Letter: The easy way to regain Casey trust

MassDOT admits that there are trust issues with the community regarding the Casey Overpass (“MassDOT chief: We’ll fix Casey ‘trust issue,’” July 20). They say they want to regain the community’s trust. It’s quite simple: Stop manipulating the traffic counts, pay attention to the buses, treat the citizens of the advisory group and their elected officials with respect by honoring their requests for information, and most importantly, tell the truth.

We all know the original truth: MassDOT never intended to repair or replace the Casey Overpass. Maintaining a bridge costs money and impacts the department’s balance sheet every year. Better to alter the traffic patterns around a major transit hub (Forest Hills Station) and foist the cost burdens onto the Department of Conservation and Recreation, which will inherit the roadway once the bridge is down.

If MassDOT were playing in the corporate world, Secretary of Transportation Richard Davey and his colleagues would be slapping each other on the back, popping a few champagne corks and congratulating themselves on their slick outmaneuvering of the competition. But this is public roadway serving tens of thousands of people every day. Folks commute by car from Milton, Canton and Sharon as well as Mattapan, Roxbury, Hyde Park, Readsville, Jamaica Plain and Roslindale through Forest Hills each day. Other folks ride the T, or bike or walk to work and school.

The latest MassDOT plan calls for only two at-grade lanes (down from the current two lanes at grade and one flyover lane). Citizens of JP, if MassDOT would listen, what would you tell them about their latest traffic plan? Does it improve traffic flow, ease bus travel time, make it safer to ride and safer to cross? Let them hear your thoughts because you are going to have to live with this long after Secretary Davey and his folks are gone.

Barbara Gibson

Jamaica Plain


3 comments for “Letter: The easy way to regain Casey trust

  1. Pete_Stidman
    August 7, 2012 at 9:54 am

    The decision has been made. 

    Any attempt to change back to a bridge design at this late date, or to obstruct or slow down the process in any way would guarantee the loss of $70 million in funding for this project, as the Accelerated Bridge Program would time out and the funds in it would be grabbed by other communities. All other processes to gain funding take an average of 10 to 15 years—long enough for the Casey Overpass to fall upon our heads. 

    I know I sound like a broken record, but in fact I’m just the chorus to this small discordant crew of neighborhood folks who would not believe anything anyone with expertise in any area tells them. I believe questioning authority is a good practice, but closing your ears and yelling when a traffic engineer (make that every traffic engineer) is talking to you takes it too far. 

    It’s also disturbing when people close their ears to their neighbors—the majority of whom, it has clearly been shown, support at-grade. 

  2. SDP
    August 3, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    I couldn’t agree with the initial comment more. Barbara Gibson, Bernie Doherty, Jeffery Ferris and the rest of the narrow-minded, tunnel view cabal are digging in their heels just to dig in their heels and listen to themselves talk. The public process on this project has been extraordinarily open, inclusive, and successful. The state has utilized professional engineers and planners who under any other circumstance would be viewed as professionals and whose detailed analyses would be readily accepted. What more do you want? Please, opponents of the Casey project, shut your mouths, admit that you were proven wrong, and stop obstructing the process.    

  3. August 3, 2012 at 9:47 am

    You know what would be nice? If all of these people who know better than the trained architects, engineers, and traffic analysts at MassDOT would please submit their own surveys and work showing a brilliant bridge solution for the area. From the comments I have heard at meetings, plus letters like this, it is obvious that people like Barbara Gibson have far more training at bridge building and intersection designing; I would like to see all of their blue prints, their construction plans, and all their traffic analyses. Then we can accuse them of manipulating data and lying to the community and see how they like it.

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