A statewide option was passed by the Legislature in the early1990s to allow communities to establish BIDs, but property ownermust be allowed to opt out of the plan during the first 30 days.The BID for Downtown Crossing was filed as a home-rule petitionwith the state Legislature, but it died in committee last year andhas yet to be resubmitted. According to Ed Shanahan, CEO of theGreater Boston Real Estate Board, "There was some initialopposition in the legislature because of a misunderstanding" aboutthe role of the security personnel. Police officers were concernedthat the BID's security personnel would replace them in thedistrict, which Shanahan says is not true. "They would be guides,"he tells GlobeSt.com, but those concerns, which were raised to thelegislature, along with a requirement that all property owners inthe BID district would have to contribute funds, caused theproposal to die.

Shanahan's group supports the BID but he worries that the recentterror attacks along with a sluggish economy make the proposal lesslikely to pass. "Last year was the opportune time to implement theBID," he notes. "I don't have the level of enthusiasm I had lastyear." And, adds Shanahan, it is the Downtown Crossing districtthat will lose out. ""We represent the vast majority of owners andthey agreed that it made sense," he says."The district will becleaner, more welcoming and safer with a lot of assistance. Theeffort is certainly being held in abeyance now.

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