Walsh: Cranky reporters should stop making the T sound like a crumbling rattrap

Should Amazon be concerned about Boston traffic, MBTA?

The T's not so bad and reporters just risk scaring away the giant retail companies that want to bring 50,000 jobs here, Hizzona tells MassLive.

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So proud to call this skilled leader Da Mayah.

Knowing full well Amazon isn’t coming here because of the decrepit infrastructure, Da Mayah obviously hasn’t enjoyed the 15 minutes it takes to go down Boylston from Mass Ave to the Common thanks to all of the TNC vehicles on the double and triple along the way. So he offers this tepid response so what passes for local punditry will forget the crap he’s already pulled that doomed any chance of Amazon coming here.

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Voting is closed. 32

Boy, here it comes:

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the one thing Bostonians can absolutely NOT tolerate is anyone trying to take away their right to be as cranky and negative as possible about everything.

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Voting is closed. 34

broken T broken promises

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So hey Mr. Mayor aside from being totally out of touch about the T, probably since you have never ridden it to and from work like many of us. BTW the orange line has had a service delay with a disabled train every day this week. It is just Fall doesn’t make me think good things about the Winter. The Marty Walsh canvasser did not want to talk last week when I said no I would not be voting for him. Neither have the six times they have called my house. So here a few problems. Reform the BRA you promised, What about the deal for Winthrop Sq? Work on the schools? Yep those suspended school leaders and your handling of the BLS issue were great! Add in your deaf ear to community concerns over traffic development and rental housing. Great job

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Marty "I'm a car guy" Walsh

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Marty "I'm a car guy" Walsh never takes the T. He and the governor and the head of the MBTA know less about the T combined than the average Bostonian.

The orange line takes forever just to go between Tufts and Back Bay. It will come to a complete stop for no reason in that stretch. I complained to the MBTA and they said it was signal problems. This has been going on for months. Just fix the signal problem!

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Before becoming mayor

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Marty took the Red Line from Savin Hill to his job at Beacon Hill every day. His predecessor most likely could not say that, which means his predecessor last took the Orange Line to work when it was elevated (assuming he didn't take the commuter rail. Come to think of it, it would have been the better commute from Readville.)

But I agree on the slow order by Back Bay. They need maintenance. Too bad it's not the City's responsibility.

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Marty took the T ??? That's news to a lot of people

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Even though Marty used to live literally a stones throw away from the staition, I never saw him take the T, ever. And when this subject came up before on Uhub, there was no one who said they ever saw him. I do know he used his big black SUV, even before he was Mayor.

Waq? Do you have any more details on Marty on the Red LIne? Thanks

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I swear I read this somewhere

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And after some searching, I'm wicked annoyed that I cannot track it down, so take that with a grain of salt, but ponder this: do you (or specifically did you before 2014) ride every Red Line train between Savin Hill and Park Street every morning 5 days a week? If so, did you check out every car of the train. Let's be honest, Walsh was kind of a nobody (much in the same way Menino was a nobody) before the election. I mean, were you at one time good friends with the guy enough to notice him on the train back in the day. Related, as I have noted this week on this website, I live a very short distance from Michelle Wu's house, yet I would not feel confident saying she never takes the Orange Line, even though in the 3 or so years she has lived out this way I've never seen her on the train.

I also once read an article about Representative Walsh working at the Star Market over by JFK/UMass station but can't find that either. And yes, I knew the guy when we were young, but it's been a long, long time since we've chatted.

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I don't live

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anywhere near her, but I have seen Michelle Wu with her boys on the T many times.

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Marty and the T, and Star Market

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To answer your questions Waq, in the late 90s and the 00s I took the T from Savin Hill to South Station (not Park St) M-F and often weekends. I knew who Marty was (he was my State Rep starting in the late 90s) , what he looked like, and even met him a couple of times when he was campaigning. Not only did I never see him on the T, but when this subject came up on Uhub a while ago , I asked around and I couldnt find anyone who ever saw him on the T. And no one on UHub at the time mentioned seeing him either. Marty did however sometimes campaign in front of the station, where I saw him a few times over the years.

I've been shopping at Star Morrissey snce it opened. It was Star, then Shaws, then changed back to Star. I never saw Marty there, either as a worker or a shopper. To be fair if it was before the late 90s, I didnt know who he was. But as far as I know, Marty has always been involved in the building trades, so it's probably not likely he worked at Star unless it was construction related.

