You call that a debate? Walsh, Jackson talk

In a city that thinks of itself sometimes as the Athens of America, surely we can have a real debate, where two candidates for a particular office can actually talk out issues.

That wasn't what we got tonight. The format of the "debate" between Marty Walsh and Tito Jackson at Hibernian Hall in Roxbury left no room for the candidates to really get into things. Only for one brief moment did they break out of the confines of the forum-style session, when they exchanged a couple of angry barbs over last year's Black Lives Matter at Boston Latin imbroglio.

Still, as they did at an even more disjointed forum in Jamaica Plain last week - where they weren't even on the state at the same time - the incumbent mayor and the city-councilor challenger did set out their basic goals and differences.

Walsh opened by calling Boston a city of "hopes and dreams." He said that he constantly thinks about kids at the Lenox Street housing development and what he can do to help them. "We need to make sure Boston is for all of us."

Jackson opened by declaring "Marty Walsh has made promises he did not keep," has forgotten the people of Roxbury and is not doing enough to ensure Boston remains open to all. He cited the Olympics as one example, and said that he, not Walsh, has led the debate on everything from immigration - Jackson said he support sanctuary status and an immigrinat legal defense fund long before Walsh - to body cameras.

Keeping Boston neighborhoods safe

Jackson said he would work to ensure that "a life lost on Blue Hill Ave. means the same as a life lost on Commonwealth Ave., said the city needs to stop crime before it can begin by providing more summer and yearround jobs for young people, with special attention to young men at risk of becoming criminals. And he said the police and fire departments would get more respect if they looked more like the neighborhoods they represent, by hiring far more minority officers and firefighters. He said he would have the police department work even harder to solve the 96% of non-fatal shootings he said go unsolved.

Crime "is certainly one of the things that keeps me up at night," Walsh said, adding he starts every day talking to Police Commissioner William Evans. He said BPD this year has solved 21% of the non-fatal shootings, but acknowledged "there are still too many mothers being notified their kids are being killed.<.h3>

Body cameras

Walsh said he and BPD will decide over the next couple of months whether to equip police officers with body cameras, following the recent conclusion of a study involving 100 officers. But he said cameras alone aren't enough - trust is vital. He said that comes through such things as regular meetings with neighborhood leaders and clergy and regular "peace walks." He said the number of excessive-force complaints has dropped dramatically. He said 49% of the cadets at the Police Academy this year are people of color.

Jackson said he didn't think BPD even needed a pilot - "We simply should have adopted body cameras." Boston would be far from the forefront in using them, he said, adding cameras also helps officers tell their side of a story. Like Walsh, he said they're not alone by themselves - he called for a strong civilian review board with subpoena power.

Bicycle safety

Walsh said "Boston has done some incredible things on bikes, but we're not quite there yet." Too many people still don't think bikes belong on the streets, when they do, he said. He pointed to his championship of Vision Zero, which is a series of traffic calming and other measures aimed at eliminating all vehicle-related crash deaths by 2030.

Jackson said Boston is underfunding bicycle infrastructure - he said Boston spends just $5 per resident on it, compared to $15 in New York and $75 in San Francisco. He suggested using money now collected from parking meters to pay for better bike infrastructure.

Economic development, especially for residents of Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan

Jackson said he would start by dismantling the BRA and its urban-renewal powers and replace it with a professional planning organization that puts residents, rather than developers, first. He said he would use the power of Boston's $2-billion annual municipal purse to hire more companies run by local residents, in particular women and people of color.

Walsh said Bostonians should be proud that 60,000 new jobs have come to the city over the past four years, but acknowledged that unemployment remains higher in those three neighborhoods than the rest of the city and that provoding growth without displacement is vital. But change is coming. He pointed to the first skyscraper proposed for Roxbury and said it would help bring wealth to the neighborhood.

