General Infrastructure

whighlander

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2006
Messages
7,232
Reaction score
304
There are so many several specific instances with regard to his foot dragging on transportation initiatives, be it the NSRL, the Blue-Red Connector, West Station, etc. that it needs no further regurgitation and irrelevant thread derailment here - - although I understand that's what you live for.

For the sake of this thread, I'll just keep it to "read the linked Globe article" - - specifically, the part where it discusses the competing bills in the legislature regarding housing around rail stations - - and how his is, of course, the watered down version that allows locales to use their discretion to ignore the issue.
Shmessey -- It might not be "Live Free of Die" hereabouts -- but people in Massachusetts take their local prerogatives quite seriously -- to the extent that there are plenty of quite large localities using an Open Town Meeting and many more towns with Representative Town Meetings than Mayors and City Councils

and how his is, of course, the watered down version that allows locales to use their discretion to ignore the issue.
-- which of course the Legislature is perfectly capable of drying-out or otherwise processing it -- talk to the Democrat House Speaker and /or the Democrat Senate President if you have any issues -- they after-all hold majorities sufficient to write any law that they want to without needing a single Republican Vote. Of course it's these same Legislative Bodies who just finished passing a budget for the Fiscal Year which began in July.
 

whittle

Active Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2017
Messages
239
Reaction score
17
"competing bills" is an inaccurate description. The supermajority for upzoning needs to go regardless of what else you're doing (unless that's taking zoning authority away from municipalities entirely -- which afaik no one is proposing). And when the legislature has ignored this most basic of measures for 2 years, it's hard for me take someone pinning the blame squarely on the Governor seriously.
 

JeffDowntown

Senior Member
Joined
May 28, 2007
Messages
2,955
Reaction score
140
"competing bills" is an inaccurate description. The supermajority for upzoning needs to go regardless of what else you're doing (unless that's taking zoning authority away from municipalities entirely -- which afaik no one is proposing). And when the legislature has ignored this most basic of measures for 2 years, it's hard for me take someone pinning the blame squarely on the Governor seriously.
I have to agree. In MA the power resides in the Speaker of the House, not the Governor, on these issues. Nothing happens without the Speaker on board.
 

George_Apley

Not a Brahmin
Staff member
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
4,238
Reaction score
584
While you're both absolutely right, the governor doesn't do himself any favors by allowing himself to serve as cover for the legislature. He needs to be pushing the legislature on all of these issues, but good luck getting a Republican to try to get a Democratic legislature to spend *more* money.
 

whighlander

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2006
Messages
7,232
Reaction score
304
While you're both absolutely right, the governor doesn't do himself any favors by allowing himself to serve as cover for the legislature. He needs to be pushing the legislature on all of these issues, but good luck getting a Republican to try to get a Democratic legislature to spend *more* money.
George -- You would think that given as the Speaker is most commonly from Boston, or in any event inside the core of the T district that he would be in favor of T investments

Less obviously can be said of the Senate President since in the days after Bulger the Senate President is often from outside Boston and recently outside the T district
 

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
5,578
Reaction score
448
A Speaker's district in Winthrop and Point of Pines, Revere was annexed into Boston...when exactly?

DeLeo doesn't give more than the very occasional crap about Boston because his constituents are in strips of beach where for all their proximity the relative isolation from Boston is a feature not a bug.
 
Last edited:

whighlander

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2006
Messages
7,232
Reaction score
304
A Speaker's district in Winthrop and Point of Pines, Revere was annexed into Boston...when exactly?

