Life is ‘good’? What readers said about quality of life in Boston.

Readers Say

“The grass may look greener on the other side, but I doubt their garden is as nice as ours.”

An early morning jog across the Longfellow Bridge from Boston heading towards Cambridge with some golden sunlight. David L Ryan/Globe Staff

A poll from the Boston Policy Institute conducted in April found that nearly four out of five Boston voters have an overall positive outlook on the quality of life in the city.

  • Watch: Unwritten rules for living in Boston

Seventy-nine percent of voters who took the survey noted their quality of life as either good (65%) or excellent (14%). Sixty percent of voters said they were likely to stay in Boston long-term — 60% also said that things in Boston are better or the same as they were a half decade ago. Among voters who said things were worse in the city, half attributed it to the cost of living.

While Boston received high marks for its performance within the sectors of safety, employment opportunities, and social justice and inclusion, it received low performance ratings on issues perceived as having a high importance: cost of living, affordable housing opportunities, public transportation, infrastructure, and the public school system.

We asked readers if they agreed: Is the quality of life in Boston “good” or “excellent”? More than 100 readers responded to our survey, and they were evenly split on the question.

Many readers who said Boston’s quality of life was positive cited its attributes, such as education pursuits, the entertainment scene, and the city’s relative safety, but still acknowledged that the quality of life is not perfect and could be better.

“I’ve lived in a lot of places and there just aren’t many in North America that afford human-scale living. Our public transit is awful by international standards but by US standards…it exists! The rent is too darn high but that’s a reflection of insufficient housing for the number of people who want to live here,” said James from Malden Center.

“There’s big city amenities (live theaters, international flights, world class museums, good universities, festivals…) in a walkable footprint,” he continued. “A population that is educated well above the national average. Crime is below average. Lots of good-paying career opportunities. The grass may look greener on the other side, but I doubt their garden is as nice as ours.”

Those who disagree and believe the city’s quality of life to be on the negative side cited the high cost of living in Boston as well as the state of the city’s infrastructure and public transit system.

“It’s unaffordable for most folks who work in the city and would like to live there as well,” said one reader.

Do you agree that the quality of life in Boston is either ‘good’ or ‘excellent’?

Below, see a sampling of what some readers had to say over whether or not the quality of life in Boston reflects the results of the poll.

Responses have been lightly edited for grammar and clarity.

Is the quality of life in Boston?

‘Boston is a smart, young, vibrant city that is improving and changing with the times’

“I’ve lived here for most of my life and will never leave. For me, this is the best place on earth.” — Jack L., Back Bay

“It is true we do not all share the same quality of life, let’s not pretend we do. While there is great wealth disparity, that is nothing new. Boston is a smart, young, vibrant city that is improving and changing with the times. If you live in Coolidge or Harvard Square you are in one of the top 100 neighborhoods in the country. Boston is well educated, young, energetic, politically progressive. The food scene is improving, the walk/bike ability is improving, and the Celtics and Bruins are in the hunt for a championship. And who could forget the Boston MF marathon?” — Conor O., Brookline

“Entertainment and cultural options, pro sports, good food, public transit, walkability, livable neighborhoods, excellent health care, and a strong economy: most big cities have some of these; very few have all of them. What’s unique to Boston is the universities, which create opportunities to stay engaged intellectually — lectures, performances, courses, part-time degrees, visiting artists, labs, etc. It’s really special. Housing is too expensive though, and if you can’t afford to live, no amount of amenities will keep you here.” — Daniel, Watertown

“Boston is generally a safe and walkable city with much greenery. However, I do heartily agree with the less-than-good infrastructure issues that the city faces. What happened to all of that Build Back Better Act money? I have not seen any roads paved at all and the T still is pathetic. Even NYC has been investing in its subways and roads!” — Barry R., Brookline

“Boston is America’s greatest city, second to none. I was born and raised there. Unfortunately, I moved away 7 years ago because it was just too damn expensive.” — A reader

“We have great community activities. The Boston Public Library has wonderful free events for families. There are great green spaces to enjoy.” — Caitlin H., Roslindale

“The quality of life in Greater Boston is excellent. We live in a high-end, relatively safe region, with the ocean and the mountains not far away. The region is full of nice towns with walkable centers, and while the MBTA system is aging, at least we have a transit network that sort of knits the area together (I uses buses primarily, and they work very well). Unlike in some other metro areas (i.e., St. Louis), abandoned dwellings and other signs of decline are rare.” — Christopher, Newton Corner

‘I can’t think of a single thing to be positive about’

“This relatively small city has quite possibly the worst infrastructure in the nation. The public transit options are unreliable and slow at best, increasing transport costs to those going into the city for work, while making 2 hour commutes 30 miles south a reality. This city cannot continue to rest on its laurels of ‘history’ and must do better to retain residents. I would like to see a return on some of the highest taxes in the nation.” — Larry F., South Shore

“Living here is making me broke. Looking to move.” — A reader

“No normal person can afford to own a home in Boston, and therefore, no one can put down roots and have a family.” — Daniel O., West Roxbury

“I can’t think of a single thing to be positive about. We have the absolute worst mass transit system on planet earth, roads are designed for 10% of our total vehicle capacity and likely would still face congestion even at those levels give the less-than-3rd-world road design and condition. Our infrastructure is dangerous and crumbling, and the only ‘improvements’ being done involve hostile corporate takeovers of areas that formerly had a pulse, like Kenmore Square. All in all, I’d suggest that Boston may be the actual [worst] place on earth. Ever.” — Maty, Back Bay

“Pay scales don’t match cost of living (rent , utilities, insurance, taxes) especially considering the poor state of the roads.” — Thomas M., Weymouth

“For a place that is very progressive, I feel as though the city has pigeonholed me. The city has, for all intents and purposes, determined my value. As a single female who just turned 40 with a job that pays over $100k, I cannot EVER own a home, let alone a single-family home. I have also pretty much been priced out of my current apartment. The housing issue has created a hamster wheel. Why stay in the city and figuratively walk uphill for literally everything (housing, transportation, cost of food) when I could move out of state and live a great life without the struggles that occur just going to the grocery store. Next time you’re staying on a crowded T platform waiting for the train which is 10 minutes late, remember you don’t have to do it. There is life outside of Boston, outside of Mass. without giving up too much. And Boston should be very worried when more and more people start figuring that out.” — EP, Medford

#Life #good #readers #quality #life #Boston

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *