Curious About An Unshoveled Sidewalk At West Roxbury Station

WEST ROXBURY (CBS) – It would be easier to deal with this storm if there wasn’t already so much snow on the ground.

Ben noticed one potentially dangerous situation in West Roxbury. He Declared his Curiosity, writing, “At the West Roxbury Commuter Rail stop, the MBTA cleaned the stairs to get to the station, but instead of clearing the sidewalk, they made a path straight from the stairs into the middle of the street.”

It turns out the well-shoveled and salted path leads right to busy LeGrange Street. The sidewalk to either side is invisible, covered by a deep pile of snow and ice.

“You can’t make the turn here, there’s no sidewalk, so you have to cross right here without a crosswalk, and LeGrange is a really busy street, so I’m running across the street with two kids in a stroller,” said West Roxbury resident Amy Kiley.

WBZ-TV’s Peg Rusconi reports.

“I know residents, business owners, they have to clean up the sidewalks in front of their houses and businesses,” said Ben Freiberg, a medical student who takes the T from West Roxbury every day.

Freiberg said he submitted a complaint to the MBTA, because the sidewalk abuts the train station and parking lot. He said a representative from the MBCR, which operates the commuter rail for the MBTA, responded, saying it’s not their responsibility.

It turns out that the MBCR (which handles the Commuter Rail for the MBTA), the MBTA, and city all claimed they are not responsible to clear the sidewalk.

The city maintains that there are no exceptions to the city ordinance that requires property owners to keep their sidewalks clear. The MBCR, meanwhile, claims they have not been historically responsible for clearing sidewalks over the last several years. The MBTA said they are not responsible because they are exempt from most local ordinances.

MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo added the T does clear sidewalks where people can’t safely access a station. He said crews would consider clearing other parts of an abutting sidewalk if there is equipment and time.

MBCR spokesman Scott Farmalant said clearing the sidewalk below the West Roxbury station is not something the MBCR has historically done, and no one has complained until now. He said a review is underway to determine who is responsible.

Amy Kiley said she doesn’t care which party is responsible– one of them should just shovel it.

“I don’t care who it is. They should just get it done.”

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