BOSTON (CBS) – The legacy of the Big Dig, I’m going to keep on reminding you until I draw my last breath, is one of abysmal planning, the uncontrolled egomania of elite pols and planners, and most of all, an utterly arrogant disregard for scarce tax dollars.
And that wretched legacy lives on in an unlikely place, what the Globe describes as the “beloved urban oasis” of the Greenway, the 17-acres worth of grass and plazas that cover the now-buried Central Artery.
The paper reports that the Greenway Conservancy, the non-profit group that manages the urban ribbon, is about to lose nearly half its $5 million budget when state funding runs out this summer as scheduled. And the classic Boston firing squad of finger-pointing is forming, with the state, the city and the businesses that line the Greenway all playing the victim.
Maybe they are in a way. The idea of preserving all the recovered land as a park never made any sense.
Yes, cities need open space and green space, even in the heart of downtown.
But imagine how great it would have been if the acreage between the North End and Haymarket had been knit together with development in the old-world style of those two districts. As nice as the mini-parks and fountains they put there are, I can assure you tourists come to experience the European charm of those neighborhoods, not to have overpriced coffee on uncomfortable wire chairs.
And as much as I liked the pretty net sculpture they hung over the Greenway two years ago, it wasn’t worth the nearly $2 million price tag.
The Greenway architects and managers are well-meaning, but their vision is not worth the cost.
It is unsurprising that no one is willing to pick up the tab any more.
Listen to Jon’s commentary: