Quoting from “Projects” on Page 8 of your April 15, 2010 issue, “... Monument Square ... where planners say streets are wider than necessary and some of the area could be used to increase pedestrian safety and add more green space.”
When I worked in Park Square, I commuted through Monument Square every weekday; the streets there are by no means excessively wide. In its ongoing war against automobile commuters, the City of Boston has for years been finding excuses to narrow its main commuting streets and obstruct traffic (known to planners by the euphemism “traffic calming”).
It appears to me that the city’s planners define “wider than necessary” as more width than required for one single file of cars to pass. Monument Square is already congested during morning rush hours with traffic from West Roxbury combining with suburban commuters using the VFW Parkway merging with the cars on South Street from Roslindale, Hyde Park and points south.
Evidently the powers that be in City Hall anticipate that narrowing the Monument Square intersection would result in monumental morning traffic congestion of enormous gratification to municipal planners adamantly opposed to the evils of automobile commuters.
I know whereof I speak; I’m a civil engineer with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, and I drive to work.