When transportation officials say 'We just have to do it,' they're talking about roads, not the T

The state Department of Transportation will spend $54 million and periodically shut the Big Dig to replace those crappy light fixtures.

"We just have to do it," state Transportation Secretary Richard Davey said, to which Dan Kennedy asks:

How come no one said that about preserving #MBTA service?

State House steps occupied.

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Let me guess....

Because lights fall on people, and people die, and/or we end up with multi-million dollar lawsuits? Just a guess.

This goes back to something isaacg has been bringing up a lot with the T, something to the effect of "Will it take a major lawsuit for the T to start getting their act together?". (apologies to isaacg if I didn't get this right).

Very close - but I have asked whether it will take death(s).

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Thanks for the shout out, merlinmurph -

That's the idea. I have specifically been asking whether it would take death to get the State House to notice and act (as another commenter has pointed out, lawsuits are apparently not enought to move things up there).

Unfortunately, the history here is not comforting - I think that this zeal to replace lights in the tunnels is a direct result of state officials not wanting to become the next Matt Amorello after poor Melina Del Valle was killed by the falling panel.

So the specific question, I guess, is will we have to wait until people die on the Red Line tunnel between Park and DTX before the T gets in there and works to prevent the cause of these recurring fires? (Of course, the question can be broadened to other locations where the T is not adequately maintaining its facilities.

I think that one thing that can be done that might help would be to let Governor Patrick along with the "leaders" in the Legislature know that in the event of such a calamity, they will not be permitted to let the blame run downhill to Davey or lower (as Romney did to Amorello) - that they will be held accountable themselves because this (unlike the Big Dig accident) can be traced back to their conscious and affirmative decisions to inadequately fund the T.

$$$

Because the repair funds are coming from the settlement paid by the companies who borked the construction of the Big Dig to begin with? If they can figure out the chain of ownership from the now-defunct company who manufactured the lights in the first place, the state will sue them as well.

If there was a pot of money sitting somewhere that was already earmarked for T repairs, I'm sure it would be getting used, too.

Like how they got reimbursed

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For all those concrete ties that were supposed to last 50 years and barely made it for 10.

Oh wait, the state folded like a wet noodle in court.

T vs. Commonwealth

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I believe that was the T folding like a wet noodle, no? Did the Commonwealth participate in/lead that suit? Was the AG's office involved or did the T farm it out to outside counsel?

It also has to do with the

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It also has to do with the fact that Americans feel that they are entitled to drive anywhere, anytime, no matter what. It's funny, as I watched the T protest on the news last night, my gut reaction was to think, "Who the hell do they think they are demanding that the T not raise prices one penny." And then I got all cranky about how entitled everyone is these days and had a drink. But in the light of day your average red-blooded American vehicle driver is the most entitled, spoilt little crybaby ever to walk the planet compared to those kids sitting around outside the State House. Let's tax gasoline to pay for the MBTA and fix this entire mess. Or maybe the state can't do that?

Yes, what a bunch of spoiled

Yes, what a bunch of spoiled entitled brats working Americans are. Thinking they should be able transport themselves to and from work to earn money to feed their families and pay their rents. How wretchedly uncivilized of them! How dare we not all be heir to fortunes so that we may be people of leisure free to harshly judge the working class who are sullying up our country with their ulgy roads and silly cars which they drive themselves of all the simpleton low class nerve. Let them eat cake!

You're right!

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We shouldn't be telling people to pay their fair share. We should be buying everyone a free BMW and begging them to drive everywhere. Gas costs shouldn't burden folks, free gas for all! And if the roads get too crowded, we should gladly pave over our entire countryside so that nobody ever has to sit in traffic, ever. We'll pass a law so that every business must provide enough free parking for anyone who might ever show up. I hear there's some derelict old "historic" buildings downtown just waiting to be razed and turned into parking garages.

You must be some kind of communist if you don't believe in free gas, free roads, and free parking for all.

Let's be fair....

Not free -- just heavily subsidized -- while demanding that public transportation (mostly) support itself.