Thursday, November 08, 2007

Big Dig adds new layer of coddling for suburban commuters.

As if the $15b price tag, increased carbon emissions, and huge encouragement of driving to work alone were not enough, the Big Dig will now pander to drivers who use cell phones--by allowing all cell phone customers to pay $7.6m to add reception-providing cables to the tunnel walls. The Globe reports that many drivers who "multitask" may now "be able to chat on their cell phones uninterrupted." Massachusetts Turnpike officials, who stand to gain a lot of rent from this development, claim that cell phones in the winding tunnels won't create threats to safety. But the Globe reported on an activist's investigation into the tunnels' high crash rate on July 24 and published a reader's letter supporting the activist's work on July 25.

We need to get people out of their cars. We need to cut down emissions in Urban Boston. We need to encourage safer driving through a statewide headset-only law. This development makes accomplishing any of those goals seem a little less possible.

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