Shakespeare had it right; winter breeds discontentment. Here in New England it has bred a form of malady combining boredom with depression. Glorious, is it not? Let’s go with Not.
I never believed that I would live through another winter like the one I enjoyed in 1978. As a small child, I played blissfully in the snow and enjoyed staying home away from schoolwork. I recall picking up my head, gazing out the window at the snow storm and going back to sleep. It was blissful knowing that my biggest concern would be making sure my feet and hands stayed relatively dry as I formed perfect snowballs for our growing fort outside. That was glorious.
The blizzard of 2015 isn’t creating the same memories. For one, I’m an adult working and struggling to get into my office in Cambridge, MA. We Rhode Islanders have had approximately 4 feet of snow fall on us. However, our Massachusetts brethren have had 7 feet of snow. They are at the deep end of the pool while we can be moderately comfortable in the shallow end. Of course, we are all freezing equally.
For me, the worst part of this winter is dealing with the MBTA and the ongoing issues with all their trains. While I believe the CEO was scapegoated for the sins of the organization (most of the issues and maladies of the organization existed prior to her employment), I don’t see her stepping down as changing any of the issues at hand. First off, the MBTA needs to replace the engines on several of the commuter lines as well as the inner city trains. You can only do so much to repair old technology. It’s becoming the equivalent to putting a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound. Second, they need to retrofit several of the stations. I have repeatedly sent notes to the MBTA through Twitter (they often respond) regarding the horrendous conditions at the South Attleboro MA station. My understanding is that there is some sort of question over who is responsible for stations on the commuter lines. The tracks are shared by Amtrak as well as being housed on town/city lands. From what I have gathered, South Attleboro is being told that the maintenance and repair of their station is in their hands. However, the MBTA and Amtrak also have a stake in the property. If this argument stands, then why did the city of Attleboro retrofit their station and update the location completely? While I did put a bug in the ear of a young Channel 10 reporter and advise her to chase the story, I don’t see much activity in place to change anything. Of course, the MBTA will more than likely raise the rates (again) for the commuter rail services. Pathetic.