DeLeo doesn't give more than the very occasional crap about Boston because his constituents are in strips of beach where for all their proximity the relative isolation from Boston is a feature not a bug.
F-Line -- you didn't bother to read past the first part of the sentence
You would think that given as the Speaker is most commonly from Boston, or in any event inside the core of the T district
I suspect that a fair number of Speaker DeLeo's constituents are users of the T as most don't just sit on the beach -- we're talking Revere not South Beach
 

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
5,578
Reaction score
448
F-Line -- you didn't bother to read past the first part of the sentence

I suspect that a fair number of Speaker DeLeo's constituents are users of the T as most don't just sit on the beach -- we're talking Revere not South Beach
Uh-huh. And the district demographics who are most locktight reliable at voting in enough numbers to guarantee his reelection every 2 years...do they trend towards public transit? Evidence of a conditioned response in policy priorities says very much otherwise. He's not reliant on the middle-class townies--which his district is drawn to conspicuously avoid--to sustain his autocracy. He's got the cottagefolk to punch his ticket like trained seals every 2 years so he doesn't have to do anything deeper than wave politely at the townies every once in a blue moon.

It's like how Finneran could claim to "represent Mattapan" all those years when his gerrymander-special of a district gave him a firewall around the leafiest parts of Milton to never, ever have to give a flying fuck about a single constituent of his on the other side of the city line and actively undercut them if/when he pleased. In low-turnout Legislative races where you are quite literally the most entrenched incumbent of all in the state, you don't need more than a very small firewall in a very favorably-drawn district to stay in complete power until death or indictment.

Unfortunately this is just how it is. In most State Houses the leadership has super-entrenchment under their own seat by being able to play maximal profile + resources off very low turnout, and cultivate for themselves the comfiest and most sympatico of voter firewalls so they don't have to care about intra-district diversity of opinion. To the victor goes the spoils. What's different about MA compared to most of the other state-level proportional rep chambers is simply how much more here that the chamber rules are rigged to prop up a singular autocrat and how utterly broken the caucuses are. At least in most other states a leader has some fear-based check-and-balance from pissing off the other members of the caucus and/or needing to be coalition-focused to retain party control. Seats may be for life, but leadership positions usually aren't. We're more broken than other states because the chamber is whipped into rubber-stamping a dictator. There is literally no force pressuring DeLeo to support something for the greater good if that greater good happens to not be DeLeo's own personal fancy or good for his own career. Hence, here we are. We don't really have a chance to vote him out because the Winthrop cottagefolk who hugely overrepresent the voter turnout in his district will always keep checking that box. But throwing a whole bunch of other bums out who never ever challenge the leadership and always backstab their own constituents at voting for autocrat-propping caucus rules can do something, if we ever reach our mad-as-hell moment of action to do something about it.
 

whighlander

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2006
Messages
7,232
Reaction score
304
Uh-huh. And the district demographics who are most locktight reliable at voting in enough numbers to guarantee his reelection every 2 years...do they trend towards public transit? Evidence of a conditioned response in policy priorities says very much otherwise. He's not reliant on the middle-class townies--which his district is drawn to conspicuously avoid--to sustain his autocracy. He's got the cottagefolk to punch his ticket like trained seals every 2 years so he doesn't have to do anything deeper than wave politely at the townies every once in a blue moon.

It's like how Finneran could claim to "represent Mattapan" all those years when his gerrymander-special of a district gave him a firewall around the leafiest parts of Milton to never, ever have to give a flying fuck about a single constituent of his on the other side of the city line and actively undercut them if/when he pleased. In low-turnout Legislative races where you are quite literally the most entrenched incumbent of all in the state, you don't need more than a very small firewall in a very favorably-drawn district to stay in complete power until death or indictment.

