Boston’s “Urban Plan” was a disaster, but so were the projects that preceded it, according to a new report.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has put the blame squarely on Gov.
Deval Patrick and the Massachusetts Department, which oversees the Urban Growth Initiative.
“The plan was a big mistake.
It was a plan that was poorly executed, that was incomplete,” said Tom O’Donnell, a professor at Harvard Law School who specializes in transportation policy.
“It was a terrible mistake, and we’re going to have to get back to the drawing board.”
In April, the state’s transportation commissioner released a scathing report that said the Boston Public Transportation Authority was planning to build a new bus line and light rail station in the suburbs, and that the plan was to build the new line at a cost of $2.7 billion, which was far above the $2 billion the state had originally budgeted.
In the report, the Transportation Department noted that it had not spent a single penny of the $1.8 billion in the budget to build or upgrade existing public transportation infrastructure in Boston.
The report also detailed the problems that resulted from the “Massachusetts Urban Project” as it evolved from an initial proposal to the final plan.
The plan was meant to improve access to jobs and education, to encourage walkability and mobility, and to improve quality of life.
The department had been looking at the possibility of adding a new light rail line between South Station and Fenway Park, but instead the agency decided to build two new stations and to create a new transit hub at a site near the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, according the report.
In an effort to boost commuter mobility, the agency also put together a transportation advisory committee to look at how to build transit projects and make sure that existing ones did not become overruns.
“This plan was never about transit.
This plan was about jobs, jobs, and jobs, ” O’Connor said.
“And so what this plan did was, it basically put people at a disadvantage by telling them they can’t be in a car or a bus station because the station has to be in South Station.
The goal is to get people out of their cars and into their communities, but not to build mass transit.” “
We need to be more inclusive in transportation planning.
The goal is to get people out of their cars and into their communities, but not to build mass transit.”
In an interview with The Associated Press, Patrick blamed the state Transportation Department for the mess.
“I’ve got a lot of sympathy for the commissioner of the transportation department,” he said.
The governor said he and other transportation officials are going to look into how to fix the mistakes that were made.
“What I want to do is have a more transparent process that makes sure the mistakes don’t happen again,” he told the AP.
“There are a lot that need to change.”