If anyone ever saw Marty on the T, help us out here. Thanks

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I'm not going to retract what I wrote

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But I will not longer make the claim (that I do believe) that he took the T to the State House. I do stand by the Star Market story because it was just an odd story, too odd to be made up. The story was about the supermarket dating scene, and he was quoted with the point that he worked Friday nights at the deli. Being a recovering alcoholic, spending a week-end night at a supermarket sounds like a great choice, and he was making money in the process.

That said, the important thing isn't that he takes a mode of transportation, just that he understands the importance of all modes of transport. I get his remarks. They were not meant for local ears. His point was that the transportation network (all modes, including those Kinopio hates) is not as bad as people make it out to be. Now, if he said the same thing to Baker or Baker tried to sell that to those of us who take the T, yeah, that's wrong, but only because saying all is well means no investment in upkeep, which has lead us to where we are now. Oh, and the head of the T should take the T every day, but that person should be focused on that mode of transport.

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City could do things to

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City could do things to improve the overall transit network, though. The mayor of Everett woke up one day and demanded cones be put down on one of the most congested bus routes, creating a bus-only lane out of nothing and improving hundreds of peoples' commutes overnight. The city could push for signal priority, bus only lanes or even bus-only roads, put together grants to study service expansion (Where southern neighborhoods don't even get high speed service), or develop a fund for transit improvement that they hold developers to the way they have a fund for affordable unit minimums.

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Take Marty at his word. He is

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Take Marty at his word. He is a "car guy". He has said he doesn't use the T. Which means he doesn't have the experience or interest in representing a huge percentage of Bostonians.

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Orange Line Woes...

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Betwixt Tufts and Back Bay there appear to be several issues uniting into one clusterfuck:

- Leaving Tufts southbound there's the perennial track circuit fault (related to signals) which forces every car of a given train to "trip". There are at least a few motormen who have mastered overcoming the fault and thus can depart smoothly.

- The R.O.W. northbound has been in a tragicomical state for at least two years. Maybe even closer to three. The southbound side, not wanting to miss out, has had a speed restriction since at least the spring.

- Add to that a fleet of trains which have never had a complete mid-life overhaul since they arrived in 1981 (or 1979, in the case of 01200-01201 and a few other cars built before the 1980 strike at Hawker-Siddeley).

And don't even get me started on the Red Line 10-codes that have popped up in the last few months...

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The inbound Mass. Ave.- Back Bay tunnel

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Seems to have a magical effect on trains - on entiering the tunnel, the brakes seize up or something, emit a loud sigh and die, and then you sit there for a couple of minutes while the driver pumps them back to life or whatever it is she does with that handle/pump thing.

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yo soy el payaso!

I promise to visit every single school to see how to improve them, I've been fighting the Winthrop Boondoggle for 10 years (Just gave away 1.5 million dollars last week), I want to audit and dismantle the BRA, and I take the T and ride my Bike.

But I'm just a clown....

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Are you referring to the

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Are you referring to the federal level or state level projects that have a big impact on out city? Or are you referring to the city roads that the mayor can and does have control over?

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Damn it, Adam!

Why do you insist on reporting the truth?!? It's so annoying!

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I feel like he missed an

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I feel like he missed an opportunity to make his title rhyme like the rest of the T updates.

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How about...

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Walsh: Reporters should stop their cranky refrains
about all the problems with our mass transit trains.

or

Walsh: Grouchy journalists shouldn't be sayin'
what a huge mess the MBTA's in.

or

Walsh: Media types just refusing to see
how much everyone loves taking the T.

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Here's my question about Amazon

The regional economy is pretty, pretty good. The housing market is accordingly, kind of bananas. The city is already struggling to keep up housing supply needed even before we add a theoretical 50,000 employees. Could Boston really support this additional without a detrimental impact to the rest of the tech sector here? Lets say 75% of these people are already regional - that leaves us with 12,500 new people coming here. Assuming that everything else in the regional economy and housing market stays the same, that's a still lot of new people who competing for housing, etc... and not tenement Allston/Roxbury type housing (even if we didn't care about gentrification which we should somewhat) but good housing with good local schools, etc... Think Malden and Medford are getting too expensive now? Wait until there are 50,000 white collar jobs at Wonderland.

If we could magically know this opportunity would be available in 5-10 years, then that's ample time to fix regional transit infrastructure so Worcester, Springfield, Providence, Manchester would all be linked into Boston with quality high speed rail (like a world class city region) and then this would be no problem at all. But right now, I don't know that Boston needs or really should want Amazon here. Unless we have the time to grow the regional infrastructure in parallel to the new employees coming online.

