The Seaport’s problems were created during Mayor Menino’s administration. But solving those problems falls to the Walsh Administration. And, despite many positive steps the city’s transportation leaders have taken in a variety of other areas, they seem to be falling into the same hole as their predecessors. Ironically, it is not because of the absence of planning, which the Walsh Administration has admirably done around several issues. Rather, it seems to come from their ignoring of their own plans and research, from prioritizing private interests over public benefits, and from bending to political pressure rather than holding to their own vision. Case in point: The Northern Avenue Bridge.
(Want to have a say? Come to the Public Meeting – 11/28, 6pm, 75 Northern Ave.)Read more
My father told me that “fixing a mistake is usually a lot more difficult and expensive than doing it right the first time.” He was right. And the Seaport District’s multiple shortcomings are a case in point – in terms of transportation and nearly every other dimension of sustainable livability. The area is self-destructively dependent on car-based mobility for both in/out commuting and internal circulation. The roads do not embody the city and state’s commitment to Complete Streets. Transit options are woefully missing and, even worse, the available transit facilities are embarrassingly inefficient. But more generally, the place is a steel and glass desert, excludingly expensive; a daytime-only enclave lacking most of what could have been done to make it a real neighborhood. It is, unfortunately, a classic example of what happens when government doesn’t plan for the public good – when it becomes so desperate to attract business that it ceases to shape the market and allows individual firms to develop space in ways that go no further than their own immediate, profit-driven needs.Read more