Mayor Carlo DeMaria has outlined an ambitious agenda of projects to be done in the next four years and beyond. We congratulate the mayor on taking the initiative to try cutting-edge solutions to many lifestyle problems that plague Everett and other cities and towns like affordable housing and traffic congestion.
DeMaria has already started addressing the issue of traffic congestion. Installing a dedicated bus-lane down Broadway from 4 to 9 a.m. has already cut commuting time for many residents, and the implementation had very little cost. Priority bus traffic-lights will also help move traffic along on Broadway. On the margins, these commuting measures will help. However, the larger issue is traffic gridlock.
Just on Monday morning with many of the main roads to Boston in gridlock, many motorists turned onto Broadway and tried getting into Boston over the Alford Street Bridge. Needless to say, Broadway became gridlocked from about the old high school to as far as the eye could see with cars literally inching their way forward.
This very situation was predicted by DeMaria in his inaugural address the week earlier. DeMaria is right, that the way to address gridlock is not by building bigger highways, but by seeking alternative means of transportation and a lifestyle with fewer cars.
This idea of fewer cars on the roadways will not happen in the next five years, but according to a report on WBUR, Ford Motor Company is studying the possibility, that fewer cars will be bought by the millenials in the next 10 to 20 years. This next generation is more prone to use Uber, walk, bicycle or use public transportation to get to their destinations.
The type of projects that DeMaria outlined in his inaugural speech last week, such as a more accessible public commuter rail system, extending the Silver Line from Chelsea to Everett, water transportation or a local, trackless trolley system, could save commuting time for residents.
Today, DeMaria’s model of a dedicated bus lane is being copied nationally.
And today, local roadways are at capacity and in some cases have far exceeded their capacity in the number of cars that they can handle at one time with motorists wasting valuable time just sitting in gridlock.
The City of Everett and Mayor DeMaria seem to be poised on the cutting edge to have in place the necessities of the lifestyle in regards to housing, parks, open spaces and public transportation systems that will be part of the American society in 20 years.