BOSTON – The struggles of the MBTA public transportation system in Boston this year has been no secret to anyone even remotely tied to the city. Just last night, the MBTA's Fiscal and Management Control Board, as well as the directors who operate the Department of Transportation (MassDOT), revealed that a broken axle was the reason why the system's red line train derailed back in June. With problems like these at the forefront of the MBTA's failures, it is no wonder why ingenious, long-term solutions tend to be pushed aside in favor of immediate improvements.
In the years since the Ted Williams Tunnel was officially opened, there has been an emergency ramp that led from South Boston Haul Road to I-90. However, this ramp has only been open to police vehicles, ambulances, and other such emergency-based cars and trucks. Residents have clamored for the ramp to be opened up for public access for years, as they believed that it would result in a major clearing of traffic and an immense reduction in travel time, especially for commuters or travelers who had to find their way from the downtown region of Boston to Logan Airport.
MassDOT officials were initially against the opening of the Silver Line ramp, but back in August they finally agreed to test the idea of opening the ramp with the key factor of safety in mind. Now, we have finally been able to see the results of this testing period, which extended from August 29 to August 31, as the #FreetheRamp campaign has reached a favorable conclusion from state officials.
The test was said to have resulted in a max saving of 17 minutes in travel time and, with safety still treated as a paramount pillar of importance, the use of this ramp was approved by the Control Board. Per the MBTA recommendation, the Silver Line ramp should be opened to all vehicles permanently.
This would be a major win for all those who are anti-traffic in Massachusetts.
Image via Wikimedia Commons / JosephBarillari