Bringing growth to Roxbury while letting longtime residents stay

Walsh pointed to 9,000 new units of low- and moderate-income housing in the city. He pointed to efforts by City Hall to help small businesses in the neighborhood. Voter approval of the Community Preservation Act means $20 million more a year for affordable housing. But he said the city needs to put more pressure on banks to loan money to residents. He said only 10% of private mortgage loans in the city are to people of color. "That's a problem" - as is the loss of federal funds for the city's housing projects, he said.

Jackson said that's not enough, that Boston is becoming too expensive for normal people. He said he would increase the minimum required number of affordable units developers would have to build from 13 to 25%. And he said two-thirds of the units in any projects built on land acquired from the city would have to go to low and moderate-income residents. He called for creation of at least 1,000 new "home ownership" units for low and moderate income residents - saying home ownership remains a key way for people to build wealth and stay in their communities.

How high should we jump to attract Amazon?

Walsh said that the city didn't actually give GE anything - just breaks on future taxes. In fact, he said, GE paid the city tens of millions for education and job training. He did not say what he would offer Amazon specifically, but said it would prove a vital asset to Boston, because it would provide good jobs across the economic spectrum - and that he would work to ensure Bostonians are trained for such jobs and that the jobs go to Bostonians. Even without Amazon, building permits are at record numbers in Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan, and that's a good sign, he said. "We have a good story to tell in Boston."

Jackson said GE's tax breaks represent real money and noted Walsh wanted the city to help pay for a helipad for the company. "We should allow Amazon to come in here with nothing but a smile and a pat on the back," and said the city should concentrate its money on growing its small businesses. He noted that GE has been cutting jobs since it announced its relocation to Boston.

Boston Public Schools: Moving forward or backwards

Backwards, Jackson said. Walsh's boasts of new money invested in schools is matched by cuts in schools. He vowed to hire a nurse and psychologist for every school, said students deserve lead-free drinking water and a K-12 computer-science curriculum to better prepare them for today's economy. "We need to be building schools instead of closing schools in the city of Boston," he added.

Walsh acknowledged there's still a lot of work to do, but pointed to record investments in BPS, said 46 schools now have the state's highest or second highest ratings. He said BPS is planning a $1-billion investment in new school facilities and has added more K-1 seats and increased special-education funds.

Madison Park High School

Jackson said Worcester proves a city can provide a quality vocational education. "Boston absolutely needs to step up" and to work with local business on the sort of training students need for today's economy.

Walsh said he inherited a school that had gone through four headmasters in four years, but that the school now has stable leadership.

Blacks feeling shut out of the Boston success story

Jackson said this is the single issue that convinced him to run - that 40% of Walsh's votes came from neighborhoods of color in a city with record amounts of construction and yet blacks are consistently overlooked in jobs. He said he held up a new hotel on Melnea Cass Boulevard until he and the developer could work out an agreement in which all workers at the hotel would make at least $18 an hour and that at least 51% of the jobs there would be given to Boston residents and people of color. He said he would create an "anchor institution procurement office" to convince local colleges and other institutions to step up their hiring and procurement in Boston.

Walsh pointed to the including of "innovation space" in the Bolling Building in Dudley Square as an example of his attempts to lift up places such as Roxbury. And he pointed to the construction of the new Dearborn STEM Academy in Roxbury - the first new high school in Boston in 22 years.

But, still, Boston is now majority minority

He said city hiring of people of color and women when he took office was abysmal. He said half his cabinet consists of people of color and that he specifically hired John Barros, formerly of the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, to head up his economic development efforts.

Jackson said the city isn't doing enough, that Walsh has stopped sending the city council diversity numbers and that a cop who made a racists video still has a job. "That is absolutely unacceptable."

Decreasing Boston's reputation as the most segregated city in the country.

Jackson again pointed to housing, said the city needs to do more to building housing that more people can actually afford, at a time when half Boston's residents make $35,000 or less and when rich foreign investors are buying up so much of the new units coming online downtown.

