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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Your tax dollars at work -- and not

The front bumper of a car perched atop at 10-foot high plow mound on what used to be a sidewalk around the corner will be my lasting vision of the Winter of Our Discontent-2011 version.

Streets plowed. Check. Appropriate care taken along the way. No (and I'm not sure I will ever figure out where the car was parked and why someone thought tossing it on top of the mound, license plate attached was a good idea.)

Cities, towns and the Commonwealth are plowing through cash like it was, um, snow, to try to keep up with the onslaught. We complain loudly if it's not done (or when the plow messes up hours worth of shoveling) but the last month has been a perfect example of the unappreciated ways in which our tax dollars are spent. And spent.

While kudos should be going out to the folks sitting behind the wheels of the urban version of a conga line, there are some raspberries to be parceled out to a familiar target -- the MBTA.

Not to folks like the Green Line operator who tried to take his trolley express to Aruba yesterday. But a management that has apparently failed to prepare for what really may be the worst case scenario of transportation madness, forcing people into their cars during wretched driving conditions.

I'm not just talking about buses and trolleys that are packed to the gills when (or if) they arrive. Or a web site that can't handle its own traffic issues. I'm looking at what has to be an epic fail on commuter rail.

Watch the early news every morning and you have to ask the question: how in the heck can the first train every morning out of places like Franklin/Forge Park be 20-25 minutes late? And why does the MBTA have to cancel service to make it run at all?

Someday the sun will come out, the snow will melt and the sidewalks will allow me to personally return to the safest and sanest mode of transportation -- my feet. But the folks who run the MBTA, using our tax dollars, will have to answer the question of why when the going got tough the best they could offer us was a fantasy Green Line trip to Aruba.

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