Resident considers lawsuit against Casey project

April 12, 2013
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Casey Arborway Design Advisory Group (DAG) member Bernard Doherty told the Gazette he is considering filing an injunction against the project to protect his neighborhood.

“No one prefers to go that route if there’s a reasonable solution,” he told the Gazette this week. “But all our arrows are in our quiver.”

Doherty, a member of pro-bridge group Bridging Forest Hills, first mentioned the possibility to the Gazette during a DAG meeting at English High School April 3. The Asticou/Martinwood neighborhood, where he resides, is adjacent to the project area and will be deeply impacted.

Doherty has particular issues with the project’s proposed redesign of the Forest Hills MBTA station upper bus bays. Those bus bays at are planned to be enlarged and moved, causing the buses to exit directly across from Asticou Road. Residents of that area have complained about the increase in light and sound pollution for months.

“Our community was never consulted on this point,” he said. Had that neighborhood been aware of the potential consequences, he said, “We would’ve been far more opposed to this project than we are already.”

Doherty told the Gazette this week that he is consulting with neighbors and attorneys on the possibility of filing an injunction. An injunction is a court order stopping someone from doing a specific thing—in this case, stopping the state from starting work on the project.

Doherty told the Gazette he’s not sure if that change is a legal use of Accelerated Bridge Project (ABP) funds, the federal source of funds for the project. He has requested a letter from the state attorney general to clarify the point, but has yet to receive a response.

According to state Department of Transportation (MassDOT) spokesperson Michael Verseckes, ABP funds can be used for modifying the bus bays because the larger Casey project impacts the MBTA station.

Doherty said he is hoping to schedule a meeting with MBTA, MassDOT and City officials to discuss the project’s impacts on the Asticou/Martinwood neighborhood within the next two weeks.

The Casey Overpass is the State Route 203 bridge over Washington Street and Hyde Park Avenue at the Forest Hills T Station. The aging bridge must be demolished. The process has been fraught with controversy since it was first announced in late 2010.

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