Walsh said anybody who wants to see how the city's doing in ensuring a diverse workforce can find the numbers on the city Web site. He said it's time to stop limiting new low-income housing to just Dorchester, Mattapan and Roxbury; low-income housing should be built in other neighborhoods as well.

Making Boston less unwelcoming for blacks

Walsh said he's been very outspoken on the issue of race, said he has consistently tried to get Bostonians to talk about the issue and said he fully understands athletes who are taking a knee as a protest against police brutality. "Racism does exist," he said. "If you don't deal with the past, you can't move forward in the future."

Walsh said he has instituted diversity offices and discussions across City Hall and recalled a conversation with a black employee after the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore - the man told him that when his son was going for a driver's license, he told him that if he's ever pulled over by police he should immediately get his wallet out and put it on the dash where the officer could see it. Walsh said he would never even think of having to do that. "We know there's a problem of race in our city and we have to deal with it," he said.

Jackson said Walsh has failed to lead on the issue. He pointed to the BLS issue last year, said Walsh at first refused to do anything at all "and there was a crisis." He said Walsh vetoed a city commission on black men. And "it's unacceptable build a Martin Luther King statue when you cut funding for the Martin Luther King School in Boston."

Walsh said he wishes he would have gotten involved in the BLS issue sooner, but accused Jackson of refusing to respond to at least two e-mails from the school's headmaster at the time.

Neighborhoods: 

Free tagging: 

Comments

Walsh gave us half a debate

..but I thought it was a good. Walsh agreed to a two hour debate and by showing up late and contacting Tito two hours before the event to say he'd be leaving 1/2 hour early, we got 1 hour not 2 hours.

Walsh arrived 26 minutes late and stopped 30 minutes early so instead of a two hour debate 6-8 p.m. it was a one hour debate 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Afterward, Marty stuck around for photos.

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Transcript

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At what WebLink would a Boston Mayoral Debate Transcript be available for hard of hearing folks/for ESL English Second Language folks/for all folks?

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Since it's a campaign event

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Since it's a campaign event and not a city event, no one is legally required to provide access. It's total bullshit that the ADA doesn't mandate it, and that candidates don't take any initiative to be acccessible.

Thank you Adam for your great reporting!!!

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Youtube already does machine

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Youtube already does machine speech recognition of videos you upload. Of course it's not perfect, and they practically bury the feature, but every year it gets better.

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What's old is new again

My aunt went to secretarial school after high school and worked in offices her whole life. She didn't have a computer at home but when she retired about a dozen years ago she finally got a laptop since she wouldn't have access at work any longer. She was having a few issues with getting online at her home so i went by to get her up and running again and give her some troubleshooting tips. She grabbed a notebook and documented my advice in shorthand which I got a kick out of.

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I tried to work with one the

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I tried to work with one the candidates to use Artificial Intelligence the whole thing could have been translated into 4 languages. but theyre scared

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Diversity = Inequality

Paradox of diversity campaign is that it will inevitably result in more poor black people in an area of skyrocketing wealth. Rich Democrats are very conservative on tax issues but ok with some conscience-easing payouts/programs.

Tito runs from the left, but really there's not much of an voter base for that. Poor black people get a lot of attention. As soon as black people get a professional income they are moving out of here.

Very little for a professional-level family (90-150K) in our city politics.

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Living in the projects is a great deal

Tito hoping for a blast from voters who can't use what he's selling. Why would you want your income raised, the first thing you're going to have to do is move 90 minutes away from your job. Stay in Villa Victoria and work under the table, people next door are paying $1m for that location. Why change?

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I'd love a populist

Show me one.

Show me the left in Boston. There isn't one. And if there isn't one here then Massachusetts Progressivism is a fraud.

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I like having a life

I've blabbed so many crazy things on this website I wouldn't get elected to the student council.

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Sweet of you to say

Maybe I should. It's good to be the king. But I hate it when people agree with me. Knock it off

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Huh?