Unfortunately this is just how it is. In most State Houses the leadership has super-entrenchment under their own seat by being able to play maximal profile + resources off very low turnout, and cultivate for themselves the comfiest and most sympatico of voter firewalls so they don't have to care about intra-district diversity of opinion. To the victor goes the spoils. What's different about MA compared to most of the other state-level proportional rep chambers is simply how much more here that the chamber rules are rigged to prop up a singular autocrat and how utterly broken the caucuses are. At least in most other states a leader has some fear-based check-and-balance from pissing off the other members of the caucus and/or needing to be coalition-focused to retain party control. Seats may be for life, but leadership positions usually aren't. We're more broken than other states because the chamber is whipped into rubber-stamping a dictator. There is literally no force pressuring DeLeo to support something for the greater good if that greater good happens to not be DeLeo's own personal fancy or good for his own career. Hence, here we are. We don't really have a chance to vote him out because the Winthrop cottagefolk who hugely overrepresent the voter turnout in his district will always keep checking that box. But throwing a whole bunch of other bums out who never ever challenge the leadership and always backstab their own constituents at voting for autocrat-propping caucus rules can do something, if we ever reach our mad-as-hell moment of action to do something about it.
F-Line when it comes to cynicism with respect to the Legislature -- I agree with you. The only checks that have been applied to the Mass Legislative process have been Federal Indictments of Speakers and occasionally Senate Presidents, or the "up and out" moves by some governors by naming the leaders to positions requiring even less "heavy lifting" e.g. Bartley, and Bulger. Otherwise it was no coincidence that T jobs were mostly in Bulger's area of patronage -- aka the PT in its heady days as Mr Bulger's Transit Agency
 

whighlander

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2006
Messages
7,232
Reaction score
304
Fascinating article to digest with your holiday meal -- some parallels between Greater Luxembourg and Greater Boston

March 1, 2019
Luxembourg’s free public transport sounds great. It isn’t
By Constance Carr


When the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg announced it would introduce free nationwide public transport from March 2020, the move was widely praised – some even claimed it was a world first, though that was to overlook Estonia) where the government introduced countrywide free public transport in 2018.

Even US senator Bernie Sanders offered his congratulations via Facebook. Luxembourg was suddenly in the limelight, and this time it wasn’t about tax havens or information leaks – it was something positive, heartening, virtuous.

The move has been great for Luxembourg’s image, but local users of the transport system have looked on in bemusement, if not confusion. They know that the public transport system is a mess, so it’s difficult to credit that Luxembourg’s sudden glory is well deserved. Indeed, we think there’s a good chance that making public transport free will actually make things worse for commuters......

To see why this feted policy is likely to end up backfiring, it’s necessary to understand the nation’s growing pains. Luxembourg is a small sovereign state, comprised of its capital city, small towns, and countryside – an urban region with a dispersed urbanisation around the main centre, spreading across the borders with Belgium, France and Germany. Having benefited from sustained growth, Luxembourg likes to present itself as a haven of stability and prosperity. ......

The whole idea of free public transport is utterly simplistic because of the complex, interrelated composition of demographic, socioeconomic and geopolitical issues at stake. If political leaders are serious about improving mobility, then they will need to undertake a more serious analysis of the problems, and provide a more convincing, context-sensitive set of proposals to solve them. But maybe that doesn’t matter, as long as it looks good.

Constance Carr, Senior Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Luxembourg and Markus Hesse, Professor of Urban Studies, University of Luxembourg.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.



This is Christmas Eve -- Merry Christmas*1 to everyone on ABForum
Peace to all
We can resume the discussion later

🔔 🎄 🔔

*1
Happy Chanukkah
or if you chose to celebrate any other or any Winter Solsticial Commemorative Event -- then felicitous greeting for your celebrations in the appropriate manner for your culture [whether native or adopted]
 

jass

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2006
Messages
4,628
Reaction score
121
How is posting m article from last March about something that hasn't happened yet helpful?
 

whighlander

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2006
Messages
7,232
Reaction score
304
How is posting m article from last March about something that hasn't happened yet helpful?
Jass-- If you bothered to read the article [not just the link to the headline] it concerns a discussion which has been happening both here on ABforum amongst other local fora as well as in Luxembourg where they are actually trying it out

I take no position on the story about Luxembourg just that the issue is related to what we have been discussing

here's a bit that is particularly apropos to our discussion


Luxembourg’s free public transport sounds great, but it won’t help people get from A to B
January 16, 2019 10.15am EST

......Luxembourg is a small sovereign state, comprised of its capital city, small towns, and countryside – an urban region with a dispersed urbanisation around the main centre, spreading across the borders with Belgium, France and Germany. Having benefited from sustained growth, Luxembourg likes to present itself as a haven of stability and prosperity.

