Catch-22 <> Poor Organization, and City Council Endorsements

I was quoted in a recent Needham Times article regarding my complaints with the T:

But Adam Rosi-Kessel, a Roslindale resident who takes the Needham Line to his job in the financial district, said 15- to 20-minute delays have kept him from getting to work before 9 a.m. since May.

Now Rosi-Kessel, a lawyer who biked to work when he lived in Jamaica Plain, is thinking about trading in his Charlie Card again.

“It used to be, living here in Roslindale, the train was always the fastest way to get in,” he said. “Now, it’s slowed down to the point where it’s starting to get competitive with biking again.”

I’m glad they got my biking quote. Here’s the part I don’t understand (emphasis added):

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority spokeswoman Lydia Rivera said Needham Line delays have been caused by construction work and speed restrictions on tracks that don’t go anywhere near Needham.

In order to maximize train use, the T often transfers trains between tracks, rather than leaving underused trains empty in the MBTA yard. The method helps the T get trains where they’re needed most, but it also means a delay on one track can slow service on a seemingly unrelated track.

“It’s a Catch-22,” Rivera said.

I don’t think the T spokesperson knows what a “Catch-22” is. I refer those interested to the Wikipedia article on the subject, but it is nicely summarized there as “heads I win, tails you lose.” The T’s problem is not a logical paradox, but some combination of inadequate resources and poor organization. Can someone please help them out?

Also on Boston local topics: I’ve received several unattributed mailings lately related to the city council election that do not facially promote any particular candidate. Today’s mailing attacked Stephen Murphy for repeatedly trying (and failing) to win some other office or get some other job than City Councilor. The return address was 31 Milk Street, which is the address of many different businesses.

A few days ago, I received another unattributed mailing bemoaning how long it has been since an at-large city councilor came from the Parkway Area (my neighborhood), but not mentioning any candidate in particular.

My guess is these mailings are all meant to support John Connolly, a West Roxbury resident, attorney, and ostensibly good guy. I was feeling pretty happy about the possibility of Connolly replacing Murphy on the Council (I have to admit some unfair prejudice in that the only house in our neighborhood I’ve ever seen prominently posting a sign in support of Bush also features a Murphy billboard). But these questionable campaign tactics are giving me pause. Does anyone know anything more about this?

In any case, here are my endorsements for next week’s election, notwithstanding the concern outlined above: (1) Felix Arroyo, (2) John Connolly, and (3) Sam Yoon. I have no pick for a fourth candidate. I’ll also throw in a vote for Matt Geary. I really wouldn’t want the socialists running the City, but a broader spectrum of political opinion within the council wouldn’t hurt. Incidentally, it is remarkably hard to find any information summarizing all of the candidates’ positions and records. It’s almost as if the election isn’t even happening. (A commenter properly points me to Brighton Centered as a good resource.)

11/3/07 Update: More discussion here.

[Tags]Boston, City Council, Elections, Felix Arroyo, John Connolly, Sam Yoon, Stephen Murphy, Politics, MBTA, Transportation, Roslindale, Needham, Matt Geary[/Tags]