The Boston Globe has written a very lengthy piece explaining the root causes of the MBTA freeze up (can’t call it a melt down can we?). They rightfully put the majority of blame at over expansion, supported by governors of both parties, but started by Dukakis and the Conservation Law Foundation.
The story could begin in many places. But start in 1990.
Governor Michael Dukakis was at the tail end of his third and final term. The Big Dig, an idea two decades in the making, was moving closer to reality. And the governor was determined to push the project forward and cement his legacy.
The Conservation Law Foundation, an influential environmental advocacy group, sensed an opportunity.
A project of this size – burying the Central Artery beneath downtown Boston and transforming an important American city – had to pass muster with federal clean air regulators. And one way to do that was to attach a bunch of public transit improvements.
Take a look it is a sobering look at government gone wrong. The roots of this problem are simple, and mismanagement has made it worse.