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For the record, I know numerous black people who live in the 'inner city' who make six figure salaries, it's not as uncommon as you think. And given that home values haven't totally ballooned in those areas (for the most part) a lot of them have bought homes, and are gaining equity. And those homes will only increase in value; 2008-9 notwithstanding. (The problem is creating generational wealth but that's a topic for another day).

And also, poor is poor. Doesn't matter if you're black or white, because there are poor whites in Dorchester too.

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bringing good economy to Dorchester etc

I was responding to the roundup of the discussion about bringing the strong economy to Dorchester mattapan and Roxbury.

There's going to be a donut hole where moving off benefits will not be enough to move into home ownership, and moving to the burbs will be better for your housing and school choice.

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how many

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how many

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BPDA

Did Walsh have any response to Tito's proposal to dismantle the BPDA (formerly BRA)? Such as justification for why he broke his own previous campaign promise to dismantle same?

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Nope

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He didn't say a thing about it.

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Walsh didn't welch on his

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Walsh didn't welch on his promise. He followed through on his pledge to get rid of the BRA... by changing its name.

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I am very unclear as to the

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I am very unclear as to the uproar on having Amazon come here . What is the problem you snobs?

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Most of us are fine with it

Most of us are fine with it coming here, we just don't want want to massively subsidize it with tax breaks and other "incentives"

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Why?

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I'm genuinely curious why people take that position.

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Corporate Welfare

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Why should we give a pile of scarce public resources to a corporation with plenty of their own money?

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Because

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In the end , if a few million is what drives this decision. You are in trouble.

When you are hiring tens of thousands of employees and investing billions of dollars, the few million we throw at them is a drop in the ocean. If they think that makes a difference, you are dealing with liars or idiots and I assure you Amazon doesn't hire idiots at that level.

You wanna be here, these are the rules. Level playing field.

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Walsheconomics

Of course per Walsh, that's not really giving them money. Because reasons?

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Great write up

Really appreciate it. There are more typos than usual FYI so you might want to give it a quick re-read.

Walsh is what he is but I'm just not buying what Tito is selling in terms of anything that he would actually get done if elected. Two disappointing choices.

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So dumb

There were four candidates for mayor at the first primary. Are these then the only four people who can have a valid opinion on the quality of the candidates? That's literally what you are implying and I'd love to see an expanded explanation on your 'thinking'.

But no, I'm sure you're right - my failure to take time away from my family and job to take on a heavily entrenched mayor who represents the old school political machine in Boston totally means I shouldn't hope for a better set of choices for our city.

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So is

the extent of your civic participation complaining on a blog? What are you doing to change things?

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No, it isn't the extent of my civic participation

However, my personal efforts to support local candidates I like are essentially irrelevant against someone who has the backing of the dominant political forces in the city - unions/trades, city employees/patronage and the local party.

Walsh is popular enough - the polling shows that. It doesn't mean I have to like him personally or think he's a very good mayor.

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Walsh

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"But he said the city needs to put more pressure on banks to loan money to residents."

NO! This is a reason why there was a housing crash in 2008.....

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No it wasn't

That's a right wing canard. I've heard Limbaugh-bots say that there was a housing crash only because "The Democrats forced them to give housing loans to poor people and minorities no matter what!" and cited the Community Reinvestment Act as the reason. Go ahead and read the regulations, it says no such thing.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/12/chapter-30

It was primarily the repeal of portions of Glass-Steagall signed late in the Clinton administration that broke the wall between banking (i.e. lending) and investment that allowed the crisis to happen. You then had lenders who could make money off of the loans and then bundle them up to sell them thereby getting rid of risks associated with defaults. This in turn led to a lot of shady lending activity (e.g. lenders lying about incomes for applicants or pushing them to riskier AMR loans that paid more).

