Boston continues to build vast chunks of crappy overpriced “units’ — to what end but to push ordinary people out of the City, especially if they have the effrontery to own and even use a CAR
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Michelle Wu said some really commendable stuff in her inaugural speech after being sworn in as Boston’s new mayor. She said that we must do the “small things” as well as the big. Correct : getting the “small things” right is what makes a city government effective. “The City” must fill the potholes, repair the sidewalks, remove overgrown tree roots, keep street signs clean and upright, fix the water leaks. These and more. The snow — if we get any — must be plowed and removed.
I have no doubt that Wu will see that these details are well attended to.
I am less sanguine about the “big things.” These too she will work like hell to get done, and that is precisely what worries me : because her biggest big thing is to move Boston in the direction of climate obsessed hysterics. First among these is banishment of personal, private vehicles — call them “cars” — in favor of bicycles, a wonderful hobby for those who pursue them but hardly a transportation for all seasons; in favor of the T, which serves a purpose, but not well, and which should never, ever be embraced as a top movement option. I have written at length in these pages about why public transportation is an extremely uncool mode of movement and have no intention of importing those writings into this column. Suffice to say that we ask the taxapyers to subidize a portion of the T’s costs because there are people who have no other option for getting to where they have to go. We have a community obligation, in my view, to contribute to the T’s costs for the sake of our otherwise immobilized fellows. but by no means should we be asked to foot even part of the bill for those who can move by their own transport device. To ask us to do that is bad enough; but Mayor Wu and her most active backers want us to be forced onto the T, or onto bicycles, because in their view CARS ARE EVIL.
Why are cars evil ? Because they cause pollution, and pollution is poison, and we are being poisoned as the planet is being poisoned. By us.
Or so we are told. Constantly. You see it on twitter, the arena where crazy folks overdose on political angel dust. There Wu is being celebrated for her move to make certain T bus lines free to the user — which of course means more costly for the City taxpayer — and for what the crazies hope will be her full embrace of “traffic calming” and various other ways of snuffing out the roadways that serve the 90 percent of us who use cars and refuse to be shoveled into control transportation.
I doubt that Mayor Wu will attempt anything so drastic, but my doubts are undercut, somewhat, by what is going on in the zoning arena, where the deservedly loathed Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) has adopted a zoning change : projects will no longer have a minimum car parking requirement. Granted that the big push for such an order comes from those who think that vast blocks of cheaply made, overpriced “units” should be built right next to bus lines and commuter rails because “transit oriented” housing is good in its own right, much less as a remedy to climate poisons. Read the report of it here : https://www.universalhub.com/2021/boston-comes-closer-eliminating-street-parking
Parking is already hard enough to come by, without the addition of hundreds , even thousands, of parking-less “units” in the already densely populated parts of Boston. But that’s the point. The planners and their climate crazy allies WANT it to be hard to park — as hard as they can make it, so that we will either finally give up our cars or move out of the City. (Moving you out of the City has long been a policy by Boston Mayors to get rid of politically inconvenient populations. It used to be never admitted to. Now, on twitter, you see all the time zealots who cry “move out of the City ” to those who don’t buy the present head cleaner.)
One hopes the Zoning Board will refuse the new BPDA rule and continue to insist on parking minimums for developers planning their megaliths of junky “units.”
Will Mayor Wu openly adopt the push-them-out strategy for remaking Boston as a climate obsessed bicyclist and car-less, dense pack of crappy “units” hard by rail and bus lines ? She might not have to. She can just let the crazies wash their waves of whatever over the old sea walls of what Boston has been, themselves a kind of climate gone haywire.
You can chose your poison, i guess. if it isn’t one cyanogen, it’ll be another.
— Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere