Saturday, January 19, 2013

New Traffic lights on 146? Really?

The issue involving announced plans to improve the intersection of Route 146 and Boston Rd. is bigger than some intersection. It's 2013, the Interstate Highway System is nearly 60 years old, and there's still no Interstate-standard highway between Worcester and Providence? We're talking about the main connection between two important cities, the second and third largest in New England - at least one of which needs to take itself more seriously. 

Upgrading the Boston Road intersection in isolation is investing in keeping 146 it the way it is! Boston Rd. is the last traffic light on 146 between I-290 and Rhode Island, only one of two between Worcester and Providence, but that whole stretch of road, about 3 1/2 miles, needs straightening, leveling and a service road and some overpasses to eliminate driveways and intersections, and the Elm St. intersection needs rebuilding. Do it all at once or a piece at a time, but do it as part of a plan. 

While we're at it, how about rail service, or at least an express bus? How could two such cities have virtually no public transportation between them?* That cripples job seekers and separates families. Frequent bus service connecting Worcester with Providence Amtrak, Downtown Providence and TF Green Airport, with a few stops along 146 in Mass. and RI would be used by air and Amtrak travelers, commuters into both cities and the airport, job seekers and inter-city travelers. Mass., Rhode Island and TF Green could share in the cost. Worcester hotels could bid on the right to have it stop at their doors. 

There's no money you say? There's plenty of money, and plenty of folks who urgently need the work. The states and City need to step up to the plate and take that money from the people and corporations that are just sitting on it, just speculating with it. Take it and put it to work putting us to work. And do the job right! 

*There are currently two Bonanza busses daily between Worcester and a highway stop three miles outside of Providence. 
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