The Gazette’s attack on our citizen’s group, Bridging Forest Hills, and anyone who dares to speak up against the state’s biased “public” process on the Casey Overpass project, is a great example of shortsighted journalism (“The Casey criticism,” editorial, March 30).
You say that Bridging Forest Hills has a “dubious public process.” Advocacy groups like Boston Cyclists Union and Bridging Forest Hills hold advocacy meetings. Bridging Forest Hills isn’t engaging in a “public process.” Public agencies like MassDOT are supposed to conduct unbiased public processes.
Secondly, how does the Gazette know what is or is not a smoking gun? The DOT plans have already been changed to add yet another lane because of flaws discovered by the peer reviews (now the road is seven lanes wide, plus bike lanes). Quibble? Smoking gun? That’s hard to say without MassDOT revealing this and discussing it, which has not yet happened.
Third, provably false is your statement that MassDOT “answered every question submitted to it in writing,” and that, “MassDOT did everything the community asked of it.” MassDOT received hundreds of questions following the November public meetings. Some of them were addressed in the FAQ, and since there were no meetings or other ways to communicate with commenters, many questions were not answered. Did the Gazette review the 300 comments submitted and find out if they had been answered? If not, you cannot state that “every question was answered.”
Close to eight weeks ago, I requested through state Rep. Malia’s office the back-up to the analysis of pedestrian and bicycle level of service for the two design alternatives. I did this because the Measures of Evaluation criteria stated that the engineers could not measure the difference between the alternatives and it said they were looking for new criteria to use. Even when asked, they never provided the new criteria and have never provided the files Rep. Malia requested. I have filed a request through the public records law to get these files and to try to answer questions MassDOT ignored. So far, no response.
Please don’t encourage the taxpaying citizenry to roll over and trust the DOT. So far, they have not earned our trust.
Editor’s Note: The Gazette reviewed the Casey Overpass comments and FAQ document as part of its news coverage.