Let’s Get Going

December 1, 2017
By

A common complaint, one hears from everyone, is traffic — whether you are trying to get into Boston by way of the Tobin Bridge, or over the Alford Street Bridge, or just going down Broadway from the Malden Line to Glendale Square in the morning.

Traffic jams no longer are confined only to the two or three hours a days during the weekday morning and evening commutes.  Rather, we seem to have reached an era of traffic all-day, every-day (weekends included).

It’s not quite 24/7, but we’re getting there, especially if there is late-night road work on a major artery.

In last week’s exclusive Everett Independent interview, Mayor Carlo DeMaria listed among his goals for the next four years a top priority of putting Everett on the cutting edge of public transportation.

Everett motorists are not immune from travel headaches.  An improved, public-transportation system could add to a higher quality of life by allowing motorists not to sit for hours in their cars, but instead spending time with their families or doing something meaningful.

We realize that the current Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is a mess in terms of finances, customer, and planning. Consider the projects that have been waiting for more than 30 years to come to fruition, such as the Blue Line and Red Line connector on Cambridge Street in Boston and the extension of the Blue Line into Lynn.

And we might add, that during this same period, we have lost access to public transportation with the closing of Everett station.

Mayor DeMaria is taking the approach of getting traffic right today, not in 30 years.  Everett is poised to expand affordable housing units, but our roadways will not handle more than our present capacity.

Mayor DeMaria has started the designated bus lanes that already have reduced commuting time for many. In addition, signal prioritization will be on our streets in the next few weeks.

The mayor also wants to bring back trolleys that will tie into the existing public transportation infrastructure.

All of these measures will reduce traffic and the need to drive a car.  Fewer cars also will mean fewer less parking spaces needed for new housing developments.  According to estimates, every parking space costs the developer $30,000 to $60,000 in loss apartment space rental.  It stands to reason therefore, that the fewer the cars, the less parking spaces that will be needed, and then the more units at an affordable rent that can be built.

We fully agree that this is the right goal and now is the time.

All eyes are on Everett, thanks to Mayor DeMaria’s vision and steadfastness in securing the Wynn Boston Harbor Resort for our city.

Let’s show the Beacon Hill bureaucrats how to do something right and within buget.