Red Line is much needed and long overdue
To the Editor:
I have to say that I am disturbed and somewhat mystified by the near hysterical angst which continues to be expressed by many in Canton about the Red Line. Buzz words like “disaster,” “debacle” and “calamity” are used to describe this project; but nowhere have I heard any specific reasons to justify these kinds of alarmist terms.
It should be apparent to everyone that we have a grievously inadequate public transportation system in our city. Because of that, residents and commuters have no alternative but to use a motor vehicle to go about their business. The result is worsening gridlock on our streets, particularly during rush hours, worsening parking problems, streets that are more dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists, and increasing noise and contamination from the additional motor vehicles. An efficient and reliable rapid rail system is long overdue and desperately needed to address this worsening situation.
We now have a plan for such a system, the Red Line, running from the east side of our city to the west side. This plan has been many years in the making and has had input from nearly every conceivable stakeholder. Obviously, considering the extent and complexity of the plan and the many issues and interests involved, it will not please everyone. In fact, it is relatively easy to cherry-pick facts and figures from the various studies prepared in connection with this project to show that the plan is deficient in one way or another. But, the reality is that this is the only plan we have today—a plan prepared by expert land-planners, transportation specialists and traffic engineers over many years and the expenditure of millions of dollars, and now approved by the appropriate city, state and federal governmental agencies.
I, for one, a resident of Canton on Boston St since 1988, am very excited that, after the many years of planning and debate, the Red Line is now on the verge of becoming a reality. This is not only critically important for the development of a much-needed and long overdue reliable public transportation system for the city, but it will also be very beneficial for my neighborhood here in Canton. It will directly address the daunting parking problem we have been grappling with, by enabling folks to live with one or no car. Additionally, given the experience in other cities with new light rail systems, it should increase the value of our properties given the proximity of this new facility. And, by eliminating one lane of motor vehicle traffic during rush hour, it will significantly discourage commuter traffic on Boston Street. This means that we can now have dedicated bicycle lanes on Boston Street, and the light rail trains will be safer, quieter and cleaner than the motor vehicle traffic they replace and displace.