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Romney proposes $31B transport plan

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Romney unveils $31 billion transportation plan

March 10, 2005

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. --Gov. Mitt Romney said Thursday that the state should spend $31 billion over the next 20 years to improve and expand its transportation infrastructure.

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The administration wants to spend $1.2 billion over the next five years to repair 600 bridges.

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Other initiatives include widening highways to relieve congestion, and installing state-of-the-art "smart highway" systems throughout Massachusetts. Already in place in Boston's Big Dig tunnels,

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Under Romney's proposal, more than half the funding for transportation improvements ($15.8 billion) would come from the federal government. The rest would come from various state sources, including $4.5 billion from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's capital budget.

Continue reading at: Boston.com

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i say fix the bridges, but don't expand any highways inside metro boston. we need money spent on transit, not highways.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Would you please run for Governor? :lol:

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But don't forget the silver lining:

for the first time, commits state money to help the MBTA expand its commuter rail and transit system.

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hose expansions include a long-sought $670 million commuter rail link between Boston, New Bedford, and Fall River and improvements to the commuter rail tracks between Boston and Worcester.

Plus, I'm all in favor of upgrades to Rt 2. I wonder if they'll do anything about the exits near Fitchburg. They all seem so dangerous - hidden around corners with short ramps.

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Romney was actually in New Bedford announcing the plan. A clear sign that he is supporting NB/FR commuter rail. But where is this money coming from exactly? This smacks of electioneering to me.

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But don't forget the silver lining:

Plus, I'm all in favor of upgrades to Rt 2.  I wonder if they'll do anything about the exits near Fitchburg.  They all seem so dangerous - hidden around corners with short ramps.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I'd support this measure too. I used to live in the Rte 2 corridor, and let me tell you those were some dark years in my life. LOL. Something needs to be done with the stretch of roadway going through Concord. That rotary is soo dangerous, and the stop lights added 30-45 mins to my commute!

Overall, Romney's 20 year plan does not address public transit like it should be. His plan encapsulates building the blue line extension to Lynn, and commuter rail extension to Fall River/ New Bedford. I think there is also a provision for station repairs, and the implementation of the Urban Ring bus route. However, there was no mention of the Green line extension through Medford :angry: , and there is not a master plan like there should be. Improving public transit will fuel growth for the next 20 years. Expanding highways will not. It makes me angry. We need to oust this lame duck carpet bagger :angry:

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I think there should be more attention given to improving transit, but let's not all forget about improving the roads. I get the feeling that everyone on this board is vehemently anti-road imrovements. I'm sorry guys, but some of these roads NEED improvement. Rte 2 is a mess, the Lowell connector and I-93 and the Rte 3 corridor will all need upgrades (as will parts of I-495, particularly through Lowell). They are upgrading Rt. 146 and redesigning the connection it has with I-290, and if they didn't do this, my life would be significantly impacted. Roads need to be constanly expanded and upgraded, just the same as mass transit does. There is a balance here people.

All I'm saying is, lets not forget about roads, as they are FAR more important with mass transit. I guess I just fear that if any of you were in officie or had any positions of power, you would screw MassHighway over, because it needs more funding, not less. To not realize how vital roads are to our daily lives and especially the economy is ignorant.

As far as transit goes, the Green line to Medford should be an extremely high priorty. They also need to increase service on the Worcester T line. I'm also upset that they seem to be half-assing a lot of current transit projects. They really need to get moving on the Fall River/New Bedford lines as well as the Greenbush, or else they may never get done.

I say we take the money from this stupid war in Iraq and improve our lands instead of spoiling and then rebuilding others.

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I think there should be more attention given to improving transit, but let's not all forget about improving the roads.

I say we take the money from this stupid war in Iraq and improve our lands instead of spoiling and then rebuilding others.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I agree. At first I felt like we should just screw over the roads, but in the last few weeks I've started to realize that the traffic may be one big reason why so many people are leaving Massachusetts.

If Massachusetts increased taxes significantly and used the money to start these needed road and transit improvements NOW instead of later, the whole state would benefit.

This is the gigantic hole in trickle-down economic theory: if you have more taxes, but those taxes are used to improve infrastructure and quality of life, it more than offsets the benefits of giving people their extra $100 a year.

So here's my idea: increase taxes significantly to improve the fiscal standing of the T and help it pay off its debt while expanding, and spend the rest of that money to widen as much of route 128 and I-93 as is possible. Then, and this is key, make them both toll roads while decreasing the fare cost on the T. That would become a damned good incentive.

But hey, it'll probably never happen.

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I agree, the roads need help, I fully support the Sagamore Flyover for example, because it is replacing a very dangerous outmoded piece of roadway (much like the Big Dig did). But I think the Commonwealth needs to constantly consider what are the transit pieces of any roadway improvement.

Take Route 3 north as an example. They added a lane, great, but there's a gap in commuter rail coverage in that corridor, a busway could have been cheaply added to that section of Route 3. The Sagamore Flyover should have been coupled with restored rail and/or ferry service to the Cape (the improvements to the rotary don't change the fact that there is too much traffic on the South Shore and the Cape). Route 24 needs work to bring it to interstate standards, commuter rail needs to be part of that though. I'm sure there are transit needs for Fitchburg and Leominster that should be addressed along with improving Route 2. Worcester's bus system could certainly be improved, adn we should at least look into the idea of rail service from Worcester to Providence. Springfield's roads need work, they also need commuter rail to Hartford. And on and on.

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More roads mean more cars eventually....

Unless you work for GM, most people in this forum don't want that.

One of the problems with the use of roads is so many people are stuck living in the suburbs because there are few new places to live affordably in Boston, where we could just all take the subway or cabs.

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