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January 27, 2012     Post-Gazette
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Page 4 POST-GAZETTE, JANUARY 27, 2012 O'Flaherty Asks MBTA to Reconsider 92 Bus, Ferry Elimination The following was submitted by State Rep. Eugene O'Flaherty. It has been edited only for format. Dear Secretary Davey: Pursuant to the public comment period associated with propo.sed service reduc- tions by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Author- ity (MBTA), I write to express my concerns and specific opposition to portiorls of the announced plans. ! respect- fully request you reconsider the proposed elimination of the 92 Bus Route in Charlestown, the 112 Bus Route in Chelsea and the ferry service in the Charlestown Navy Yard. I offer these comments in full appreciation of the enor- mous fiscal deficit the opera- tion of the MBTA faces. As a legislator, I have worked to reduce the burden and I un- derstand the difficult deci- sions that will be made in the coming months. I further offer my assistance to work with my colleagues in the Legislature and the Admin- istration in addressing fund- ing mechanisms that will sustain the operation of our public transportation sys- tem. In anticipation of what I hope will be a long-term solution. please accept the arguments below for main- taining the current level of service in my district. The 92 Bus Route travels along Main Street in Charlestown, a route com- prised of senior develop- ments, nursing homes and a public housing project. The bus is used extensively by residents to travel to medi- cal facilities, to obtain pre- scriptions, to commute to work and/or school, for gro- cery shopping and general errands. The MBTA's Or- ange Line and the 93 Bus Route are not viable alterna- tives for them due to their location and the difficulty in traversing to such. If the 92 is eliminated, Charlestown residents will only have one bus line, the 93, for service. In a densely populated neighborhood with the larg- est public housing project in New England, this will cause severe disruption and inconvenience many. My constituents, many of whom lack resources for alterna- tive modes of transportation, could potentially be left with only one mode of public transportation that travels in and out of the neighbor- hood. The proposed elimination of the 112 Bus Route which runs through the city of Chelsea will have an ad- verse impact on the elderly, our veterans and working class commuters. Admira{l's Hill, with its senior develop- ments and skilled nursing facilities, relies heavily on the bus line. The seniors use the 112 to access shop- ping facilities and for their medical care. Given the geo- graphical isolation of Admiral's Hill. without a re- liable bus route, many se- niors will be unable to take care of their basic needs. The commuters and resi- dents, many of whom work in Greater Boston, need the 112 to access their places of employment. The attrac- tion of Admiral's Hill is partly the convenient and reliable accessibility via public transportation to the Greater Boston hub and its employment opportunities. The Massachusetts Soldiers' Home in Chelsea, where our veterans reside and re- ceive hospital care, also pro- vides outpatient services and the bus line is crucial for such access. In addition to Admiral's Hill and the Soldier's Home residents, along the route in Chelsea. the 112 provides many of my (Continued on Page 13) assachus___s Fonard IWIWlA .dlIImlI& ' iJi Massach Departm of Trapoon REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS FOR THE LONG TERM LEASE OF REAL PROPERTY PARCEL 9 \\; The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is seeking proposals for the Long Term Lease of a parcel of land in downtown Boston. The Parcel is approximately 29,400 square feet (0.67 acres) directly adjacent to the Rose Kennedy Greenway, strategically located near major tourist and visitor attractions, and served by major local roads, the MBTA mass transit system, and New England's regional rail and highway system. DEADLINES: Pre-Submission Meeting and Site Tour: 1:00 pro, Wednesday, January 25, 2012 Written Questions are due: 2:00 pro, Wednesday, February 8, 2012 Proposal Due Date: 2:00 pm, Friday, March 9, 2012 To receive an electronic copy of the RFP, please visit our website at: http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/InformationCenter/ RealEstateAssetDevelopment.aspx Email address for questions: MassDOT.RE@dot.state.ma.us. MASSACHUSETTS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION RICHARD DA VEY, SECRETARY & CEO by Sal Giarratani  - -?' A Mayor, a City, a Vision and What is Ahead for Us In my lifetime I have seen a number of mayors running both the old and current City Hall buildings. The person in the mayor's office in many ways is like the captain of a ship. Cities go through good times and bad. There are periods of growth and periods of decline. Often, a mayor will take credit for good things that happen under his or her watch. How- ever. when things go bad, it is never their fault. That's just politics. When I was born the Mayor of Boston was James Michael Curley serving the last of his four terms that spanned 50 years time and a couple of in- carcerations. At 40 years of age in 1914, he became the first Irish-American mayor born in Roxbury. He had a youthful vision. In 1945, he ran and was elected to his fi- nal mayoral term at age 71 years old. He was old in years but youthful in vision. I met him during the 1955 mayoral election when he ran one fi- nal time for mayor at 81 years old. He lost but polled a mil- lion votes still. He was a hero to my Irish American mother from Charlestown. He had helped bring her gen- eration into the 20 th century as full Americans. I consid- ered him my political men- tor over all these years and cherish my conversation with him as an 8-year-old. At the time I was actually liv- ing in his own childhood neighborhood up the street from city hospital. In 1967 another great mayor was elected. Kevin H. White who served four terms in a role he cherished well. He understood as Curley had in his time just what was needed to transform the city for the times it was experi- encing. Ray Flynn followed for 10 years winning the mayor's race three times: He was rooted in the neigh- borhoods and connected downtown to Main Street. Since March of 1993, our mayor has been Tom Menino who has already been elected five times to the post. Overall, he has been a good voice for the city as it ended the last century and began the new century with a positive vision of what was needed today but always cog- nitive of the city's roots es- pecially since the end of World War II when Boston sat at a point of no return. When I was born the city had 800,000 folks but was becoming somewhat stag- nate. Were we prepared to progress forward or live in past pride? Thanks to Curley, then White, then Flynn and finally Menino, Boston is in good shape to move forward. I considered both Mayors Hynes and Collins to have been transit mayors. Important in that role and without which we could never have moved from Curley to While. White's long tenure in office led to a number of great potential mayor's never mak- ing it to the 5 th floor at City Hall. I remember folks like Joe Timilty and today I think of Michael Flaherty. The wrong time for the right can- didate was and remains a political reality. In 16 months, Menino will have been mayor for 20 years. He already has set the record and every day in office is a new record happening. When the next Mayor's Race comes up in 2013, who out there is ready to be the next mayor and how do you follow an act like Menino's? I believe it is time for an- other transit period. Boston will need a mayor who can bridge the past with future. The legacy of the next mayor may well be as someone who carries the city forward until the next legacy mayor arrives on scene. He or she will not get a statue built of themselves nor get a public building named after them but he or she will ensure that a proper transition to the fu- ture is in plate. The New Boston dreamed of back in the '50s did sort of arrive but it was not the New Boston most envisioned. It was never just a vision of tall buildings; it should always be the vision of a city at peace with itself. Boston has al- ways been a tale of two cit- ies, the one downtown and the one out there in our neighborhoods. The life of a city is like our own lives. The city sleeps; the city works and the city can suf- fer at times. Last year on December 9, there were 73 murders in the city, this year the number is only 59 and some make it sound like a victory for life. It isn't. Over the next two years let us look about for that leader we will need to carry this city forward to the next period of growth that awaits us. Let us find that leader who can see what is wrong and begin the process of heal- ing because without this healing, our life as a city filled of hopeful people can- not give birth to itself. All mayors leave a certain mark on the city and all mayors push the city for- ward. However, all mayors also have their time to do that which they can before passing the torch onward. Menino's time is coming to its end. Prepare for what lies ahead today.