Somerville/Medford News Weekly Speakup Line: “FASTEN YOUR SEATBELTS…WE’RE IN FOR A BUMPY RIDE”

Dear Billy T and Somerville/Medford News Weekly Speakup Line,

Teresa Lopez and her husband, Jerry, enjoy life in their newly-renovated apartment at Clarendon Hill Towers. Due to their mobility issues, the couple was transferred to a handicapped apartment which features special amenities for the disabled.

They also enjoy the convenience of living across from Stop and Shop and, most of all, living adjacent to the Bus Terminal and having all these direct and ideal bus routes available to them.
“I’m confined to life in my mobility scooter. Do I really have to elaborate? I guess when it comes to explaining my “disability” to the Mayor, I have to spell it out. My legs and other body parts don’t work. It takes me time and patience just to get myself into my mobility chair, and that’s where I stay for most of my day and evening, with appropriate breaks, if you know what I mean…I’m not complaining…I’m blessed in many ways, especially with my husband, Jerry, who is also disabled. Although we can always benefit from The Ride…we do make those advance arrangements for appointments that The Ride requires…The Ride is wonderful for those times. But when we don’t have appointments, and we’re having a good day, which consists of feeling like we could go somewhere…THE BUSES ARE A BLESSING!
When the Mayor made her appearance a few weeks ago, I was flabbergasted to listen to her sing the praises of the three-wheeled disability bikes from the MBTA. What? Is she serious? She can’t be serious? Am I supposed to crawl out of my apartment to the nearest disability bike stand…I’d have to crawl ‘cause there’s nowhere to park my mobility scooter, is there? Not that I am about to crawl anywhere, especially in the winter…HA! Then, just for argument sake…if I did crawl to the bike stand, with my husband, Jerry, crawling beside me, then we would have to heave ourselves and our numb limbs onto a bike. Oh, by the way, neither of us know how to ride bikes.
Seriously, the entire thing seems like a meanspirited, sick joke. I was listening to one of the tenants ask the mayor if she had joined in the lawsuit against the MBTA with the Mayors from Everett, Medford, one other place, I think. Anyhow, the mayor avoided the question…guess she didn’t join in…ummm, I guess that says it all.

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