According to the Massachusetts Turnpike’s Authority, the $22 billion project (wait ... it probably just jumped another billion in the time it’s taking me to type this) was undertaken to relieve traffic congestion on the Central Artery in Boston.
So, instead of doing something to lessen the number of vehicles on the roads, we just make bigger new roadways. Isn’t that like trying to solve someone’s drinking problem by serving them cognac in beer mugs? Imagine how our public transportation system could have been improved with $22 billion.
Do you think, just maybe, we could have minimized vehicular congestion by maximizing the use of public transportation and promoting alternative means, like bicycling?
Instead, we forged ahead without considering what every homeowner knows: Every time you add a closet, you’ll find a way to fill it. We’ve done precisely that with The Big Ridiguous. In approximate terms, twice as much road space is being filled by twice as many vehicles.
All we seem to be able to do to make ourselves feel better is to note how pretty the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway will be, perched proudly atop our enormous boondoggle.
As the saying goes, though, “You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.” In the meantime, I guess we’ll just pedal on.