Luxembourg’s thorny problem
Luxembourg’s economy is supported largely by the financial sector, the European Union, and the booming industries of technology and innovation. It is home to more than 140 banks and has become a hotspot for specialised investment services. Luxembourg city is a European capital, home to the European Investment Bank, the Parliament Secretariat and the Court of Justice. Luxembourg has also attracted major players in the digital economy: Amazon, Skype and PayPal have headquarters there, and Google is considering establishing a data centre in the countryside.

As a result of these strategies, Luxembourg is a small but unusually international state; an economic engine that requires – and attracts – massive influxes of labour from neighbouring countries. Currently, roughly 422,000 people work in Luxembourg, while the country itself has a resident population of just over 600,000. Many of these jobs are located in the business districts in and around the capital city.

Almost half of the labour force (192,000) are cross-border commuters. Due to substantial immigration (Luxembourg’s population grows by 2.3% every year) and the immense supply of office space, housing inside Luxembourg is scarce and costly.


Too many offices, not enough houses. Shutterstock.

The government is intent on continuing economic growth to preserve living standards and maintain the social security system at current levels. And so far it has succeeded: GDP grows steadily by 2% to 4% anually. Indeed, Luxembourg’s per capita GDP is among the highest in the world.

Yet this growth has also put a lot of pressure on the transport system. Roads, rail tracks and stations are in a dire state, and government funding has not caught up with current demand and delayed investments from the past. It is precisely this growth pressure that makes the problem really thorny and economic sustainability rather difficult to achieve.

During rush hours, trains coming in from the border regions are standing-room only – and are often late or cancelled – causing passengers to miss connecting services. Customer service and information is relatively poor. Ironically, the massive infrastructure investments recently initiated by the government have only generated more construction sites, bottlenecks and road blocks – at least for now.

If only it worked
Making public transport free looks set to make the situation worse. Fares are already heavily subsidised; a single fare between any two points in the country is €2, day passes are €4, and minors already ride free. So a further reduction is not likely to have a significant impact.

In this context, the notion that free transport is a means of wealth redistribution and social inclusion doesn’t square. It’s already cheap – and far outweighed by exploding housing costs – the country’s real inequality challenge. And, price is only one factor in an individual’s choice of transport. This means that pricing alone won’t likely trigger major changes in travel behaviour.
Luxembourg and Boston have significant similarities [both function as the modern-day equivalent of Ancient Greek City-States] and yet of course significant differences --- but for both -- the challenges of providing sufficient efficient / affordable transportation / housing to maintain their global high status and continued growth -- are the same

Luxembourg interfaces with several other sovereign countries mostly inside the EU [Switzerland is intimately connected to Luxembourg through the banking industry but not of course a member of the EU]

Boston interfaces with several other sovereign states inside the US [essentially the rest of New England and NYC as well] and the Canadian Maritime Provinces both formally [New England Governors who meet regularly with Eastern Canadian Premiers]*2 and of course informally through air, road and sea connections

By the way -- how is posting How is posting m article from last March about something that hasn't happened yet helpful? -- itself helpful in any way?

[MOD EDIT: Please refrain from posting lengthy, quoted "citations". This format would be inappropriate in an academic paper, and it is certainly inappropriate here. Instead, post hyperlinks on the relevant text as I've edited. Also, if you don't want to be accused of derailing threads, maybe stop formatting your posts in ways that are both visually jarring, and filled with tangents.]
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Arlington

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 10, 2011
Messages
4,161
Reaction score
386
How is free public transit like (or unlike) free public streets?

Particularly in the urban core, free public streets have an interesting amount of operating costs (lighting, traffic sensors & lights, parking enforcement, snow clearance, street sweeping) that just happen not to be the cost of a driver and vehicle--Streets are more than just "free stuff" they are a "free experience" (we "do" things for users at no charge, and they behave rationally and respond by creating a "tragedy of the commons" every rush hour).

I don't see that free all-you-can-ride transit has any more or less socio-economic "validity" than free all-you-can-drive streets.
 
Last edited:

Top