MBTA needs to remove ugly, rusted, unusable trolley poles

During the last public meeting of the MBTA’s Route 39 bus committee on Feb. 3, an MBTA representative, when asked about the removal status of the old, rusted trolley poles along S. Huntington Avenue, Centre and South streets, stated that the MBTA cannot spend federal stimulus money to remove them, as they first indicated they would.

The MBTA’s position is totally irresponsible and unacceptable to the residents of Jamaica Plain. We should insist that these poles by removed as soon as possible. Federal stimulus money can be used on other MBTA projects that, in our view, should free up money within the MBTA’s budget to remove these poles.

For the past 30 years, residents (taxpayers) of Jamaica Plain have had to endure the presence of approximately 150 rusted and unusable poles that pollute the sidewalks up and down S. Huntington Ave. and Centre and South streets. Each of these poles has a multitude of duplicative and unnecessary signs, creating one of the worst sign-polluted street corridors in the City of Boston, if not the state of Massachusetts. These old, rusted trolley poles will never be used again, regardless of the future status of trolley or bus service in Jamaica Plain.

This is our neighborhood; we pay City, state and federal taxes that make the MBTA possible. We, therefore, set the priorities for our neighborhood, not the MBTA.

It is our priority to remove these unsightly poles with all of their gross sign pollution to free up sidewalk space and make the S. Huntington Avenue/Centre/South business corridor a safer, attractive and enjoyable shopping experience. We have had to endure these ugly poles for 30 years. If we accept what the MBTA states, we’ll be looking at these poles for the next 30 years. Can you imagine these rusted poles still in place in the year 2040?

I urge everyone to call or write to Mayor Thomas Menino, City Councilor John Tobin, state representatives Jeff Sánchez and Liz Malia and state Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz to request that they insist that the MBTA live up to its responsibility and remove these rusted poles along with all of the unsightly signage as soon as possible, not 30 years from now. The S. Huntington Avenue/Centre/South business corridor and the Jamaica Plain community will clearly benefit from such action.

John P. Iappini
Jamaica Plain

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