Rep. Birmingham testified in favor of a proposal to extend the Boylston subway line beyond Kenmore Square under Commonwealth Avenue and Beacon Street for a cost of $3 million, Boston newspapers reported on March 20, 1930 (JMC Scrapbooks, Vol. 20, pp. 3, 5, 10).
During March 19 testimony before the House Committee on Metropolitan Affairs, Birmingham argued that the subway extension was necessary to ease traffic congestion.
The bill proposed to extend the Boylston line under Beacon Street to just east of the railroad bridge and under Commonwealth to opposite Temple Israel.
On behalf of Mayor Curley, Corporation Counsel Samuel Silverman testified in favor of the bill, saying that the extension was necessary to ease traffic around Governor Square.
Silverman said the extension would cost $3 million and would be financed by Boston city bonds. The city would charge Boston Elevated an annual rent of not less than 4.5 percent.
Any deficit in in the operation of the subway extensions would be paid for by an assessment on the cities and towns in the Metropolitan Transit District (MTD). This was a point of contention for the surrounding towns in the MTD.
Representatives of the Newton, Belmont, Milton, Somerville, and other communities testified against the bill, arguing that it was only intended to ease traffic problems in Boston, and therefore they should not be required to contribute to the extension.
Newton City Solicitor Joseph W. Bartlett said that the assessment would set a precedent in which his city might be expected to pay for future subway improvements that did not benefit Newton.
Bartlett also argued that subway expansion should be decided by the Metropolitan District Council, instead of through legislation.
Belmont Town Counsel Amos L. Taylor agreed, arguing that a decision on the extension should be postponed until voters determined the future ownership of the Boston Elevated, which was scheduled for the fall.