REMINDER: Hearing on Transit commitments tonight in JP

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REMINDER: Hearing on Transit commitments tonight in JP

Postby Pete » Tue Feb 15, 2005 11:45 pm

Just another heads-up that the next hearing on the state's process to wriggle out of the Central Artery transit commitments is tonight, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 6:30-8:30 at the Agassiz School, 20 Child Street [click for map], in Jamaica Plain.

If you think this process is a foregone conclusion one way or another, show up anyway. You'll at least hear solid arguments for why the T and its allies have constructed a scenario for not building the Arborway project based largely on a very selective and arbitrary view of the evidence.

I've said it many times before, but yet again, it's critical that people show up and make the many clear points on why this project is good for the city and the region, and why all the Central Artery commitments were made for reasons that remain valid today.

The state put $15 billion into the Big Dig under the condition that these projects be built. That isn't the only reason to continue to hold them to it, but it's still important to make it clear that they can't expect to pay lip service to mass transit in order to get highway funding.

They've failed at every attempt to escape their responsibility in the past, only because people haven't let them, and because people have shown the environmental officials in charge of this process that the MBTA still hasn't proven it can't do what it pledged to do in 1990. This time won't be any different, but it'll take committed individuals once again making the case.

As always, visit www.arborway.net/lrv for more info.
Pete
 
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Post-game wrap-up

Postby Pete » Thu Feb 17, 2005 12:27 pm

Moderate attendance, comments probably 3-to-1 in favor of the project. Some comments addressed the specifics of how the project relates to the criteria proposed for this evaluation process, but more of them decried the process itself as an abdication of public trust.

Senator Dianne Wilkerson did a terriffic job of expressing the weariness and exasperation of everyone in attendance, including parties on both sides of the issue. There was a regular recurring theme, that everyone was tired of coming back to that room for the umpteenth time and having the exact same discussion that keeps coming back to the same conclusion, that the MBTA should just finish the project already.

It's a stark contrast to Somerville, a much younger movement that's seen so many fewer setbacks, has less internal debate, and consequently has much more momentum. However, unlike Somerville, the Arborway project is actually underway (sort of). Anyone in attendance last night ought to try to make it to Somerville on Monday to see the comparison firsthand. There is much to be learned from both.
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Postby Ron Newman » Thu Feb 17, 2005 1:04 pm

Somerville's meeting is not next Monday, it's February 28.
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Postby Pete » Fri Feb 18, 2005 12:07 pm

You're right. Thanks for the clarification.
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