Your editorial in favor of the proposed IndyCar race (“Give IndyCar the green flag,” March 20) gave short shrift to the harms that it would inflict on those who live on the public roads where it will take place, in the Seaport, Fort Point, and South Boston neighborhoods: 140 decibels of noise, an illegal level that can cause permanent hearing loss; construction for six months each year for the next five years; grinding, widening, and paving of roads; removal of medians, light poles, and trees; welding down of manhole covers; placement of 10,000-pound concrete barriers and 14-foot-high metal fencing in front of our homes; disturbance of PCB-filled areas that have never been remediated; so-called run-out lanes ending a few feet from our children’s playgrounds; storage of mountains of concrete barriers by Boston Harbor, in violation of environmental laws; traffic and parking nightmares; disruption of public transportation; and diversion of trucks carrying hazardous waste onto our streets.
Labor Day weekend in the Seaport is not a slow period. We should know — we live here. There is no evidence that the race will generate economic benefits that outweigh its very substantial costs to Boston.
The public has NOT had the opportunity to be involved in decisions about the race. Mayor Walsh signed a five-year agreement without reaching out to the public, and he and Governor Baker have not responded to our letters. Planning meetings are not open to the public. The powers that be want everyone to believe that the race is a done deal.
The race track would run over one of the state’s major toxic waste sites. Yet the race promoter has refused to submit an Environmental Notification Form, which would begin state environmental review. We hope and trust that state environmental officials will require that the project be submitted for a transparent review, before construction begins. We also hope and trust that the Boston Public Improvement Commission will fulfill its duties at the March 31 public hearing to make sure that all construction for the race is safe and for the benefit of city residents, not just in service of what happens to suit the needs of politically connected for-profit promoters.