Dithering on transit opportunity in Allston will prove costly for state

Dante Ramos is dead right in arguing that the state Department of Transportation must plan now for West Station to be built in the Beacon Yards, an area that is on the verge of massive development (“In Allston, transit amnesia strikes again,” Opinion, Dec. 17), and he makes a powerful case.

Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack, who certainly knows better, is hesitating while awaiting Harvard’s plans. The state has a primary responsibility for public transportation. As Ramos points out, the gridlock in the Seaport district is a result of failure to plan public transit. The near death of the Somerville Green Line extension, a result of escalating costs, is another example of timorousness and delay on the part of the state.

Now is an opportunity to seize the initiative. Any hesitation on the basis of cost must be weighed against the obvious fact that delay will only lead to exponential cost increases (as in the example of the Green Line extension). The state has the power to make all the stakeholders reach agreement before initiating expensive construction that may preclude a sensible public transportation facility in the area. There is no excuse for letting this opportunity be lost.

Ernest Loewenstein