The ratings agencies were not doing their due diligence on these bundled loans and gave them high ratings and the investment firms bought them by the boatload thinking they were "safe" investments. There were other factors too that fueled the real estate bubble (more in the "sand" states than here).

Though there were programs that were meant to help first time home buyers that were swept up in this maelstrom those programs were very far removed from the cause of it.

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Tito the NIMBY

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Jackson said that's not enough, that Boston is becoming too expensive for normal people. He said he would increase the minimum required number of affordable units developers would have to build from 13 to 25%.

Tito the NIMBY would strangle any new housing in this city if this were enacted. He either doesn't understand housing policy or doesn't care.

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75% of the housing being built is luxury housing for investment

13,000 units thus far, of which about 1,380 are affordable and 2,000 are restricted to prices attainable by middle-income households and [the remaining 9,620 units built (74%) are luxury housing.]

Mayoral challenger Tito Jackson is among those who says that production has gone awry, with new luxury condo buildings purchased as financial speculation tools, not housing. In one example, buyers from Greece, Hong Kong and the Middle East have swooped in to claim dozens of condos in Millennium Partners’ tower.

“It’s unsustainable to continue to build $2 million and $3 million condos all over the city of Boston that no one is actually occupying as owners,” Jackson said during a July JP Progressive forum. “In the Millennium Tower — only 20 percent of the units in that building are taking homestead, or are owner occupied. These buildings in many ways are not housing, they’re actually investment vehicles for uber-rich people all over the world, and that is unacceptable.”

Too much housing remains for the top-earners, he added in a recent Banner conversation.

“The build-it-and-they-will-come mentality is flawed, short-sighted, and pours gasoline on the fire of gentrification,” Jackson told the Banner. “87 percent of housing in Boston is being built for the top 25 percent of earners.”

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oh FFS

Anyone have a great suggestion for a strong write-in candidate?

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Doug Bennett

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Doug Bennett

Instead of replacing all the signs in the city that say Marty Walsh he will just staple a handwritten made from driftwood Doug sign over them. Eco-Friendly.

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My Two Cents

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I watched the debate on BNN. After all the clamoring for more debates from Tito's side and avoiding them from Marty's side, I had assumed that this was an area of strength for Councilor Jackson and expected him to shine. Instead he seemed nervous and awkward- why was he holding the lapel mic? He got in a few good lines that he had obviously prepared, but the rest of the time he was stammering and poorly spoken.

Not what I expected at all.

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marty begged off

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Marty Walsh is weak. He's had a rough four years of his own making. Tito is offering solutions in housing, which is supposed to be a Walsh strength and isn't, and in leadership on issues that affect the middle class and poor not the wealthy and developers.

Last night people laughed out loud when Marty told them building a new tower would bring wealth into the community "we've heard that before." I think Boston voters are too smart for the BS lines Walsh is slinging and he does that when he doesn't have a good story to tell.

Tito went at Marty's policies with better policy and went at Marty's mismanagement by talking about his approach to management.

If a sufficient number of voters who want change this November come out, Tito can beat Marty. He's a longshot for sure but let's face it, this race didn't really start until last night and Tito took round 1 as Marty begged off.

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Really?

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Maybe I couldn't hear that because of the way he said "um" roughly 40, 000,000 times.

And, anecdotal, but I live work and spend 99% of my time in the city. Everyone I know is supporting Marty. I had one friend, a teacher and poc who was with Tito until last night, and she texted me after that she was coming over to the "dark side."

But as we learned last November- we never really know who people will vote for until election day!

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Menino, Walsh, Jackson

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People called Walsh's predecessor Mumbles. He never lost a re-election campaign though.. People knew he had wisdom because they listened to his ideas not the malaprops that popped out when he chose the wrong word. And for the record, Walsh is the rhetorical equivalent of a blocked punt.

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Wai, what?

"Tito is offering solutions in housing"

What are they again? Rent control and 25% affordable housing requirements? Those are proposals but actually very far from solutions.

