Tobin: Tracks to be paved over

September 7, 2007
By

JOHN RUCH

JP CENTER—Centre and South streets will be repaved next spring and the old trolley tracks will be paved over, according to City Councilor John Tobin.

Tobin said he confirmed the information with the city’s Department of Public Works (DPW). The Mayor’s Office was unable to immediately confirm the information.

The curb-to-curb repaving will likely happen in April and take about two to three weeks, Tobin said. He said DPW originally wanted to do the repaving this fall, but heard objections from some local business owners that it was not the best time of year.

Tobin has long advocated paving over the tracks, which reportedly continue to cause bicycle accidents. The tracks have also created large potholes on South Street.

Restoration of trolley service in the corridor remains theoretically possible. [See related article.] But even then, the old track would be unusable.

Tobin said the tracks will be sealed up with a special material and paved over. “In essence, they’ll be putting the trolley tracks in a time capsule,” he said. “I think everybody agrees they’re better buried from a public safety point of view.”

The repaving will also fix stretches of Centre Street scarred by utility work. Afterward, crosswalks that are already missing in several spots will be restored.

The usual painted-on plastic crosswalks will be used, though Tobin said he wishes funding were available for a different design.

“I’m a big fan of brick or cobblestone crosswalks that are more permanent in nature,” he said, noting that the West Roxbury stretch of Centre Street has brick crossings.

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