by Jeffrey B. Mullan, Executive Director, Turnpike Authority
This week, former Governor Romney was honored with the unveiling of his official portrait, which is now hanging in the outer office of the executive suite at the State House. There, it joins the portraits of our last six Governors, back to Frank Sargent, who was, of course, our Public Works Commissioner in the 1960s. Less well noticed was that Romney's placement on the wall caused the displacement of Sargent's predecessor, also a former Public Works Commissioner, John A. Volpe, who was Governor of the Commonwealth for much of the 1960s.
As we pursued transportation reform over the last two years, we talked a lot about John Volpe and his impact on Massachusetts transportation. The son of immigrants, Volpe rose to become a three-term Governor, the first U.S. Secretary of Transportation, and the nation's ambassador to Italy. As Commissioner, he did battle with another transportation giant, William F. Callahan, and pushed for the creation of the Dewey Square Tunnel. As Governor, he laid the groundwork for the establishment of the Executive Office of Transportation in 1969. While U.S. Secretary of Transportation, he was at the forefront of the nation's shift to the need for community planning in transportation and was witness to the stop the highway movement that began right here in Boston. That effort led directly to increased investment in public transit and, ultimately, to the Central Artery/Tunnel Project. In recognition of his contribution to transportation, the U.S. Department of Transportation rededicated its national facility in Cambridge as the John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in 1990.
While Volpe's role in our business is unquestioned, he became important to our work on transportation reform because not since he was Governor have we so fundamentally changed the way we govern transportation in the Commonwealth. His career is also a reminder to us that decisions we make now have an impact on citizens for a long time. How ironic that, on the very day that the transportation reform bill became law, Volpe's portrait was removed from the executive suite. He no longer needs a place of honor at the State House. His legacy is secure. So long as we have Chapter 6C of the Massachusetts General Laws, Ambassador Volpe will be very much a part of our profession.
MBTA: Blue Hill Avenue Station Project Public Meeting Set posted on Sep 22
The MBTA on Wednesday, October 5, will present design details, project benefits, bid date/process, construction phasing and construction schedule of its Blue Hill Avenue Station project. A public meeting has been scheduled as follows: Wednesday, October 5, 6:00 PM, Mattapan Branch Library, 1350 Blue Hill …Continue Reading MBTA: Blue Hill Avenue Station Project Public Meeting Set
Arsenal Street Corridor Study Public Meeting Set posted on Sep 22
Please join the Massachusetts Department of Transportation for a Public Information Meeting on the Arsenal Street Corridor Study as follows: Tuesday, October 4, 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Watertown Middle School, Auditorium & Cafeteria, 68 Waverly Avenue, Watertown MassDOT is studying the Arsenal Street Corridor in …Continue Reading Arsenal Street Corridor Study Public Meeting Set
Baker-Polito Administration Announces Complete Streets Program Grants posted on Sep 21
Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack, Highway Administrator Thomas Tinlin, and members of the Legislature today announced grant funding from the Complete Streets Program to 11 participating municipalities. A ceremony was held at the Massachusetts State House to distribute funding for …Continue Reading Baker-Polito Administration Announces Complete Streets Program Grants