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What solutions? The problem

What solutions? The problem is a housing shortage. Tito's "solution" would bring housing construction to a screeching halt.

"Housing delayed is housing denied"

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Take a walk

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down the Mass Ave bridge during the evening rush now that it gets dark by about 6:15.

Then see if you can still tell me with a straight face that you think bicycles and and automobiles belong on the same roadway at the same time. I recently did just that. Here's a run-down of what I saw:

Cyclists on their phones.

Cyclists not wearing helmets.

Cyclists wearing dark clothing.

Cyclists with no lights.

Cyclists with distacting rapidly flashing lights as opposed to steady lights.

Cyclists going too slow, causing other cyclists to swerve into the right-most car lane to pass them.

Cyclists not yielding to motor vehicle traffic before swerving into the right-most car lane to pass them.

And as a treat for Swirly: a few days ago when I was waiting for the light to turn at Comm Ave and Warren Street, a cyclist (young, male, without helmet, without reflective clothing) sneaks up along the double-yellow in the middle of the road, and swerves right in front of the car ahead of me (who's first at the intersection), and goes merrily on his way literally one second before the light changes. Had the light changed early, that would have been two seriously unhappy dudes and it would have been one hundred and ten percent the fault of the idiot on two wheels.

If there were 50 drivers in the Boston metro area who drove their cars the way I see 50 percent of cyclists ride their bikes, 2030 would be the monthly body count, not a slogan.

So no: cars and bikes do not belong on the same road. Separate them, ban one, ban both, build new bridges, knock down houses and build new roads, but please don't perpetuate the fiction that two tons of metal at 25mph+ that moves in straight lines and takes scores of feet to stop and a hundred fifty pounds of flesh and aluminum that can turns on a dime and frequently gives into the temptation to do so belong anywhere near eachother.

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cycletracks

Bicyclists want tracks that separate cars and bikes with a physical barrier so that bike riders are not at risk of injury and death from car accidents, just as pedestrians have infrastructure like sidewalks, curbs, crosswalks and signaling to keep them safe from injury and death from auto collisions.

I read that 80% of trips less than 4 miles in Amsterdam are made on bicycle. It's an older city than Boston.

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The rebuild of the Mass Ave bridge should have had cycletracks

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Once upon a time, it had one lane each way with a lane on each side blocked to motor travel.

Surprisingly, there weren't traffic problems at all.

Then they ignored the suggestion of including the bike tracks in the rebuild because Boston couldn't do what other cities already had!

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Amsterdam

Also interestingly Amsterdam has recently moved to limit the amount of tourist targeting stores in the central canal area to the benefit of the residents which is a bold move.

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Oooh

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Anecdata.

Notice how you didn't notice:
motorists on phones
motorists with windows rolled up and stereo on
motorists running lights
motorists blocking intersections

Selective anecdata - but we know already that you can't deal in any way with science, data, statistics or reality.

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OK, I'll play

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A motorist on a phone is bad, but safety being a mutual responsibility, let's consider the worst case of a motorist on a phone and a cyclist on a phone on the Mass Ave bridge.

A motorist on a phone is far less likely to go left or right because one hand is hold up a phone to his ear. He's also less physically impaired from putting on the breaks unless he's got his hands at 10 and 2 and hold the phone to his head with his feet. And even though he's potentially distracted by the conversation, the worst he'd do on the bridge is rear-end someone. Monetary damage yes, death unlikely.

A cyclist holding up the phone to his ear is equally distracted, but also less balanced, and now has at least one hand off the breaks. And if he has to swerve, he's done.

Having the stereo on and the windows rolled up does not impede your ability to see out front or hear emergency vehicles. No sale on that one.

Running lights? Saw plenty of cyclists running lights. Did not see any motorists running lights that night. Hard to do in city traffic in a car. Easy as pie on a bike.

