THE PIONEER BLOG

Should Boston want to be the home of Amazon’s second headquarters?

Amazon is the kind of company whose mere presence is enough to transform a city. Billions of dollars in investment, tens of thousands of high-paying jobs, and a major impact on transportation and land use have characterized Amazon’s relationship with its primary home of Seattle. As the company continues to grow, its process to determine […]

Is local government in Massachusetts too pervasive?

In a country as culturally and politically diverse as the United States, vastly different political systems have come to serve local populations in various states. Certain regions of the nation have far-reaching and invasive local government systems, while others have large swaths of the population that don’t have any sub-county government at all. A typical […]

Troop F Gets an A: State Auditor Overlooks DSP Corruption, Neglects Audits

The Office of the State Auditor’s (OSA’s) website describes our current auditor, Suzanne Bump, as “the chief accountability officer for state government in Massachusetts and its residents.” The OSA’s enabling statute requires the department to audit all 700 departments and organizations of the government at least once every three years. Yet in her seven years […]

Disappointing Decision Regarding High-Achieving Cape Cod Charter School

In 2004 the Barnstable County Horace Mann Charter School was founded to “Engage, educate, and challenge a diverse K-3 population to achieve the highest level of academic excellence.” The school has its own nine-member board of trustees, principal, and staff that under the Horace Mann format are given greater control over budgetary and teaching decisions […]

Parking Fine Hikes in Boston: a step in Go Boston 2030’s Larger Plan

On July 2, 2018, parking ticket fines in Boston increased substantially. In an attempt to decrease congestion and increase efficiency, the City of Boston hiked the fines for the first time in 10 years. According to the City of Boston’s website, the increased fines represent those violations that: most negatively impact residents, are most frequently […]

Proportional Parking Fees: The MBTA Listens to Pioneer’s Recommendations

The Pioneer Institute has produced extensive research on the MBTA. Not only has it provided analysis and criticism, but various remedies to policy. In particular, Pioneer’s research has gained notoriety and resulted in a policy change. One issue that recently influenced MBTA policy was Pioneer’s research on the lack of available parking spaces at highly […]

Investing in commercial development may ease fiscal woes without affecting crime

Bedford, Massachusetts is a suburban town of about 14,000 in the heart of Middlesex County. Its Wikipedia page boasts a charming picture of a historic train depot engulfed in fiery fall foliage. Driving through Bedford at night, you would hardly notice the slew of tech companies and manufacturing operations tucked into a corner of the […]

Need a Lift?

For hundreds of years, the Tufts Medical Center has served as a research and teaching facility and a full service hospital for residents of Back Bay and the greater Boston area. Given the Center’s significance, a MBTA Orange Line stop was built underneath the hospital in the late 1980’s to allow patients and employees to […]

“Isn’t Everything Online and Free?” The Exclusivity of MA Law Libraries

There are 15 Trial Court Law Libraries in Massachusetts to service the Commonwealth’s 6.8 million residents. Publicly funded, they are a resource on Massachusetts laws for attorneys, judges, and the public. On the libraries’ website under the “What You Need to Know” section, they ask the question: “Isn’t everything online and free?” Their response: no. […]

The Reality of Cape Cod’s Population Trend

Cape Cod is known as a bustling tourist location that overflows with visitors eager to get close to the ocean during the stifling summer months. In fact, Cape Cod experiences a 50 percent increase in occupancy level between January and August. While the Cape continues to experience economic growth due to its booming tourism industry, […]

Boston is a global city. Here’s why that status is threatened

Boston is often touted as a “global city.” A quick Google search will tell you that Boston is one of the best cities in the world for everything from quality of life to tech startups to commercial real estate investment. While traditionally an economic indicator, there’s now a general understanding that global cities have certain […]

After the toll booths, where did the toll collectors go?

It has been almost two years since Massachusetts implemented fully cashless toll collection. The hope was to improve traffic flow, decrease harmful environmental emissions, increase safety and save money on personnel costs that could be redirected to maintenance or other capital projects. In 2016, 446 employees operated toll booths on the Mass Pike and Tobin […]

Newburyport, Abington and Beyond: How Should Massachusetts Towns Prepare for Legalized Recreational Marijuana?

Recreational marijuana businesses are legal in Massachusetts as of July 1, but many of the Commonwealth’s towns are still unsure about how to proceed. Even though voters enthusiastically approved Question 4 in 2016, the enthusiasm has not carried over to town governments. For example, in Milford, 52 percent of voters supported the statewide legalization initiative. […]

Income and education gaps, and the lack of mobility in Worcester County

Massachusetts is known to have some of the top public schools in the country. Its traditional, vocational, and charter schools are ranked best in the nation across a variety of disciplines. Gaining access to these schools, however, comes at a steep price. For example, Worcester County communities spend much of their overall budgets on education. […]