ThinkBoston wrote:Good that you point out the Assembly Square project. The difference between it and the ADA improvements to an MBTA station is that Assembly Square is a private development. It's really quite simple, contractors and designers take public officials to the cleaners on any and all public projects. They find the most expensive way to do what is requested, that will use the most materials possible and take the longest time; and why? Because, most public officials are pretty dumb, and it's not their money being spent. Whereas, in the private market, you'll see people who are spending their own money get the most bang for the buck. They not only care about every $million, they care about how every dollar is spent and will analyze every aspect of the design for functionality, efficiency and cost effectiveness relative to their goal. That just simply doesn't happen in government projects. And that is why the State of Mass. is willing to tally up a $billion to lay down four miles of simple railroad tracks on flat land (green line extension). And now they are going to spend $56 to $72 million to install two or three elevators, and everyone says "So what?"
Really quite simple, aye ? Most public officials dumb ? That's a pretty wide brush that you paint transportation execs with, and although I'm not nor ever been politically connected (I'm just not interested), I don't see this as a simple problem, don't see the execs that I've spoken to as "dumb, and certainly don't believe that the errors in construction over the last decade can be faulted with any of your simplistic logic. I question your legitimacy to begin with, always have, as you seem to throw out these generic comments which are more akin to an out-of-state high schooler in a civics class than someone who knows what they're talking about.
The problem here is a complex one, not simple, and it's root causes are political patronage, fraternal subjectivity, and union domination, not "dumbness" as you profess. The likes of Daniel Grabauskas, Richard Davey, and Jeffrey Mullan are far from "dumb", and, in my opinion, have all tried in a world of politicism to construct viable policy and projects. Have you ever met any of these gentlemen ? Secondly, no politician or executive (or anyone for that matter) knows enough about all the sciences to make be able to genuinely evaluate an operation on their own. They rely on so called experts and are therefore at their mercy in as much as getting good information is concerned. Unfortunately, what I have called out as a source of the problems, enters into what an expert evaluates and presents to a public official.