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I feel like Marty just wants

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I believe Marty just wants something to add to his portfolio when he eventual runs for governor or congress.

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If they would electrify the

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If they would electrify the commuter rail lines and upgrade the MBTA signal system in order to get Amazon here then it would be worth it. These things should have been done a decade ago anyhow. I'm tired of choking on diesel fumes from the commuter trains while waiting for the orange line. It would be easy to fund. Just put up congestion tolls around Boston like they have in London. Baker and Walsh don't have the courage to stand up to the spoiled, entitled car drivers though.

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Congratulations

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I came here as an MBTA rider ready to call Marty out for downplaying the flaws of a commute that seems to get worse every day, and you managed to make him seem less out of touch and irritating by comparison. Congratulations! That was not easy, but by portraying complex phenomena as incredibly simple ("just upgrade a hundred-year-old subway system!"), making it all about you ("I'm tired of the ramifications of my choices!"), and managing to project onto someone else the "spoiled, entitled" characteristics you yourself just demonstrated, you've managed to do it.

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Wow. Where to start with your

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Wow. Where to start with your dumb post.

Have you ever left Massachusetts? No need to travel to the high speed rail paradise of Japan to find electric rails. Just go to Connecticut. You think we can't compete with Connecticut?!? Do you like asthma and lung cancer? Because diesel fumes cause those. So do car drivers. Also diesel trains are pathetically slow.

I'm spoiled for not wanting to be killed by lung cancer caused by car and diesel train emissions? I'm spoiled for wanting car drivers to cover their own costs for once in the history of this country? I'm spoiled for wanting American trains to not be embarrassingly slow compared to other countries?Kindly do society a favor and educate yourself before you ever comment again.

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You're being unrealistic by

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You're being unrealistic by saying "just electrify the commuter rail system" like it is as easy as flipping a switch. They can't even maintain the current system but you expect a switch like that to be easy? And you think it is the mayors job? It's a state job, maybe even federal on some portions of the track. If you don't like standing on the orange line platform breathing in diesel fumes just move so you can use a station that doesn't connect with the commuter rail.

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Ain't happening

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At least not anytime soon.

The MBTA did not electrify the NEC to New Haven -- Amtrak did -- and they own the wires and maintain them.. They also maintain the tracks and handle dispatch under agreement.

The MBTA does not own the tracks on the North Side. That is owned by PanAm/Guilford, a freight company.

The MBTA does own the tracks to Worcester.

However, it is unlikely the T would purchase any dedicated electric train sets that would be limited to what routes could be done. Electrify the whole thing, then maybe, but that is a crap load of money, environmental stuff, you name it.

Look at the crap show they just went through over cell towers.

For those who didn't live here when the NEC was electrified, there were plenty of groups, even in Boston, that opposed it because they believed that stray electrical fields would give them all cancer. It dragged the project on for extra time in every state between MA and NY. They even tried to stop all trains because of noise pollution, even though trains had been running on those tracks since the late 1800s. Seems they moved in while the Southwest Corridor (MBTA Orange Line) was being built and moved in when there were no trains. When they came back all hell broke loose.

Yeah... great idea. Not happening quickly.

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Uhhh … in the know?

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The MBTA did not electrify the NEC to New Haven -- Amtrak did -- and they own the wires and maintain them.. They also maintain the tracks and handle dispatch under agreement.

This is true, but other than some minor power constraints which were pre-designed in to be easy to upgrade, there's no reason the T couldn't run electrics tomorrow.

The MBTA does not own the tracks on the North Side. That is owned by PanAm/Guilford, a freight company.

Uh, no. All the north side is MBTA-owned except the stretch west of Fitchburg to Wachusett.

However, it is unlikely the T would purchase any dedicated electric train sets that would be limited to what routes could be done.

There are plenty of systems which have some electrified service and some diesel and they get along just fine. See all three systems in New York, Washington DC and Chicago.

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I'm pretty sure In the Know

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I'm pretty sure In the Know was speaking about the financial investment it would take to make the switch as well as the opposition from folks who live near the tracks, people who just like to protest and of course good old NIMBY-ism. And he is right, electrifying the commuter rail system here in MA would not be a speedy switch under the best of conditions. It could be done in an alternate reality where money and oppostion were not factors but we live in this reality where we face both.

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The system with electric

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The system with electric locomotives in Washington (MARC) will be replacing their 6 HHP-8 electric locomotives with new Siemens SC-44 diesel locomotives in 2018.

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Marty needs to go

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Being mayor is more than brushing shoulders with CEOs looking for handouts and keeping unions fed.

