Dear Mayor Walsh,
I am writing you today as young citizen concerned about the future of the city. As a college student, I am often more worried about pop quizzes and dorm room regulations than about city infrastructure and safety. Recently however, several problems have come to my attention that I would like to discuss.
The first most pressing problem is a concern shared by many and that is the city’s roads and bridges. In particular, the Storrow Drive Tunnel concerns me not only because of the Travel and Leisure study that found it to be the worst bridge in America but also because any Bostonian can see the potential dangers lurking if the bridge is not repaired soon. The frequent repairs to the bridge are nothing more than a Band-Aid on the problem; a permanent solution that takes into consideration the high-capacity travel that occurs daily on the Storrow Drive Tunnel is needed immediately. The 1951 built bridge is no longer sufficiently safe for the amount of people who use it every day.
The other issue I would like to address is one on which you ran during your mayoral campaign—the atrocity that is City Hall. This building has so many problems I do not know where to begin. First and foremost, it is ugly as well as an embarrassment. In a city with an abundance of beautiful, classic, and historical buildings, our City Hall building is nothing more than an eye sore. You yourself stated that the building should be leveled and the land sold for development. I see nothing wrong with this proposal and wonder why you have not moved forward with the plan. The building, one which sits in the middle of a busy section of downtown, occupies otherwise valuable space and the awful design and layout discourages anyone from congregating around. Anyone unfortunate enough to have to visit City Hall wants to leave as soon as they arrive. I pity you for having to work there every day.
We need an investment in infrastructure to solve the problems of crumbling bridges, dangerous, pot-filled roads, and eye-sore buildings. A 2013 report found that the road conditions in Massachusetts cost the average motorist an average of $313 per year in vehicle repairs. This number can only have increased after the wretched winter that wreaked havoc on roads. A recent article in the Boston Globe suggested that investing in infrastructure is the most viable solution to solving the economic problems still experienced by large sections of the population. The unemployment rate in Boston is at 7.2%, higher than the nation’s unemployment rate. In a time when vital work needs to be done on the city’s crumbling infrastructure, funding construction workers to fix these problems seems like a solid solution.
Investing in infrastructure is one area where I feel that you can positively impact Boston. I appreciate your time and sincerely hope that you will consider the suggestions I have made to you about some of the problems facing our city.
“2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure: Massachusetts.” American Society of Civil Engineers. http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/massachusetts/massachusetts-overview/. Accessed October 25, 2014.
“Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.” October 16, 2014. http://lmi2.detma.org/lmi/news_release_state.asp. Accessed October 25, 2014.
Ganley, Shaun. “Boston Home to Worst ‘Bridge’ in America, Survey Finds.” WCVB Boston. http://www.wcvb.com/news/local/metro/boston-home-to-worst-bridge-in-america-survey-finds/21339880. Accessed October 25, 2014.
McMorrow, Paul. “Boston City Hall Should be Torn Down.” The Boston Globe. September 24, 2013. http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2013/09/23/boston-city-hall-should-torn-down/oVs2ywpJg1qHZkmmmZIYIL/story.html. Accessed October 25, 2014.