WAITING ON COST ANALYSIS
In all the back and forth about the proposals for Austin Street/Rutherford Avenue/Sullivan Square, I am wondering why we have yet to see any cost comparisons of the alternatives. I have made requests to Boston Transportation Department for the financial analysis that must have been part of their proposal for the tunnel solution, but have yet to receive that information. This analysis has not been part of any presentation that I have seen in the many years the different solutions have been proposed. As a taxpayer and a resident of Charlestown, I believe this information should be forthcoming before any final decisions are made. With another proposal now on the table, I would think that same information should be expected around it. Costs for both construction and maintenance over comparable time horizons should be provided so that we can truly understand the financial consequences of these choices.
THANKS COUNCILOR EDWARDS FOR REPRESENTING CHARLESTOWN
We are most appreciative that Lydia Edwards is working to ensure that the Boston Transportation Department thoroughly vets all plans for the redevelopment of Rutherford Avenue in Charlestown. Procedurally, the latest re-design has not met the standard of a transparent public process, and it seems that the Walsh administration is determined to rebuild the costly underpass regardless of whether it makes sense or not for Charlestown and surrounding communities.
Given the cost of the proposed undertaking and its permanence for generations to come, we feel it is imperative that all options are considered including ones that bring vehicular traffic to grade. BTD has not put forth a viable surface option at the Austin Street intersection which we feel is important in considering the long-term growth and quality of life for our community.
Several weeks ago, many Charlestown residents were shown the possibility for a surface-option redevelopment that included the following benefits:
Safer for pedestrians and bicyclists
Better resolution of traffic problems
More cost effective
Adaptable to changing traffic conditions
Provides more community green space
Eliminates flood prone underpasses
Several years ago, a consensus was reached on the redevelopment strategy for Rutherford Avenue, but for some reason, it appears to have been shelved. While the surface option that has been presented may not solve all problems, we want to ensure that Charlestown residents are given the time and opportunity to consider benefits and detractions of both options. To that end, we hope that Congressman Capuano and Rep. Ryan will help facilitate this process.
Again, we would like to offer our gratitude to Councilor Edwards for being a supportive, independent voice for Charlestown.
Lee Braun and Sarah Porter-Braun