THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Government Center isn’t broken — so don’t spend millions fixing it

The MBTA plans to renovate Government Center Station, which could require closing the station for two years. The MBTA plans to renovate Government Center Station, which could require closing the station for two years. (Christina Pazzanese for The Boston Globe/ File 2007)
April 19, 2011

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THE MBTA’s proposal to close down Government Center Station for two years for renovations (“On Government Center project, T leaning toward 2-year closure,’’ Metro, April 10) may not be the dumbest idea ever put forth by the T, but it certainly has to rank near the top.

At the State Station, principally cosmetic renovations have taken longer than it took to build the Blue Line tunnel from East Boston to downtown, more than 100 years ago. There used to be a sign on one of the many obstructions at State and Congress streets illustrating how the station would look when opened in some year long past. The sign is gone, but the obstructions remain. Now, it’s supposed to be finished by the end of this month.

People coming from the airport on the Blue Line, laden with luggage and children, and wishing to connect to the Green Line, will be delighted to learn that they can walk to Haymarket or Park Street to make their connection.

The larger point is that the T — ever bemoaning its lack of money — is even thinking about spending millions to “fix up’’ a station that is perfectly functional. Put in some elevators for patrons in wheelchairs, hire an employee with a ramp to help them onto Green Line cars, and use the funds saved for something useful — like functional engines on commuter rail.

John L. Worden III
Arlington