It's about damn time

My grandmother had a mild stroke yesterday, from which she is recovering today at a local hospital. Fortunately, it was really mild with little residual physical effect. I'm at ease now, but when I got the call while at work, I was less than calm. I left work immediately and headed south on Route 93.

Traffic, as usual, at 3 p.m. was backed up all the way through Tip's Tunnel. It used to only back up in the last hundred yards or so, but now traffic is starting to backup the way it did in the days of the old Central Artery. Therefore, it takes a long time to get through the tunnel. It can seem like an eternity when rushing homeward for a family emergency. What makes it worse is that cell phone reception in the tunnels is spotty and largely non-existent. That means as most of Boston creeps under the city, I am out of contact for upwards of 30 to 40 minutes with the rest of the world.

It was extremely frustrating and nerve-wracking. Going into the tunnel, I wasn't able to get enough information to know how concerned I should be. I tried to remain calm, but it was hard. All I could do was sit and wait for my turn to exit. Had I read the Globe yesterday, I would have seen the story that said the Legislature is demanding Mass. Turnpike Chief Matt Amorello get cell phone service in place in the tunnel by Dec. 31 or it will turn over the communications system to the state Dept. of Telecommunications and Energy. I could have taken some solace in the fact that it might result in me being able to make a subterranean phone call. It would have also come in handy when traffic crawled through the tunnel on a recent Friday midday on my way to a doctor's appointment. Traffic was worse than I anticipated for a midday, and I wasn't able to call to say I would be late until I got out of the tunnel, which, actually coincided with the time I was supposed to be at the doctor's.

I say, why wait six months? Turn it over to DTE on July 1. Amorello has had three years since the northbound tunnel opened to make these arrangements. If it took me three years to complete something at my job, I would be fired for incompetence. I should expect, if after three years of not completing a task, my boss would take the duty away from me, without warning, and give it to someone who was capable.


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