The Green Street Crosswalk in Coolidge Corner is the most talked about crosswalk of all time. For some reason, it has been determined that the route of all evil in Brookline is this 125-foot long slice of pavement. If we can just put a signalized light there, suddenly all our traffic cares and woes will go away.
Oh, only if life was so simple.
Last year I wrote an editorial called “How Do You Get from Brookline Village to JFK Crossing During Rush Hour?” In this piece, I tried my best to list all the factors my layperson’s mind could come up with that lead to Brookline gridlock. Unfortunately, I have no answers to the traffic situation in Brookline. Of course, for lot of people around here, lack of knowledge of a particular science doesn’t keep them from declaring themselves experts.
After hearing all sides of this issue, we at the Hub have determined that Precinct 2 Town Meeting Member Linda Pehlke is on the verge of hitting the nail on the head. It makes zero sense to study the Green Street Crosswalk in a vacuum. Linda’s guest editorial and the supporting videos make it clear that even when this crosswalk is flowing smoothing, the traffic is horrendous. Of course it is. Brookline is a town in government only. From the Boston line to Cleveland Circle and the entire length of Harvard and Washington Streets we have an urban parking mess on our hands.
So, what’s the solution? Hire another high profile firm to come tell us what we already know while explaining how much more we have to pay to get a “more detailed study”? Doesn’t make sense to me. You’ve heard the old saying, ‘if you can’t get a job, consult’. I’ve heard too many outside parking and traffic consultants try to advise the Transportation Board on a subject that everyone on the Board understands better than the consultants.
Asking the Transportation Board to do it is not a solution either. These poor people are already putting in full time hours by volunteering on the Board as it is. The best solution is to ask Professor Peter Furth and his students at Northeastern University to help the town find a solution. Peter has already served the town as Transportation Board member and earned the respect of our community. I’m sure Peter would serve the town again for a lot less compensation then those hoity toity outside consultants. Peter is professor of civil engineering at Northeastern University, PhD from MIT in Transportation Systems and recipient of the 2004 Best Paper Award from the Transportation Research Board Committee on Traffic Signal Systems. Not only is Peter a member of our community, a past member of the Transportation Board, a PHD in the exact science we need for this study, Peter has already examined the situation. See the analysis here.
Let’s be one of those towns that hires from within. Let’s ask Peter to study the entire Brookline Traffic situation for a hometown discount.
I say vote no on Article 13 and ask for a more complete study.
Hey Professor Furth, looking for work?
By R. Harvey Bravman. Publisher