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A History of Ignoring the Public: comments and questions about the Casey Project MassDOT has ignored.

April 9, 2014 Mass DOT Board of Directors Meeting

Public Comment – Provided by John Lovett

    Simply put, the Casey Overpass was built sixty years ago to allow through traffic to sail over the traffic congestion outside Forest Hills Station.

    Traffic is heavier there today, than sixty years ago.

    The DOT decided several years ago on a plan to add the 24,000 vehicles that pass over the ground traffic each each day, to it.  In response to local opposition we were told public meetings would be held and residents would be heard.

    During the past year or so we’ve heard things like “It’s too late now,” and “The decision has been made.”  The groundswell of opposition has been systematically ignored.  The DOT’s plan is going ahead.

    Vehicles traveling between Shea and Murray Circles westbound today face one timed traffic signal.  Eastbound vehicles face none.  The DOT plan calls for six westbound and five eastbound, including that planned for Shea Circle.

    My mailman lives in Berkley, Massachusetts, out beyond Taunton, and commutes to Jamaica Plain every day.  On seeing my letter in the Herald he said “they’re not really going to do that are they?”  Yes Bob, that’s their solution.  Hiring traffic consultants to support a bad plan does not make it a good plan.

    My mailman had a mail route near the overpass, so he uses side streets he is familiar with, to avoid the overpass during his commute.  Imagine his quandary after the change is made, vying for room on the side streets.

    The Patrick Administration is blaming an outside vendor for the Healthcare Connector fiasco.  They blame the State Labs scandal on some poor overworked chemist.  Their solution was to close the Forest Hills Lab site to drug testing and send Boston testing elsewhere.  And the list goes on.

    I’m not sure what the oversight function of this board is, but all the months of public comment before you in this room, seems to have fallen on deaf ears.

    I’m sure when the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin was introduced; consultants said it was a great idea.  It was supposed to save millions of dollars each year.  It never saved penny one, and it cost taxpayers a fortune.  Does anyone other than the tooth fairy use the coin today?

    After the DOT destroys our Casey Overpass, it will be small consolation to be able to say I told you so.  In the face of this board’s continued failure to act, the overpass will be long gone.

    At least the US Treasury had the paper dollar to fall back on, while the Tooth Fairy has the Susan B. Anthony dollar.

    Bob, my mailman, sitting in traffic years from now, will be thinking “Gee, Lovett was right; they were serious about this.  They let it happen.”        

From: jhnlov@msn.com 
To: deval.patrick@state.ma.us 
CC: michele.mansilla@state.ma.us 
Subject: Dont Gridlock Jamaica Plain 
Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2013 19:57:17 -0400 

Dear Governor Patrick - 

Please help our neighborhood. 

Anyone using the Casey Overpass in Jamaica Plain is aware that there has been intentional neglect there for years.  It would appear the DOT has been trying to impede automobile traffic to divert it elsewhere. 

Recent announcements declared the overpass would be closed for three weekends for long overdue "emergency repairs."  The "emergency repairs" took one day to complete.  This after years of slow, creeping traffic, bumpy rides, frayed nerves, accumulating loose stones and debris, holes, and errant hub caps. 

When the DOT implements its "at grade solution", the 24,000 cars that travel between the two rotaries crossing the overpass each day, unimpeded by traffic lights, will join the traffic on the ground, and face five new sets of traffic signals. 

 This is like putting Route 9 in the middle of our neighborhood.  Worse it will completely divide the neighborhood.  The pollution from all these vehicles idling at stop lights can only negatively impact the neighborhood. 

We have been told its a done deal.  That the coming train wreck cant be stopped.  Our pleas at neighborhood meetings and at Mass DOT Monthly Board Meetings have been politely listened to and ignored under the guise that their "solution" was made with community input.

Please have common sense be a part of the process and stop the DOT before its too late.

The courtesy of a response would be appreciated.


John Lovett