Bringing back trolley would be folly

December 17, 2010
By

I am writing in response to your recent article (JP Gazette, Dec. 3) “Trolley effort rolls on.” I feel compelled to write a few words about the trolley issue and the long-running debate about the future of Centre and South Streets in Jamaica Plain.

I believe that Jamaica Plain is evenly divided on the trolley question, at best. Many young residents aren’t even aware of the issue any more, and many of us who have lived here for a while have largely accepted the 39 bus, for better or worse. Those who still hold out hope for a Centre Street trolley are very vocal, but I cannot believe they represent the majority of opinion in Jamaica Plain.

I personally oppose the return of the trolley. I’m old enough to remember the misery of crawling up Centre Street during rush hour behind many trolleys in a row, each making every stop. I made it a practice in those days to avoid Centre Street at all costs. Recently, before the tracks were removed from South Street, the front wheel of my bike lodged in the track and sent me flying onto the pavement. Thank goodness I was not struck by a vehicle as I sprawled on the ground.

At a time when we are confronted with the conundrum of balancing the state budget without raising taxes, with our public schools facing closings and shortfalls, it strikes me as utter folly to even consider undertaking such an expensive and disruptive project as rebuilding the trolley line on Centre Street.

It is my sincere hope that we can let the trolley question finally come to a rest, one way or the other, so we can all move on.

James Johnson
Jamaica Plain