This administration has done nothing on expanding our transit infrastructure to accommodate the influx of new office/residential buildings, workers, and corporate HQs.

Then again they haven't done much of anything that benefits residents directly, except throwing them a property tax abetment increase and hoping they'd shut up.

How's that murder rate going Ma'hty?

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Me: Walsh should start riding the T

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If our mayor used the T for transportation, he would be able to intelligently respond to the media's reporting on the T. But he would rather spend taxpayer dollars having 4+ dedicated BPD officers drive him around in an SUV.

This is a "let them eat cake" moment for Marty.

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Mr. Mayor, With All Due Respect, It Has Crumbled.

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So that 45 minute "ride", which included stomach jerking, stop and go, from Harvard to South Station last Friday eve (oh, around 8:00pm ish when I left Harvard Square) due to ongoing signal problems that began hours before, is an example of excellent service?

I take the Red Line everyday Mr. Mayor. Been riding it regularly since the 1980s. Trust me. The system is an embarrassment. It is unreliable. It is crap.

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Ha ha!

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It's not like Amazon isn't going to come here and check out the T and find out for itself that it is inadequate.

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I think you ...

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.. give Amazon too much credit for efficiency.

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He's got a point...

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With the exception of a couple of cities which are raising taxes and building new transit infrastructure (LA is a great example), most cities with a 50-100 year old transit system are facing the same problems as Boston. At least transit is an option here unlike cities like Phoenix that don't have any.
I would think housing is a tougher nut to crack in the race to lure Amazon (or another similar large company).

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Chicago

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Chicago's system was a mess 10 years ago. A couple of derailments and nearly a quarter of the track was slow-ordered. So they started investing in the system. They've since gotten slow zones to 10% or less, much of that construction-related, and others mostly on lesser-used lines. Oh, and they are transparent of the where and why for every slow zone.

Now, it's worth pointing out that the CTA and the city are much more connected in Chicago than the T and Boston. But the mayor has a bully pulpit here. He could certainly use it. Or lead by example.

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So we check back in 10 years?

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You are a realist, Ari, which is better than some of the commenters here. I break the T problems down to track (tough to predict, but fixable in a short time frame) signals (takes longer to fix and need more investment) and rolling stock (takes a long time and lots of money to fix). Rolling stock should be resolved in the next 6 years, meaning maintenance is key.

Blaming the Mayor of Boston for the woes of the T is akin to blaming the mayors of Malden and Quincy for the same problems.

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Quick question

We can still crap on the mayor of Quincy for helping contribute to the Long Island fiasco, right? That's fair?

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Yes

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But even I can't keep foisting Boston's share of the blame on St. Thomas of Readville as the years go by.

And to be fair, by "the Mayor of Quincy," we are just talking about Phelan and Koch. When Tacky Chan gets elected mayor, it will get tougher. But Quincy the city is mostly to blame, so yeah, it's fair.

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Not so bad?

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As I sit here on the 4:55 commuter rail train, the dead engine is leaking coolant, so they said we'll be pushed at 6:25 from Rt. 128 station. Mayor said stop whining, but tell that to Mrs. Bugs Bunny.

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Yes

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Because the voters who live south of Route 128 will be key to the upcoming election.

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Wonder if there's a way to link the MBTA's subway

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and Commuter Rail Twitter feeds directly into Da Mayah's personal Twitter account? I'm sure after a couple of days of being barraged with all the alerts about delayed, cancelled, and broken trains, he may start to see the light.

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The mayor should have said

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It could be worse, you could have to ride the trains to Malden and Quincy stations which are real dumps.

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Walsh should be a better salesman

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Hey Amazon, we are spending $500 million a year on improving our system. In less than 10 years, our transit should be the envy of the country. And this is no pipe dream. We are 2-3 years into that plan, so if you are looking for a long term plan, this is the place to be. In fact if you move here, we'll have the money to make it even better.

Love

MARTY

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Half true

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While they recently are spending 500 million a year, they need to spend almost 750 million a year to maintain what they have and make positive improvements. So at the current spending, other shit will break when the current issues are gone.

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Clueless Tito

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Thinks that Community Preservation Act funds can be spent on bike infrastructure. No dice, bro. Housing, parks, and historic preservation. At least 10% on each. Infrastructure not eligible, thank god, or the suburbs would be spending all their CPA money on road repaving.

His bit about paid parking permits causing gentrification is a bit rich, too.

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Yup

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Because in a place like New York, the trains would be empty at 11 on a Saturday night, right?

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