No one would describe Boston as “friendly” or even as reasonably easy to drive through, but that hasn’t stopped it from making a bid to host the 2024 Olympic summer games. With a traffic pattern that can bring even life-long Bostonians to tears, choosing Boston as the host city could wind up being the worst idea ever.
City employees are currently being told to refrain from making any negative comments about the city or the prospect of Boston hosting the Olympics, according to a memo. The Boston Globe reports:
“Documents obtained by the Globe through a public records request to City Hall show Mayor Martin J. Walsh has signed a formal agreement with the United States Olympic Committee that bans city employees from criticizing Boston’s bid for the 2024 Summer Games.”
Interestingly, some Bostonians believe that hosting the Olympics might actually improve some of the traffic issues that currently plague the city, according to John Fish, head of Suffolk Construction and chairman of Boston 2024.
However, it is unclear if hosting the Olympics would actually change traffic patterns in Boston, as other say most traffic would be pedestrian. Local news station WMUR reports:
“Boston would be the most compact games in modern times, [architect and co-chair of the Boston 2024 planning committee] David Manfredi said. Twenty-eight of 33 proposed venues would be within 6.2 miles of the athletes’ village, which is planned for the waterfront campus of UMass-Boston.”
The plans to transform Boston could cost upwards of $4.7 billion, while also relying on $5.2 billion in infrastructure and public transportation projects already in the works. The bid claims it will not rely on a single dollar from taxpayers, though, saying the money will come from broadcast revenue, sponsorships and ticket sales.
Currently Boston is up against cities such as Paris, Rome, and Berlin, all of which are previous hosts of the Olympics. The International Olympic Committee will make the final decision in 2017. Until then, this New Englander can only hope that the Olympics won’t be coming to a city near me.