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Op-Ed: Postponing Transit in Allston Will Cost Boston

As the state plans a major renovation to the Massachusetts Turnpike, whether an Allston transit hub is built or delayed may determine how effectively the surrounding neighborhood develops.
January 5, 2018, 1pm PST | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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Dante Ramos argues for more immediate transit investment along a section of the Pike. "In Allston, the state transportation department plans to remove a decaying Mass. Pike viaduct and straighten out the highway, freeing up dozens of acres for redevelopment by Harvard. Just as the Seaport did, the area known as Beacon Yards (or Beacon Park Yard) offers a rare chance to fill in a missing chunk of Boston's urban environment. "

For now, though, it looks like transit will have to wait. "Unfortunately MassDOT is defining the Allston project, whose budget is likely to top $1 billion, mainly as a highway job. According to the latest timetable, a crucial transit improvement — a new bus and train hub called West Station, with a cost of $95 million — won't be built until 2040."

Citing the bureaucratic tendency to "let sprawl and traffic happen," Ramos writes that "the greatest public good lies in packing Beacon Yards with as much residential, commercial, and research space as the transportation network will support." He also points to potential economic benefits for the region.

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Published on Friday, December 15, 2017 in The Boston Globe
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