‘Unmovable’ pole to move from park

John Ruch

Web Exclusive

HYDE SQ.—A telephone pole smack in the middle of the Nira Rock Urban Wild, with wires dangling within arm’s reach, will be moved to the parks’ perimeter in an upcoming rewiring project.

The move, which pole owner Verizon previously described as impossible, will “greatly enhance one area of this small but beloved green space,” said Will Crosby of Friends of Nira Rock.

The 50-year-old pole stands in a path in the increasingly popular community-tended park at the end of Nira Avenue. The Friend group worked with local officials for 18 months to press Verizon to move the pole.

Verizon spokesperson Phil Santoro told the Gazette last fall that the pole “cannot be moved” for technical reasons. But, Santoro told the Gazette last week, the company changed its mind after learning that there is “so much activity in the area.” Area poles need upgrades and the wires can be higher, Santoro said.

Crosby provided the Gazette with a photo of himself standing in the park and casually grabbing the low-hanging wires while wearing insulated rubber gloves.

“It was literally low enough for kids to reach,” said JP City Councilor Matt O’Malley, who is credited with providing the key pressure to move the unmovable pole.

The Mayor’s Office, Boston Parks Commissioner Antonia Pollak, state Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz and state Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez also pushed for the pole move.

The pole will be replaced by two new poles around the urban wild’s perimeter. That will still take time, because it requires getting the permission of private property owners, which the City of Boston has agreed to handle, Santoro said.

Nira Rock is owned by the city, but is not tended as an official park. The Friends group maintains it and conducts a variety of programs there. For more information, see www.nirarock.org.

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