Editorial: Extend the Casey debate

December 2, 2011
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Should a bridge or surface streets replace the Casey Overpass? MassDOT is giving you until Tuesday to comment. JP activists on both sides deserve more time than that.

Cries of “bias” are in the air, and they are right. MassDOT clearly preferred the surface option from the start and surely will announce it as its choice.

But that does not mean MassDOT is wrong or fundamentally dishonest (though its bias denials have been dishonorable). After all, reality is always biased against someone’s wishes. MassDOT’s only motive for such a bias is a project that is cheaper to build and maintain. That sounds pretty darn realistic.

The crux is a traffic impact study that says a new bridge or new streets both would work equally well. The debate shows a lot of bias among residents themselves. Basically, if you like the surface option, you like the traffic study, and if you like the bridge, you hate the traffic study.

MassDOT did a poor job explaining the study, but no one has poked scientific holes in it. Most advocates suggest that their subjective ideas of “common sense” should reign supreme. Good luck building anything based on that.

We continue to support the surface street option, barring proof that the traffic study was doctored or conducted by less than industry standards. But whichever option anyone supports, they should not be forced to do so between major holidays.

It’s not like state engineers will work on the project at the Christmas dinner table. JP should have until mid-January to debate a plan that will affect Forest Hills for the next 50 years and beyond.

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