Business people ‘vote’ on bus stop features

June 12, 2009
By

SANDRA STOREY

Of 12 options for improving Route 39 bus stops, members of the Jamaica Plain Business and Professional Association (BAPA) who attended the monthly board meeting on May 20 chose a device that shows when the next bus will come as their favorite.

The approximately 20 people at the meeting—billed as “Be Healthy, Be Green”—at the Sam Adams Brewery also stuck dots on pictures of a sign showing the bus schedule and a three-sided shelter. An extended curb got only one vote. Many features, such as a two-sided shelter, got no votes at all.

WalkBoston conducted the survey of business people as part of a federal grant the group received to do extensive polling about what community members want from 39 bus stop improvements. An official MBTA-run planning process now winding down has consolidated some stops; includes curb extensions and has not ad-dressed street furniture.

In a telephone interview afterwards, Dorothea Hass of WalkBoston said the group continues to interview riders at bus stops as well. Comments from riders at stops from Forest Hills to around Seaverns Avenue have been mostly that “people don’t have problems” except when it snows, she reported. Hass said many have com-plained about how difficult it is to board buses when snow is piled up on the curb.

WalkBoston will continued doing rider surveys, heading north, and will also go to other neighborhood groups for their input, Hass said.

Architect Scott Payette complained at the meeting that the buses are noisy. He said he knows they were retrofitted to reduce noise after they were first introduced, but the result was “not satisfactory.”

Bicycle shop owner Jeff Ferris and BAPA secretary Michael Reiskind, who are members of the MBTA working group, commented that the current MBTA process is ignoring three important topics: operations issues with the route; the question of streetcars versus buses; and coordination with the Centre/South Street Planning group, which has just started operating.

“They have capital money to spend and a deadline to spend it by,” Reiskind said.

BAPA member Helen Waldorf, who has an environmental consulting business, made a presentation about gen-eral green possibilities for homes and businesses with emphasis on legislation currently in Congress that will affect the US’s position at the Copenhagen Climate Conference in December.