Editorial: A Casey Arborway beginning

The start of the Casey Arborway project is good news. It will replace the hulking Casey Overpass with a greener, less expensive road system, and we believe that will be a long-lasting asset to JP.

Construction also will be a big pain in the neck, and MassDOT should provide better, more straight-talking information about it.

MassDOT recent meeting was a good start, but residents were right to call for monthly update meetings, particularly in this ever-tweaking early stage. And residents deserve common-sense answers to questions about detours and construction dust in easy-to-use formats such as online presentations or paper hand-outs. Claims that lane closures won’t impact traffic sound unconvincing and dismissive, and at least warrant more plain-English explanation.

Granted, neighbor-to-neighbor-style talk can be difficult when there is a large group of loud protesters still holding out the unlikely hope of halting the project altogether. But MassDOT must remember that such protests are partly of its own making, when it began the Casey project in secretive and untrustworthy meetings.

MassDOT later opened up, improved, held a thorough public process, and came up with this plan. Its construction notifications should follow a similar course of regular information flow.

After all, whatever people think of the Casey Arborway—and we’re excited—many of them will have to live alongside its construction and more will have to navigate it.

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