Blocking intersections? Rare. Even around here. Bikes being in intersections when they shouldn't be (like when crossing traffic and pedestrians have green) happens all the damn time.

If "science" is whatever makes you feel good about yourself, sure, why not. If "science" is actual science, then you're not even wrong.

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[citations needed]

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[citations needed]

You don't bike. You don't know how cycling works. You need to provide proof of your assertions. You need to reconcile your opinions with reality that cars take up far too much space and drivers kill people (and bikes don't).

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You're right, I don't bike

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Because while I've driven a car in Boston for 10 years and know hundreds of people who've racked up thousands of road-years without suffering or causing bodily injury to anyone, of the ten or so people I know who bike regularly, more than half of them have got themselves hurt on their bikes in half that time.

Citation needed yourself. Who are you to say cars take up too much space. From an engineering perspective, they take up exactly the right amount of space. Don't confuse your own political biases and chips on your shoulder with objective facts.

And you know, cars don't kill people. People kill people. An in the particular case of motorists and cyclists, 90% of the time the cyclists get themselves killed through inattentiveness, recklessness, and downright stupidity and magical thinking.

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I bike.

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I've been biking for 40 years now.

And I agree with a lot of what Roman has said here, with notable the exception that they "don't belong" on the same roads. Infrastructure is the best solution, but not feasible in all locations. Cyclists need to do a much better job of maintaining their own safety. Theres has been a quite noticeable shift towards the dangerous and insane in just the last three years. Things I would NEVER dream of doing on a bike are now things I other cyclists doing daily.

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Bike lane BS

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Bike lanes are NOT an important issue. They should be secondary to other transit issues, particularly BUS LANES, bus stops, and giving buses priority at intersections via the stop lights. Way, way more people use them than bikes. Pedestrian safety and general walkability, things like the small handicap ramps that are at most intersections now, are other, higher priorities as well. The city keeps adding bike lanes that squeeze existing traffic and make it even harder for buses to make their stops. No bike lanes should be placed along a bus route unless absolutely necessary. It is just not safe.

Agree with everything Roman said above.

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sad and true

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I find it funny otherwise progressive people constantly talk about bike lanes and the trains when they say transit, but ignore busses, because the stereotypical person riding the bus is a stinky poor.

bus infrastructure can be improved immediately with a little road paint and some willingness to ticket. but nobody gives a fuck. they'd rather fight about imaginary connector rings and elevated bike lanes and monorail pods up and down the greenway than help people in neighborhoods without trains get to work.

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Fake news, sad

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Did you make that strawman up all by yourself or did you have help?

You might want to come down to Roslindale, where a "progressive" group is waging an active fight for both a dedicated bike path between Roslindale Square and Forest Hills (two, actually, one through the Arboretum and one on Washington Street) AND a dedicated bus lane on Washington. I'm making the assumption (probably gravely mistaken, though) that you actually know why these would be really important to both yuppies and the less well off people who live along Washington.

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I live in roslindale and

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I live in roslindale and suffer that washington stretch every day, on the bus, because I don't own a car and biking that road is an invitation to massive head trauma. the neighborhood folks pushing for a bus lane are flipping heroes. it's ridiculous that this should have to be an "active fight" to get simple, easy, logistically possible improvements made, and all because the political powers that be - the subject of your article here, dude - are too busy paying lip service about trains to finance bros and techies taking the red line into cambridge to give a fuck about anyone in a less hip, more brown neighborhood.

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Squeeze existing traffic?

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You mean "keep people in line".

The best possible thing for all purposes: GET PEOPLE OUT OF CARS.

Cars are the problem Cars are not the solution to anything. Fix transit. Fix roadways for less wasteful and spacehogging modes. Tame driver behavior with infrastructure. Improve pedestrian access.

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Not the city's job to "keep people in line"

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It's the city's job to make it easy for people to go about their activities in an orderly and timely fashion.

