By Karen Glover
This past Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, was a bright, sunshiny day. I took a walk to Holland St. to see what Brad, our Transportation Monster, did, if anything, about his now notorious “Senior Citizen Sitting Duck Bench.” This bizarre bench, situated in the middle of traffic, was recently and predictably, demolished by a traffic accident. The Mayor, Brad, Brad’s boss were warned in print, in person at the Ward 7 meeting that this bench in the middle of traffic was an accident waiting to happen.
Brad’s boss actually experienced some sort of meltdown at the meeting. I guess they can dish it out to us, but can’t take a bit of insightful criticism from a senior citizen who has actually sat on this bench…horrified. Thankfully, as far as I know, nobody was hurt. I was curious, did he just patch up the bench and reinstall it in the middle of traffic. I wouldn’t put it past Brad to do just that…he is certainly an adept right-fighter. No! Thank goodness!…but, what is Brad, our transportation goof up, going to do now? How will he rectify his blunderous designs? He installed these treacherously placed benches around the city, to the horror of Seniors, and really, everybody who stared at these bizarre bench installations in disbelief. So, the resolve of the bench debacle remains to be seen.
The City’s lush Christmas Wreaths, full Christmas Planters, Hanging Pots, huge Red Velvet Bows are so splendid and abound along Teele Sq. and throughout the city…I felt immersed in a picturesque Christmas Spirit. Wait a minute…what’s going on? Flashing, flickering blue lights emanating from the near distance in Davis Square? Oh, my! The busy block where the Crepe Restaurant is frequented was truly a chaotic scene. The flashing, alarming blue lights, were on top of an unmarked police car or city car meant to keep pedestrians aware of men a work…on a Sunday…ugh. Is that time and a half pay? Double time pay? I don’t know, but if the mayor is encouraging foot traffic around Davis Sq. (she’s anti-car, by the way) are pedestrians breathing in noxious fumes the way to go about it? The intrusive flashing blue lights, a gigantic, superlong K5 Corp Pavement Marking Truck, workers busy drilling, spraying, doing curb work, policemen redirecting pedestrians…what a wet, smelly mess.
I do wonder about the crumbling cobblestones, the massive amounts of missing bricks, (referred to as “Senior Trippers”) why are these new projects always being initiated instead of simply fixing the basics…too boring for Brad? No innovation in repairing what once were beautiful cobblestones?
Unfortunately, the newly installed black upside-down horseshoe shaped ugly structures installed on the sidewalk are impossible to overlook. Whatever asinine, probably useless purpose they serve, please enlighten us asap! These installations are just additional UGLY, useless eyesores. Why should this be a surprise? By now we are painfully aware of Brad’s bizarre sense of aesthetics. His aesthetic mantra is the word “UGLY.” Brad delights in UGLY! i.e. The Powderhouse Sq. Obstacle Course sticks, dirty, filthy equals UGLY. Traffic lights covered with garbage bags…UGLY…Cement cylinders and Cement Blocks abound in Davis Square…UGLY! In the Mayor’s and Brad’s Woke World, UGLY is the new beautiful.
We do know that Brad, our Transportation Monster, appears to be afflicted with a bench fetish. In one way or another, he is determined to make benches a daily sadistic misery to punish people who don’t ride bicycles. How dare we have the gall to want to sit on a safe bench out of harms way! The bench on Broadway, across from Clarendon Hill Towers was removed last year. As the story goes, the bench got hit by a street plow, and the City (Brad) used this scenario as an excuse not to replace the bench. Another reason the bench was not replaced was that sometimes people would congregate at the bench and hang out. The police would occasionally appear and quickly have the people move along; no problems, no incidents, etc. So the people get dispersed and life goes on…oh, no, not in Brad’s Woke World. Brad took away the bench and instead, installed his UGLY upside down horseshoe bizarre thingy in the sidewalk. Again, what is this thingy near the bus stop for…is it for leaning on for support while standing up waiting for the #87 bus to Arlington? Please, Brad, muster up a modicum of rationality and reinstall the bench. We need this bench during the icy Winter months! Maybe get in the Christmas Spirit of Giving instead of Taking Away, and surprise us with a bench with an enclosure!
Most importantly, about five months ago, The Ward 7 Precinct 2 Councilor, initiated a conversation with me regarding her opinion that the clarendon Hill Towers MBTA Bus Terminal was in a sorry, dilapidated state of disrepair. She stated the terminal required a complete overall of repaving, not a patch up deal. This pavement is truly another treacherous walking nightmare. Cracks, huge holes, protruding lumps, dirty slimy puddles, the works. It’s a shameful, disgusting reflection of neglect by the City in this area of Somerville. Yes, a renovation of a nearby housing development is in the works…that has nothing to do with this MBTA Bus Terminal in dire need of emergency, expertly executed repaving by the City. Ice and Snow are on the way! The Citizens of Somerville, The Residents of Clarendon Hill Towers, all the bus riders, visitors who frequent this terminal deserve to be safe. What is the City waiting for? Is repaving this terminal, not patching it up (by the way, the constant patch jobs on Broadway in our area are a complete mess as well)…too boring, not as innovative and exciting as digging up Davis Square this past weekend?
Brad and his MBTA Bus Redesign Protegees, oops, colleagues, collaborators?… willy-nilly eliminated our buses this past summer without an intelligent second thought, that is, until they received massive pushback and reinstated the routes. Subsequently, the Mayor, Brad, The Ward 7 City Councilor, the MBTA group, attempted to smooth over that blunder. During a visit to Clarendon Hill Towers, it was agreed that the bus terminal should be fixed. It’s been about five months and counting.
Truthfully, the Mayor and Brad dig up this City left and right. In this area of the city, we are sick of being treated like “hillbillies” living on “the wrong side of the tracks.” We are only paid attention to after months of petition signing and pushback to stupidly try to eliminate our buses. We are only paid attention to when these politicians eagerly come to Clarendon Hill Towers pandering for votes. Oh, then they just love us so much!
Why are there NO lush Christmas Tree Wreaths, beautiful planters, Red Velvet Ribbons and filled hanging festive pots along Broadway from Teele Square toward Clarendon Hill Towers to Rt.16? We have trees, we have poles, we have room on the sidewalks to accommodate planters.
Our Woke World of politicians in Somerville obviously have some serious collective emotional issues with Seniors, Benches, improving and maintaining sidewalks, bus terminals, and being super stingy about spreading the City Hall (recently decided thru pushback) Christmas Spirit our way. We don’t expect the City to make amends by attempting to not display a City Hall Christmas Tree, by going overboard and spending an alleged $325,000 on Christmas Decorations as allegedly done by the former really Woke administration, but whatever the City Christmas Decorating Budget is…how about spending a few bucks decorating this area of Somerville? How about attaching some Lush Christmas Wreaths to
the Clarendon Hill Towers Iron Fence? The fence spans from Broadway across Stop and Shop to Rt. 16. You know, the sidewalks our Clarendon Hill Towers Maintenance Team has been slaving away for years to clean up after the City during the harsh Winter months? City Hall, spread some Christmas Cheer in this part of the City where, don’t forget, you’ll be coming here eagerly looking for votes in the near future!