynn, as they have pledged millions of dollars to fix a traffic situation that isn’t their doing.
“Wynn has made perfectly clear that they are willing to participate in fixing Sullivan Square and mitigate their impacts there, contributing tens of millions of dollars to do so,” said the mayor. “But they cannot be expected to solve problems that they did not create. A comprehensive, regional solution to Sullivan Square needs to be developed by all stakeholders, including government, developers and community leaders and not placed on the shoulders of a single project.”