I'm sorry (not sorry) if the idea of people getting from point A to point B on their own time and on their own schedule is offensive to you if that distance is too far too walk, but that's your opinion, as distinct from everyone else's reality.

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Which people

A lot of neighborhoods would argue the city doesn't care enough about how residents can easily go about their activities and accommodate the commuters from Newton, Brookline, Cambridge, Quincy, etc...

I'd be very interested to know for sure but I'd guess nearly an equal amount of people bike across the MA Ave bridge as drive.

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Shouldn't matter

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because a properly planned and managed city would be able to accommodate the needs residents who pay taxes and expect services and commuters who patronize business and whose employers pay taxes alike.

No one wins when there are sides. Everyone loses. The city residents lose a tax base that pays for their stuff, city businesses lose money, suburb residents lose time, and everyone is worse off because some kid (or someone with the mental age of a kid) decides that cars are icky so we'll make it harder for people who need to use them.

Literally every other metro area in the country manages to not pit people who live on one side of the city line against people who live on the other over silly stuff like making sure people can get to and from work on time and without stress. LA builds freeways and trains and bus lanes. New York has extensive rail connections. Philly has highways and parking and all-electrified commuter rail. Houston and Salt Lake and Seattle are building out their trains.

Boston is the exception, for no reason other than sheer pettiness and parochialism. Not something to be proud of.

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Nice alternative facts

http://www.businessinsider.com/13-us-cities-worst-traffic-2017-5/#2-san-...

Seattle, New York, LA - all have worse traffic than here.

Of course freeways are bad for residents

http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-me-freeway-pollution/

You'll get no argument from me that the regional public transportation infrastructure needs improvement - that's the MBTA's not the City of Boston's responsibility. Hilarious that you laud Houston for building a rail system - something that they can do and Boston can't because, well, we already have one whereas they are starting at zero.

https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/news/transportation/2016/07/...

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Out of context

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Less space and lanes make vehicles of all kinds move more slowly, especially buses.

The city does not seem to be focused at all on buses, but is on bikes. Witness the initial plan for the North Washington Street bridge, which had a bike lane but nothing for buses until people complained.

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Simple reason for that

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No room to put additional bus lanes.

Often plenty of room for a 4' wide bike lane.

Really is that simple.

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Plenty of room

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Just have to pay for it. In the particular case of Mass Ave, you can drop the parallel parking. You will have to make up for it by building a garage, which costs money, but there's plenty of room to do that the whole length of Mass Ave if there was will to spend money were there instead of wasting it elsewhere.

But no. Bike lanes are cheap. Not that many people ride bikes compared to buses and cars, putting in bike lanes slows down everyone. But hey, you get to pander to a certain demographic while screwing over lots of other people in a way that's subtle enough you can pretend they're being petty when they complain. What's not to like?

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Pay for it?

Cyclists pay plenty of taxes - income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes.

Motorists are the ones who don't pay their fair share.

Build a garage? Um, no. We need to reduce the number of cars in the Commonwealth and in Boston to get rid of congestion and emissions problems. Just because the costs of pollution are externalized doesn't mean they aren't there.

Why do you have a problem with people using highly efficient means of transport that protect health on their own time when it is too far to walk? Oh - because you are really lousy at science and prefer to believe/worship four-wheeled idols instead.

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We all pay plenty of taxes

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But drivers and users of pubic transit pay specific fees related to their choice of transport. Gasoline taxes, tolls, fares. Not bikers.

The priority should be PUBLIC, MASS transit, over private, individual transit. Buses are in the first category, bikes and cars in the second.

Some people can't drive. Many can't bike. Pretty much everyone can get on the bus.

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Lousy at science?

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Is that the hot new insult these days?

OK, well, um, let's see here...You're lousy at...Fourier analysis and modular arithmetic!

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There was room on the bridge

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The city just hadn't added it until people complained.

Let me say again: BIKE LANES AND BUS ROUTES SHOULD NOT BE ON THE SAME ROADWAYS!

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