Friday, January 15, 2010

Federal Moneys for Urban Ring Rail?

Archie Mazmanian reports:

1. Report.
2. Bob Response.

1. Report.

MassDOT Commissioner Mullan mentioned at the start of the 1/11/10 CAC [ed: Urban Ring Citizens Advisory Committee] meeting that he had just come back from meetings on transportation in Washington, DC, which he described as positive but did not provide details.

Yesterday's (1/14/10) NYTimes has an article on page A25 by Michael Cooper titled "Administration Loosens Purse Strings for Transit Projects" that starts with this:

"The Obama administration will make it easier for cities and states to spend federal money on public transit projects, and particularly on the light-rail systems that have become popular in recent years, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Wednesday."

I wonder if Mr. Mullan attended the DC meeting that discussed this. Recall his statement at the CAC meeting that money was not available for Phase 3 rail.

The NYTimes article makes no mention of Bus Rapid Transit, which under Bush/Cheney was a transportation favorite. I plan to follow up to determine the Obama administration's position on Bus Rapid Transit vis-a-vis light rail.

2. Bob Response.

Secretary Mullan was very careful to use the term “fixed rail” with regard to the “Phase 3" Urban Ring.

The Cambridge Pols and their stand ins can never understand anything other than “light rail.”

The environmentally destructive and inferior transportation wise BU Bridge fixed rail crossing is Light Rail. The Cambridge Pols have trouble understanding a lot of things when reality is contradictory to their goals.

The fixed rail alternative which makes sense from a transportation point of view, from an environmental point of view, from a Red Sox point of view and from a Longwood Medical Area point of view (especially the initial phase) is the Heavy Rail Kenmore Crossing.

I would hope Archie will look into Heavy Rail subway as well.