BU Bridge: Mass Highways stands up to DCR
I have filed the following with the Governor of Massachusetts at http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=gov3utilities&sid=Agov3&U=Agov3_contact_us:
The filing is quite self-explanatory. One brief comment. The Cambridge City Manager’s people have for many years vilified Mass Highways and glorified the Department of Conservation and Recreation when Mass Highways is proposed to take over responsibilities of DCR.
Mass. Highways is apparently slated to take over the BU Bridge.
Mass Highways’ first action reaffirms the long record of the Cambridge City Manager’s organization: listen to what they say and believe the opposite.
Mass Highways is moving in the right direction against a reprehensible foe, and few governments other than that of the City of Cambridge can brag of a decision of judge and jury that its government is reprehensible. The decision is against the City of Cambridge, but it is silly to think of any meaningful difference between Cambridge and the DCR.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
RE: BU Bridge: Mass Highways stands up to DCR
On May 30, 2009, the Boston Globe printed an article on the BU Bridge with its proposed “repairs.”
The Department of Conservation and Recreation wants to go forward with the BU Bridge repairs project immediately with its unnecessary environmental destruction. Mass Highways which is taking over the bridge from the DCR sees no need for immediate work.
The Cambridge City Manager’s people in Cambridgeport passed on the link for the report. It is: http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/05/30/efforts_to_renovate_bu_bridge_stall_between_state_agencies/.
People who read like the Cambridge City Manager’s people (including one who definitely is) passed comments on the matter to the Globe site. I posted a comment as well.
It is possible that the difference is a matter of opinion. Cambridge’s pols commonly see things exactly the opposite of people in the real world, and Cambridge’s pols are commonly wrong when they do that. The City Manager types’ party line on the DCR is that the DCR is bordering on sainthood. Reality is that the DCR is strikingly close to the Cambridge City Manager. But then the Cambridge Pols have problems, in reality, saying negative things about the Cambridge City Manager.
A few thoughts, expanding on my Globe comments:
I think that, to evaluate the opinions of the DCR, you just have to look at the words and the actions of the DCR in the recent past on matters supposedly within their own expertise.
The DCR is responsible for the environment. The DCR twice yearly destroys all protective vegetation on the Charles River needed by migrating birds.
The DCR is responsible for the environment. The DCR poisoned the Charles River by dumping Tartan on Ebersol Fields a few years back. The next day, annually recurring algae poisoned the Charles River.
The DCR is responsible for the environment. The DCR has been destroying ground vegetation from the BU Bridge to the BU Boathouse since 2004. The only vegetation not destroyed to date would be the vegetation destroyed by this project. A significant part of the project's destroyed vegetation would be for staging that should be put under Memorial Drive.
The DCR claims to want swimming in the Charles River. The poisoning at Ebersol Fields does not seem compatible with swimming.
The DCR has installed a bizarre wall of introduced vegetation at Magazine Beach preventing access between the Charles River and Magazine Beach. This bizarre wall is the only vegetation bordering the Charles River which the DCR does not destroy twice a year.
The key bureaucrat brags that the bizarre wall starves the local resident Charles River White Geese.
The big victim of the BU Bridge project is the Charles River White Geese.
The accumulation of projects by the DCR rather clearly shows an ongoing destruction of all living creatures on the Charles River. The BU Bridge project as implemented by the DCR continues that destruction.
The nearby Magazine Beach project is a waste of taxpayer money. It replaces perfectly good playing fields with a SMALLER footage of playing fields that need to be maintained with fertilizers rather than the prior green maintenance.
Very clearly, the BU Bridge project's most important achievement is the environmental destruction for which the DCR is so aggressively working.
One very major advantage to a delay from a wildlife point of view would be to time harm to the environment so as to minimize harm. This, however, would call for an abrupt shift at Magazine Beach.
There is no excuse whatsoever for the bizarre wall of introduced vegetation which blocks access between the Charles River and Magazine Beach. This is the only vegetation bordering the Charles River which the DCR does NOT destroy TWICE yearly. The key bureaucrat brags that it starves the Charles River White Geese.
This bizarre wall should be destroyed as much as is possible without harm to the land.
The destruction of the Green Maintenance at Magazine Beach should be reversed.
A massive drainage system is being installed to drain the DCR’s beloved poisons away from the Charles. That Drainage System is drastically reducing the athletic playing fields at Magazine Beach. You do away with the poisons, you do away with the need to drain, you do away with the REDUCTION in playing fields.
Similarly, you do away with the poisons and the bizarre wall, and the Charles River White Geese can return to their habitat since 1981, Magazine Beach, and the needed food there.
But time is necessary to neutralize the totally unneeded mudpit which has been created.
The Mass Highways delay could provide that time, but responsible behavior is needed as well at Magazine Beach.
Would it be possible for Mass Highways to completely take over the DCR?
It sounds like we finally have a responsible agency on the Charles.