A Red Line Tear-Jerker


Will Cambridge Mayor Thomas W. Danehy get the City Council to join an injunction suit against the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA)? Will the MBTA listen to Cambridge citizens as they cry rape? Will the Red Line ever be extended from Harvard Square to the Alewife Parkway?

It seemed that just about everybody had his own answer to these questions this week, as Cambridge and the MBTA exchanged their first real blows over the proposed Red Line extension this week.

In the first episode, the council voted, 7-2, to adopt a non-binding moratorium against the subway extension until further environmental studies are finished.

Episode two found our would-be villians, the MBTA, signing a contract to build a tunnel from Harvard to Porter Square. That move followed a federal district court judge's refusal of a citizen's group demand for a temporary restraining order.

The Red Line Alert, a coalition of three resident groups, wasn't too happy about that. The groups charging the MBTA with violating three federal statutes, subsequently asked for an injunction against construction and construction-related activities.


State Rep. CharlesFlaherty promised that he would "bring the MBTA to its knees."

Robert Kiley, chairman of the MBTA, answered that he was "making a bet the Red Line will be extended and will respond to and accommodate your concerns." There were no takers.