Local

Dangerous Stretch Of South Huntington Ave. Continues To Cause Concerns

By Chief Correspondent Joe Shortsleeve, WBZ-TV
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BOSTON (CBS) — A dangerous stretch of road exposed by the I-Team months ago is still a problem according to neighbors.

The people who live on South Huntington Ave in Jamaica Plain say when it rains, the MBTA tracks get slippery and cars lose control and crash into parked cars. Wednesday, it happened to an MBTA employee who spun out of control on her way to work.

“I heard the screech and then a loud bang,” explained Mike Goss who lives on South Huntington Avenue. He rushed down to help the T employee who was injured when her car did a 180 and slammed into Subaru, pushing it up onto the sidewalk. “I heard her say, ‘I lost control on the tracks’,” he said. Goss has documented dozens of crashes in front of his apartment. Nearly every time, he says the driver blames the tracks.

The I-Team has learned that in the last couple of years there have been more than 80 crashes in an area that is less than one city block. A neighbor told the I-Team that on a recent rainy day, there were three accidents in one day.

The I-Team asked Wentworth Institute of Technology professor and former Big Dig engineer to take a look at the road. According to James Lambrechts, the tracks are somewhat elevated from the pavement and get slippery when it rains.

“They try to stop and they start to slide, turn the wheels and go off the road,” he said. He concluded the tracks are partly to blame for the accidents.

The MBTA does not agree. In a statement a spokesperson told the I-Team: “There is nothing wrong with the tracks. If motorists operate their vehicles in a safe manner, they won’t have any problems.”

Despite that denial, since our original I-Team story ran a couple of months ago, the MBTA has been out on South Huntington Ave working on the tracks. During the overnight hours on two occasions, crews filled in the pavement so it was level with the tracks. But even with that work, the crashes haven’t stopped. “I’m really afraid that someone is going to die in front of my building,” another neighbor told us.

According to professor Lambrechts, the best solution may require a complete reconstruction of the road with a different surface material and better drainage.

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