Is our "City on a Hill" really a mountain impossible to climb, for anyone who has a bold idea? That's what organizers of a race called the "IndyCar" said on Friday, when they abruptly canceled the high speed competition thru Boston's Seaport district planned for Labor Day weekend.
The plan in Boston would have created a start line on the west side of the Convention Center. The route included 11 high speed turns. Drivers would have wound their way down Congress Street, back on the Haul Road, down D Street and then completing a loop around the Convention Center.
Almost from the moment this event was announced, there was opposition: It wasn't safe. There was too much pollution. Too much noise.
Assemble VC Co-Founder, C.A. Webb (@ca_webb) and Former Boston City Council Member Michael Ross (@MikeforBoston) joined Jim on Monday night to discuss the IndyCar race and Boston's history of saying no.
Ross said we are in danger of becoming a place that says no to big ideas, "if there's a succession of things like this that get turned down over and over again." In his recent piece in The Boston Globe, Ross said that "Boston really is trying to shed the image of 'no,'” citing the Big Air event at Fenway as an example. "Not everything should be up for a vote," he said.
Webb said that Ross does a good job "stirring the pot" but was dubious about the IndyCar race as an exciting event. Many cities have said no to IndyCar races, "so Boston is not the negative Nancy on this one," she said.
"This is not about Indy being in Boston," said Ross. "This is about us being able to make decisions like a great city does."