Wednesday, February 10, 2016

CNT/NNEPRA: Brunswick, get ready to become Boomswick!


Stand by for heavy rolls, Brunswick.  According to the authors of the above report, this area, and several others along the Downeaster corridor, are poised to experience explosive growth and economic development.  And we don’t have to do anything!  The magic of Transit Oriented Development (TOD), like most mystical elixirs, will do it for us.

Shirley you haven’t forgotten The Center for Neighborhood Technology from Chicago, employed by NNEPRA to project the benefits of Downeaster passenger rail service upon our beloved community and state.

We discussed them in December, and pointed out they are anything but an objective, detached, non-ideological honest broker in such specialized topics.  Their effort that we discussed in that post ( was dated 2008. 

They are, instead, the sort of foundation funded snake-oil purveyors favored by TrainRiders Northeast, the Brunswick Downtown Association, and All Aboard Brunswick as they seek air cover for their phantasmagoric advocacy for big taxpayer spending on wasteful programs catering to the few at the expense of the many.

Hiding the waste of such funds in the budget of state agencies like NNEPRA makes it all the better.  This ‘authority’ is virtually autonomous, and lacking in accountability and transparency.

Which is why NNEPRA has been able to contract with CNT for a follow-up ‘study,’ with no complaint from taxpayers, the legislature, or their very own Board of Directors.  This effort is called “Downeaster Going Forward,” and curiously, was delivered in a draft version in 2014.

We’ve managed to obtain a copy.  And we’ve excerpted pages that pertain to Brunswick so that you, dear readers, along with TRNE, the BDA, and AAB can bathe in the wonder of the latest projections.  You can find the Brunswick excerpts here:

(Note that when the file opens in your pdf viewer window, you should be able to rotate the view of the tables that appear in landscape format in the report.)

At this point, we have no real stomach for drolling on about the delusional views contained in the study.  We ask that you read the excerpts linked to above and judge for yourself.  Perhpas some ‘highlights’ will entice you to do so.  Like this brilliant recording of the promise of Thompson’s Point development plans:


Not to mention CNT’s mention that the main building at Maine Street Station is three stories, when it is in fact two stories.  Which emphasizes, ironically enough, how CNT engages in story telling whenever it suits their and their sponsor’s interests.

Now for local advocates and foamers, here’s the primary development area the Downeaster will be ‘exponentially’ benefitting economically, to borrow a term from one such advocate:


Now, let’s whet your appetite with this projection:


That’s right; 3,276 new households within 3 miles of our train station.  That’s positively California style mega-development in scale.  Imagine the traffic on Maine Street, not to mention the parking crisis.  Oh well, at least the carriage set will have their dignified choo-choo upon which to ride.

Freeport is expected to grow by 945 households in the same period.  Sounds like we better all start building multiple new schools now to prepare for the onslaught, not to mention expanding every other aspect of municipal infrastructure, including the water and sewer systems, public safety services, and you name it.

We also suggest the town council immediately appoint an ‘Explosive Growth Task Force’ to address this looming and much welcomed crisis.  We’re already 6 years into the 20 year growth period used in the study, and have 3,000 plus new households to add over the remaining 14 years, or an average of more than 200 per year from here on out.  Think of the sprawl!  The smart growth!

Don’t you just love it?  Boomswick, here we come!  Tired old retirement community, we think not!

We confess that we have no idea why this particular “Draft” effort has not been refined into a Final version and formally distributed for public consumption.  If we had been in charge, CNT would not have been engaged in the first place, so a draft would never have come into being.  Their wild exaggerations and ideological bent are a matter of public record at this point, and we’ve made note of their reckless projections here on Side, and in a formal presentation to state officials, including the DOT Commissioner, the Governor, and the ED of NNEPRA.  That presentation resides here should you wish to revisit it:

So far, our inquiries to NNEPRA and CNT regarding the status of the effort have yielded absolutely nothing in the way of a response, and we asked months ago now. 

Perhaps those offering such ‘remedies’ have moved on to other more lucrative markets; you can draw your own conclusions.  Just be careful where you walk so you don’t step in something you regret.

1 comment:

  1. Wait! There are more lucrative consultant markets than regurgitating TOD fantasies to adoring gaggles of foamers? Do tell!