Government ignores hazardous tracks

In JP, we do not have trackless trolleys. We have trolley-less tracks and a steadily rising number of track-related bicycle accidents. When asked to estimate a number, bicycle shop owner Jeffrey Ferris responded, “Too many to count!” After speaking with many experienced bicyclists and bicycle advocates, it appears that these track-related accidents number in the hundreds.

Portland, Ore. is a progressive, bicycle-friendly city of comparable size to Boston with surface trolleys. They use diamond-shaped signs that warn bicyclists of track-related danger. In JP, we have neither warning signs nor trolleys. In fact, we haven’t had Green Line trolley service to Forest Hills Station in over 20 years. What we do have are abandoned tracks and substandard road conditions on Centre and South streets.

The MBTA has indicated that, even if trolley service is restored to Forest Hills Station, the existing tracks will need to be replaced. The T and/or the City of Boston have shown a reluctance to address the issue. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away.

Public safety should be government’s highest priority, but apparently it is not—in Boston or Massachusetts. How many more people will be injured, perhaps even killed, because of these long-abandoned tracks before the responsible government agencies address this problem in a meaningful way?

Anyone who was the victim of or witnessed an accident caused by the trolley-less tracks in JP is invited to write, including date and location, to [email protected]

Sam Sherwood
Jamaica Plain

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