Route 39 project delayed again

(Gazette Photo by John Ruch) A new sign with some handwritten details marks the move of a Route 39 bus stop in Monument Square this week.

Dangerous stop moved

The Route 39 bus improvement project has been delayed another season, starting spring 2013 instead of this winter, according to MBTA spokesperson Joe Pesaturo. He also announced a dangerous Monument Square stop has been moved.

The project has been repeatedly delayed. The MBTA said in September that the project was being pushed back from fall to this winter, weather permitting.

The Route 39 bus is slated to undergo several changes, including the consolidation of some stops and improved amenities like new shelters and benches and “bump-out” curb extensions. The project is meant to speed service and improve accessibility.

According Pesaturo, the project was recently approved by the City’s Public Improvement Commission, which needed to OK the curb extensions. Pesaturo said that the commission approved the extensions without any changes and that no one voiced opposition to the project at the meeting.

The MBTA also announced that early last week it has relocated the Monument Square bus stop from in front of the Loring-Greenough House to in front of Curtis Hall. The stop was going to be moved as part of the improvement project, but was moved early following complaints from residents.

“The new stop is farther away from the Monument Square area,” said Pesaturo. “Stopped buses will no longer obstruct sightlines to the traffic signals and will no longer conflict with crosswalks.”

A shelter is slated to be installed at the new stop as part of the aforementioned Route 39 bus improvement project.

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

When asked if buses will park at the new stop, Pesaturo said no. But the Gazette did see a bus parked there on Nov. 28.

John Ruch contributed to this article.

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