Rayn Riel is a graduate student in City/Urban, Community and Regional Planning. He can be reached at [email protected]

Op-Ed: Trigger warning — free speech

We are all extremely lucky to be surrounded by our bright peers, friends and families as we graduate this weekend. For a few years, we had the privilege of sharing unique perspectives with each other. I certainly learned a lot, and I look forward to continuing to grow. Thus, it is unfortunate that some were […]

Planning beyond boundaries

America needs a new map prioritizing our urban regions. We are as strong as our weakest link, and our urban regions are weakened by municipal and state boundaries, forcing us to think small and plan small. Municipalities and states fight to attract businesses and fund transportation links. Resources are scarce and arguably even scarcer when regions aren’t thinking as a […]

Marathon Monday

The Boston Marathon is supposed to occur only once a year. But for many in the region, it’s a marathon to get to school or work on time every single day. Boston is facing an identity crisis: is it a global city with ample night life opportunities or a New England town shutting down the MBTA before […]

Soaring costs or soaring buildings?

The MBTA Green Line Extension Project may not get built because costs have risen astronomically to $3 billion, which would make it the most costly rail expansion per mile in the transit agency’s history. And it is not even a subway line. In fact, most of the right-of-way already exists alongside tracks used by the commuter rail, […]

Bridge the Gap: Joint Development

The Green Line Extension, which theoretically would reach our campus at the College Avenue and Boston Avenue intersection, may not be built. Unlike the Green Line elsewhere, this section would be built alongside the existing commuter rail tracks, separated from the roads, so it would be faster and more convenient. And our campus would have […]

Bridge the Gap: Davis Square

Even though the T is a perpetually cash-strapped authority, the MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority) curiously lacks the motive to innovate. Why, for instance, have they not built a taller facility for its one-story Red Line station entrances at Davis Square, when surrounding buildings are all at least a few stories tall? Davis Square is […]

Bridge the Gap: Transportation Finance 101

When it comes to transportation infrastructure, Massachusetts–and in particular, the Boston region–is far from progressive. Yes, the T is underfunded, perhaps partly because of a persistent stigma against public transportation in America, and its connection with race, class and suburbanization. And yes, the T operates America’s oldest public transportation network, and newer systems do not have as many […]

Bridge the Gap

It’s winter again in Boston. Anyone who was here last year knows what that means – our ability to move about the city could come to a screeching halt in the blink of an eye. The MBTA (or the “T”) completely shut down last winter after repeated large storms, stranding thousands of travelers and creating severely […]

Masks of Halloween

I write in response to the Tufts University Culture, Ethnicity, and Community Affairs Committee (CECA), which has published Halloween costume guidelines. Their piece begins by trying to be relatable, but then, to me, it feels as though they begin to proscribe and mock privilege, coming off as superior themselves. Instead of promoting dialogue and discussion, […]