Unsafe bus stop is reviewed

September 28, 2012
By

MONUMENT SQ.—A dangerous MBTA bus stop that blocks crosswalks and drivers’ views of traffic lights is under review after a resident complained to state officials.

The inbound stop in front of the Loring-Greenough House on in Monument Square is already slated to be moved farther down South Street as part of the Route 39 bus improvement project. But that project has been delayed repeatedly for years and is now slated to start in January at the earliest.

“Staff will investigate the situation further to see if there are any short-term solutions,” said MBTA spokesperson Joe Pesaturo.

Jamaica Plain resident Sarah Freeman sparked the response with an Aug. 30 email, including a photo of a bus blocking the view of traffic lights, sent to local state elected officials.

The Gazette has repeatedly pointed out the dangers of the stop over the past few years. The stop is placed in the middle of the busy Monument Square intersection and forces large buses to stop in a crosswalk, which is illegal. The buses also block pedestrians’ and drivers’ views of each other as they enter the intersection. Buses also park in the stop from time to time, aggravating the dangers.

“That’s clearly a problem,” MBTA Transit Police Lt. Stephen Salisbury told the Gazette about the stop.

State Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez said his office forwarded Freeman’s complaint to the MBTA, which said its engineers will examine the stop location. In addition, officials with the state Department of Transportation met with staff members of Sánchez, state Rep. Liz Malia and state Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz about the stop on Sept. 21 after the Gazette began asking questions. The main message was to wait for the bus improvement project’s bus stop moves, according to Malia’s and Chang-Díaz’s offices.

That plan calls for relocating the Monument Square stop to Curtis Hall at 20 South St. The move requires only relocating two sign poles. However, the MBTA also is working with the City of Boston to install a bus shelter on the Curtis Hall property.

Freeman said in her email that she is aware of the plan to move the bus stop, but that she didn’t understand the delay in moving this particular stop.

“Do any of you know what they are waiting for?” she asked.