Kudos to Mac Daniel, the Globe’s excellent “Starts & Stops” reporter, who today once again takes the Department of Conservation and Recreation to task for its inane propensity to close one lane of Storrow Drive for parking when there are events on the Esplanade.
I have been railing about how ridiculous it is to half-close a major downtown artery so that a couple dozen people can park more conveniently for months. Ernie has also taken up the mantle, arguing that it’s a winner as an election issue.
And now that parts of the Big Dig tunnel system are closed, traffic is nightmarish, and people desperately need alternative routes to get places, what’s DCR’s response? Business as usual. Concert on the Esplanade? Lane closed. Backups all the way up the Leverett Connector ramp to I-93, and all the way back into the Big Dig tunnel coming from the south. Completely unnecessary, completely avoidable, and serving no useful purpose. Government stupidity at its worst. Says Daniel, “it was as though the tunnel collapse and everything that’s happened since just didn’t matter to the DCR.”
Daniel reports that the DCR has not been totally unaware of the situation. Says a DCR spokesperson, “In response to the traffic issues recently, to ease some of the congestion on Memorial and Storrow, we determined that the best way to do this is that parking will not begin until 7:30 [rather than the usual start time of 6 pm], at which point we expect a lot of the rush hour traffic to be out of Boston.”
Yeah, thanks for nothing, guys. I’ve gotten stuck on the Leverett Connector on Sunday afternoons when there wasn’t a rush hour in sight, simply because a lane of Storrow Drive was closed for parking.
Let’s make this really simple so that even the powers that be at DCR can understand it:
No parking on Storrow Drive. Ever.
Ernie may well have been right. Any Gov candidate who promises to end this ridiculous practice could pick up a bunch of voters who want to see common sense prevail over entrenched habits. But it shouldn’t have to come to that. Mitt Romney, who it must be said has done a good job taking control of the Big Dig investigation (that’s the guy voters thought they were getting in 2002 – where’s he been?), should have the sense to pick up the phone to DCR Commissioner Stephen Burrington and end this foolishness once and for all.