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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

This is news?

The Globe headline link almost begs you to skip over it. What, pray tell, is newsworthy in a story "Green Line project costs grow as state funding shrinks"?

At least it isn't as premature as Kenmore renovations of nearly complete while the elevator works churns on endlessly. Wasn't it about handicapped accessibility?

Or a half-finished Arlington station is considered a success because the elevator is actually in operation?

And the less said about Copley, the better.

But there is an important difference here. The Green Line extension to Somerville and Medford is required to be complete by 2014. Part of the agreement surrounding construction of the Big Dig.

Which as we all know was on time and on budget. Not.
The Green Line expansion, estimated to cost $600 million in recent years, is now listed by the Patrick administration at $934 million, with hopes that the federal government will pay half the costs. And that money will build tracks and stations only to Union Square and Tufts University by 2014, a legal deadline set to meet clean air requirements.
It's commendable that state transportation planners want, in the words of one, to "get real." Unfortunately it comes about a decade too late.

But look at the bright side. The delays on the Green Line won't get that much worse. After all, there doesn't seem to be any talk about new cars to beef up capacity on a line that is already slow and overcrowded. Just think what it will be like when you need to wait for a train from Medford and not just Lechmere.

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Blogger Readwriteblue said...

Haven’t we heard this all before? What infrastructure project was so chock-full of graft that it was estimated in 1985 at $2.8 billion, but soared past 22 billion in 2007? These cost overruns are emblematic of the corruption and incompetence in state government. As our Commonwealth suffers with economic down turn we are also suffering a pronounced lack of fiscally responsible leadership. For decades we overspent, it was easy for smarmy politicians to play Santa to special interest groups. Now the bills are coming due and the members of the state legislature are clueless as to what to do. This year the ARRA has saved them from making drastic cuts. If there is no second “stimulus” plan, next years budget debate will be much worse.

July 21, 2009 9:56 AM  
Blogger Chris Rich said...

A route to Tufts sound stupid as it is already a fairly short walk to Davis. I lived in that neighborhood for years.

Must be the prodigious Somerville graft machine flexing its muscle.

Toontown Trolley in itself is fairly stupid. Three lines follow each other really closely until Cleveland circle.

Riverside is probably the most useful with the Line to BC a contender for utility but the other one up the middle is dumb overkill.

July 21, 2009 1:01 PM  

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