JP resident criticizes DCR over lack of crosswalk

PONDSIDE—A Jamaica Plain resident is criticizing the state Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) for dragging its feet over installing a crosswalk on Perkins Street.

That proposed crosswalk is part of a plan to improve access to Jamaica Pond at the intersection of Perkins Street and Francis Parkman Drive. DCR held a community meeting two years ago, unveiling three concepts for the improvement.

“I think it is a stunning display of bureaucratic incompetence or red tape or both,” said JP resident Kay Gibbs, who lives at the Cabot Estate at 241 Perkins St.

“The Department of Conservation and Recreation remains committed to ensuring safe, suitable crossings for all pedestrians,” said DCR spokesman Troy Wall in an email to the Gazette. “We look forward to our continued partnership with the City of Boston and local residents to move this project forward.”

DCR is currently arranging a community meeting for the improvement plan and surveying the area to determine which options are feasible and are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Gibbs said the lack of a crosswalk is a public safety issue, as a lot of children and seniors cross the street between Cabot Estate and the Jamaica Pond. Gibbs said she has repeatedly contacted DCR and local elected officials about the crosswalk. She said she did not expect the installation of a crosswalk to “turn into this long, drawn-out process.”

“It’s a crosswalk,” Gibbs said with a tone of exasperation.

DCR had told the Gazette in April that it would hold a community meeting about the improvement plan in May or early June.

The first concept for improvement plan would place a crosswalk on the west side of Perkins Street at the intersection and another crosswalk at the end of Parkman Drive. A traffic light would be installed, along with traffic-calming measures, such as bumping out the curb on the southeastern side of the intersection and fattening the medians on Perkins Street.

The second concept would place a crosswalk and pedestrian signal farther west on Perkins Street near Prince Street. A path would bring people to Parkman Drive, south of the intersection, where another crosswalk and pedestrian signal would be installed.

The third concept would place a crosswalk and pedestrian signal on Perkins Street, east of the entrance to Cabot Estate. A sign warning drivers of pedestrians crossing would be placed farther east on Perkins Street, prior to a curve in the street.

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