Everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it!
The same goes for congestion. Until now!
Greater Boston has been experiencing one of the greatest booms in job creation, along with record housing and commercial development. However, the price we all have to pay for this is the traffic congestion that comes with an over burdened, aging infrastructure, unable to accommodate the demands of an expanding workforce.
Up until recently, our highways and mass transit system has suffered from decades of neglect and underfunding its capital investment needs. Credit is due to the current administration that has prioritized reform and repair of the MBTA, with record amounts of critically needed investments and long term planning. That said, in a innovative economy like ours, new ideas are always welcome.
This year’s Pioneer Institute’s 2019 Better Government Competition topic is “Moving People & Goods Forward”, focusing on ideas that get commuters to where they need to go conveniently and reliably, and transform our transportation system from a constraint on economic growth to a driver of prosperity.
Now is the time for creative thinking to provide new ideas to improve our commutes and the long term quality of life in the Commonwealth. As one example, other areas of the country have utilized Public Private Partnerships to construct and maintain new roadways and transit, with no cost to the state. Currently, there are investors with substantial amounts of capital, who are able and willing to invest in appropriate projects.
As you consider this challenge, think about some of the specific challenges confronting our transportation system:
- How can commuting improve, from immediate issues around parking, communication, safety, and station repair and design, to ideas that will reduce congestion, advance bus rapid transit, and double the number of commuter rail riders?
- How do we Improve infrastructure construction, maintenance, and vendor performance through creative procurement, pricing strategies, asset management systems, and public-private partnerships?
- How can private sector innovation improve mobility, accessibility, user-equity, safety, and communications (e.g. autonomous vehicles, data solutions, scheduling, and bus route redesign)?
- What can be done to reform decision-making to deliver infrastructure expeditiously and within budget, with appropriate accountability?
- How can we encourage more transit-oriented development, flexible interconnections between private and public options, and multimodal infrastructure?
- How can freight move efficiently and effectively on diverse (metropolitan, suburban, and rural) routes and rails while preserving underlying infrastructure, and improve curb management in densely populated zones?
So, join in the conversation and offer up some of your ideas and suggestions. unlike the weather, let’s do something about congestion now!