Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Election Day 

I arrived at my Town Hall a bit before the polls opened at 7 am. This was not early enough to beat the crowds. But I got my vote in, and now I can just observe for the rest of the day. The Girl prefers to go after work (she prefers not to do anything that requires getting up early, except MAYBE golf), so I called her up and told her to make sure her MP3 player is fully charged before she heads over.

Copley was a zoo yesterday, but it was even worse today. All pedestrians are being routed through cattle chute type traffic patterns, and you can only get within about 20 feet (in the street) of the bus stop. I looked carefully for any signs indicating temporary bus stop areas, but there were none, plus the crowd control barrier was slightly askew directly out from the bus stop, seemingly to allow people to enter and exit the buses there. So another woman and I waited there for our bus. About 7 or 8 minutes later, the MBTA Inspector who had been sitting in his official vehicle about 30 feet away the entire time finally got out of the car and walked over to ask us which bus we were awaiting. He then directed us to the beginning of the block and across the street, to the temporary stop. There were no signs anywhere indicating this.

When the DNC was in town, the T put up all kinds of helpful signs and pointers, plus had scores of pleasant staffers standing by to assist visiting delagates. But when it's just the locals being displaced, forget it. We're on our own. This isn't meeting Mayor Menino's stated plans and projections:

"It's a great opportunity once again to shine the spotlight of the world on Boston," said Mayor Thomas M. Menino. "John Kerry will be president-elect, and it will be a very special night for the city.

"The city can handle this," Menino said. "We'll deploy the same kind of plan we had during the Democratic National Convention in late July."

But you know what? I really don't care, so long as the whole area is a big celebratory festival sometime before midnight tonight. The surrounding buildings are draped in bunting and American flags, people are exercising their right to vote in record numbers, and our chosen system is moving along as designed.

The Guyfriend and I are going in to Copley at lunch today, just to soak up the atmosphere. Hope is in the air.

Posted by Beth Henderson at 10:30 AM