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Letters

Too many excuses coming from T spokesman

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December 30, 2007

Joe Pesaturo, MBTA director of communications, wrote that he was puzzled by letters about the MBTA's inaction on new traffic signals for its Green Line service on Beacon Street ("Beacon gets smart lights, but T isn't along for the ride," Dec. 2, City Weekly). He then went on to make what sounded like excuses for the MBTA's lack of action to potentially improve service for its riders.

The Beacon Street project is a major reconstruction project that is making improvements for all modes, including the MBTA. The issue here is not, as Pesaturo states, that people want the MBTA to waste money on something that won't work or is not worth it. The issue is that people want and expect the MBTA to be proactive and partner with other agencies whenever possible to find ways to improve service.

The public's frustration comes from reading that the MBTA did not take the lead in partnering with Brookline and proposing new technology to help improve service. The public is frustrated when it hears the MBTA making excuses ("the T got no response") when it asked Brookline questions about the project long after it elected not to participate.

Come on, Joe, stop making excuses for the MBTA and berating citizens and start working harder to improve service.

JEFFREY T. FERRIS
Jamaica Plain

City's anger, selfishness damage its reputation

Your article on rudeness ("Politeness pleas," Dec. 23, City Weekly) caught my attention.

In the 10-plus years I've lived in Boston, I've been constantly aware of a culture of edgy unpleasantness to nastiness that I've never been able to explain to others when they ask, "Why is this city so angry?"

Politeness and civility are in too short supply in Boston.

The in-your-face aggressive self-assertiveness gives Boston a hard-edged, mean-spirited reputation across the nation.

Disregard and disrespect for the other person abound.

As I read the part in your article about the woman on her cellphone in the coffee shop, my first thought was, "Someone should have ripped the phone out of her hand and smashed it on the floor."

Some might say that in itself is rude. I say she would have gotten what she well deserved.

The insufferable "me-ism" that abounds in Boston is a huge detraction in a city where so much good abounds: history, the arts, prestigious colleges and universities, one of the first cities of this great nation, a historical marathon. The list can go on.

As a frequent pedestrian at the intersections of Park Drive and Boylston Street, or at Boylston Street and Ipswich Street, I can attest to the full and disconcerting rudeness of drivers.

Vehicles sail through these intersections sometimes at mach speed, despite their having a red light and the pedestrian light showing pedestrian right of way.

One chap who had to stop for me while I was in the middle of the crosswalk got visibly angry that I was even there despite his having the stop light!

The state and city could make a small fortune if they had police available to ticket all these violations.

Yet, on the other hand, I have seen numerous students from the Fenway School/Boston Arts Academy walking straight into oncoming traffic when they do not have the pedestrian right of way, forcing oncoming cars to completely stop.

Perhaps fining disruptive pedestrians as is done in other cities would be a start.

The cure is in changing the culture. The local culture is unwilling to change. The arrogance of self trumps the responsibility of community and of personal responsibility.

The idea that we live in a shared world seems to have missed its imprint on too many Bostonians.

REV. M. VINCENT TURNER
Fenway

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