Letter: Gazette is wrong about unanswered Casey questions

April 13, 2012
By

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.

David Hannon

Jamaica Plain

Editor’s Note: The Gazette reviewed the Casey Overpass comments and FAQ document as part of its news coverage.

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  • Bernard Doherty

    As President of the Asticou, Martinwood and South Street Neighborhood Association for the past 25 years, I have not always agreed with the comments expressed in the Gazette this is of course quite natural, as their will always be differences of opinions. I truly believe however, that the discussions generated by those differences have benefited the community when conducted in an open and fair forum. 

    To emphatically state that the recently completed WAG process  was open, fair and balanced as stated in your editorial (“The Casey Criticism”)  is to put in question the journalistic responsibility fundamental to the core value of a responsible news paper.

    I sincerely hope that the Gazette will recognize the impact of this project and related projects on the Forest Hills community and act as a true guardian of the public interests and not be taken in by those who belittle the contributions of those who question the process.              

  • Barbara

    It’s clear to those of us living in JP for over a decade that the “New” Jamaica Plain Gazette is not of the same caliber as the original.  Thank you for pointing that out.

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