Convention planners release detailed traffic, security plan

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Lefty Wilbury, May 20, 2004.

  1. Lefty Wilbury
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    Lefty Wilbury Active Member

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    http://www.boston.com/news/politics...nners_release_detailed_traffic_security_plan/

    Convention planners release detailed traffic, security plan
    By Denise Lavoie, Associated Press Writer | May 20, 2004

    BOSTON -- Planners of the Democratic National Convention confirmed the worst fears of Boston commuters on Thursday, releasing a security plan that includes closing several miles of busy Interstate 93, along with bridges, tunnels and some secondary highways during the afternoon rush hour.

    "Our best guess is that we are going to severely impact traffic," said State Police Maj. Michael Mucci, who unveiled the latest draft of the security plan at a breakfast meeting of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.

    Mucci said he could not estimate how long commuters could be stuck in traffic that week, but he half-jokingly told the crowd of more than 400 business and political leaders that if the traffic got too bad, commuters should "turn around and go home."

    The plan calls for I-93 to close from around 4 p.m. until after midnight on the four days of the convention -- July 26-29. The interstate passes within yards of the FleetCenter, where the convention will be held.

    The highway will be closed from exit 32 in Medford, just north of Boston, to Exit 20, which connects to the Massachusetts Turnpike just south of downtown.

    The Sumner Tunnel and Tobin Bridge will also be closed. And eastbound Storrow Drive will be closed from Western Avenue to North Station during the convention.

    Some secondary roads will also have traffic restrictions or lane closures, including portions of Route 1 north of Boston, where travel will be reduced to one lane.

    Mucci said the car pool lanes on I-93 will be used as dedicated lanes for emergency vehicles and designated MBTA buses only.

    "Those decisions are not made lightly and they are not made in a vacuum," Secret Service security planner Scott Sheafe said.

    Planners said they considered a multitude of alternative traffic plans and tried to come up with a plan that balanced the need for heightened security with the level of disruption caused by the closures. The DNC will be the first national political convention since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

    Many of the security measures come at the insistence of the Secret Service, which has designated the DNC a "national special security event." All vehicles in the downtown area, for example, will be subject to random searches.

    A preliminary version of the plan, announced in March, called for the highway closure, as well as the weeklong shutdown of busy North Station, located directly beneath the FleetCenter.

    It met with widespread complaints from commuters, especially those who live north of Boston and rely on the highway and commuter rail station for access to the city. Many said they would take vacation that week or telecommute from home, rather than brave what is sure to be a traffic nightmare.

    About 24,000 rail commuters use North Station daily, while up to 200,000 motorists use the new I-93 tunnel, the centerpiece of the massive Big Dig highway project.

    North Station will close for the entire week, and the four commuter rail lines from the north will stop outside the city and riders will be bused into Boston. Subways will not stop at North Station during the convention.

    Inner harbor commuter ferries from Lovejoy Wharf in downtown Boston will also be suspended for the entire week.

    Boston Mayor Thomas Menino called on companies to encourage carpooling and give employees options such as working from home and staggering work hours. "I'm asking you to give your employees the flexibility they need to make this work," he told the chamber.

    Walter Prince, a partner in a law firm located less than 100 yards from the FleetCenter, said the firm's 85 employees will work at home as much as possible, but that doesn't help lawyers who have appearances scheduled in downtown courthouses that week.

    "We're going to have to really assess whether we can really even operate that week," Prince said.

    ------

    On the Net: http://boston04.com
     
  2. Lefty Wilbury
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    Lefty Wilbury Active Member

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    heres just a few responses on the globes site. if ou want to read more of the currently 31 pages worth of stuff click on the link

    http://www.boston.com/news/messageboards/2004/0520dnc/msg1.shtml

    DNC security to affect I-93 from Canton to Woburn

    The Democratic National Convention brings the need for security at a high-profile event into conflict with ordinary people's needs to get to get to work or home. Do current plans balance those two sets of needs well?


    Response pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

    Page 1



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    If you work downtown, you should take those days off....Relax, enjoy the summer days...

    Boston Resident



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    elitists

    works in boston



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    Are these screwballs really worth it?

    Sean



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    Complete insanity and overkill!!! Ridiculous!! What's the plan for people to get to work?

    Kelley



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    The one good thing that could come from this is if John Kerry loses some Mass. votes over this.

    Mark



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    I think this is a lot a trouble and inconvenience to accomodate a private party. I'd love to know the legal basis that permits the Fleet Center to book a private party that will shut down access to and from the City of Boston for a week.

    Paul



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    Give me a break. What is the real need to shut it down so far norht of the city. This is no longer affecting just downtown, the Rt. 128 commuters will be sorely affected as well.

    John



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    I wonder what the mayor would be saying if this was the RNC? His comments could probably not be heard over the wailing and gnashing of teeth.

    G.



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    You know, it doesn't seem like they are taking these drastic measures for the Republican National Convention in NYC. MSG sits on top of Penn Station, but they're not closing that. Something stinks here.

    Martin



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    My boss has decided to close for the week. Since I have no benefits, I get a week off without pay. Living check to check and having exausted all my savings while laid off for over a year, paying rent in August will be interesting to say the least.... If the event cannot be held without disrupting the taxpayers who paid to build and USE this infrastructure, don't hold it....

    Rich
     
  3. MtnBiker
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    MtnBiker Senior Member

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    Are you leaving town that week Lefty?
     
  4. Lefty Wilbury
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    Lefty Wilbury Active Member

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    i'm just on the out side of where these shut downs are in terms of distance but it affects the main highway so it'l effet everything but i'm also where people are staying in hotels and where they are flying into. they all be heading out this way to do tours of lexington and concord as well. forget leaving town i'm thinking about heading to maine that week.
     
  5. MtnBiker
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    MtnBiker Senior Member

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    Even without traffic problems going to Maine that week is a great idea. I'll bet there is great mountain biking there. :thup:
     
  6. Lefty Wilbury
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    Lefty Wilbury Active Member

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    i wouldn't mountain bike where my house is up there. even though there is a hunting season they still hunt all year round and accidents have happend.
     
  7. Zhukov
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    Zhukov VIP Member

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    Terrorists would have to be insanely stupid to hit the DNC. This, perhaps more than anything else to date, shows the detachment of the D's.
     

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