Hey, there! Log in / Register

Most Boston councilors want to tell the T not to close subway stations after protests

Shutting T stations after protests only creates dangerous situations for people who just want to get home, several Boston city councilors said today.

But the council did not formally go on record with a resolution calling on the T to stop shutting stations near vigil and protest sites at their regular Wednesday meeting because two councilors objected, which means it will instead go to a council committee for a hearing before the council votes.

Councilors Michelle Wu (at large), Julia Mejia (at large) and Kenzie Bok (Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Fenway, Mission Hill) proposed a two-part resolution, one to keep stations open so people can get home after protests, one to urge the T to continue its new policy of not letting police use T buses to get to protests.

Bok, who said she spent several hours on Boston Common during Sunday's protests, said she was outraged that thousands of people exercising their First Amendment rights could not easily get home because the T shut down its stations downtown.

"It was a huge error of judgment," she said, adding she received numerous calls from her Back Bay constituents about young people streaming down the Commonwealth Avenue Mall trying to leave the Common after the Common vigil ended and the stations were shut. If anything, by making it harder for all those people to disperse, the station shutdowns made the situation downtown more dangerous, she said.

Councilor Ed Flynn (South Boston, South End, Downtown, Chinatown) agreed that protesters need a safe way to get home but added that police and other first responders need a safe way to get to potential trouble spots as well.

Councilor Frank Baker (Dorchester), angrily denounced the resolution. He said what he watched on TV Sunday night "looked like a riot to me" and that he is not about to tell the T to keep stations open to rioters. "Police were getting beat up, outnumbered by protesters and advocates," and all it would have taken was a single person on the tracks downtown to disable the entire T system the whole night.

Councilor Michael Flaherty (at large) said he supported all of the resolution but the last clause, which calls on the T to "not to delegate command of transit employees, vehicles, facilities, and other resources, or delegate decision making about its service and operations to law enforcement." God forbid Boston have a 9/11 - and he noted some of the participants flew from Logan - another Marathon bombing or an active-shooter situation where police need to get to a location quickly, or get people away from one. You can't call for a committee to consider that, he said, adding the real issue is that Boston does not have a seat at the MBTA table currently, despite sending $85 million a year to the authority.

Bok, Wu and Councilor Lydia Edwards (North End, Charlestown, East Boston) said the idea is not to prohibit the T from giving first responders access to buses in a true emergency, but that Sunday night was no 9/11 and that the T should be doing what it can to get people home. Wu added that letting police shut the stations after a protest that was about police mistreatment of black people was the wrong message to send.

Before voting on the resolution, the council first had to suspend its rules, which call for all new items to go to a committee first. That particular rule requires a unanimous vote to suspend the other rule. Baker and Flaherty voted against suspending the rules, the other 11 councilors voted in favor.

But since the rule requires a unanimous vote, the proposed resolution will instead go to a committee for discussion.

Neighborhoods: 
Topics: 
AttachmentSize
PDF icon Proposed resolution236.61 KB

Ad:

Comments

Well, it is underground, between stations with dozens feeling the effect of one protester accidently letting go his pepper spray in the car. Owing that some had no masks on the crowded train, many of the persons on the car are now at an increased level of infection from Corona Virus on top of feeling the effects of the pepper spray including one person with asthma who is having a very bad attack because of the spray. The train can't move because some people left the train to get away from the spray are not moving towards the nearest station.

Since there is now a medical emergency underground an alert has been declared with police, ambulance, and fire fighters responding to the situation. This has now left streets above less policed which has caused criminal shoplifting gangs and self styled anarchists who mixed in with the meaningful peaceful protesters to further damage above ground buildings, thus making investors less likely to reinvest in the area, meaning regular downtown office workers to have less retail and lunch / dinner options, thus increasing a flight to the suburbs where amenities are available without Caleb from the Main Line of Philly who is in his post college radical phase, having the ability to burn down an established lunch place, because you know, the system.

Every action has a reaction. I am glad the T errors on the side of caution because hindsight is 20/20, in the moment isn't.

As far as Back Bayers along Commonwealth Avenue complaining about people walking down the Mall? Get bent.

up
Voting closed 31

You certainly have a vivid imagination. Remind me again why the protester had the pepper spray, when it's illegal to bring so much as a wooden stick holding up your sign to protests in Boston? And why do some of our hypothetical T riders not have masks, contrary to the T's orders? And why are our hypothetical investors going to back out of a restaurant because of an afternoon with less police presence, given that BPD doesn't typically respond to MBTA emergencies? Also when did Caleb from Philadelphia move here, and why is he burning down lunch places?

It's kind of like "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie," except the mouse is a paranoid white guy and the narrator is on mescaline.

up
Voting closed 25

Were concerned about whether is was ok to have pepper spray or not?

You are asking about people who might not be wearing masks on the T even though it is their policy, because everyone who takes the T is an upstanding standing citizen who wears clean underwear? Right because no one ever acts out on the T.

If I am a paranoid white guy on mescaline, you are an incompetent fool who can only think the situation I laid out wasn't in the realm of possibility.

By the way, what is your skin color, so I can just make fun of you for it? Thanks. It should lead to better discourse if we all know what color everyone is.

up
Voting closed 13

Good policy is made to handle the most common situations and reasonable exceptions. The scenario you described is incredibly uncommon, to the point of it never having happened a single time in the 123-year history of the Boston subway system.

Closing the stations is also maybe the highest-impact possible way to address your scenario. The T could simply put a transit officer on each train going through downtown, and suddenly there's somebody there to handle a rowdy anarchist discharging chemical agents. People can still get where they're going, the T avoids losing a bunch of fare revenue and a PR headache, and the guy with pepper spray is apprehended instead of roaming around downtown. Everybody wins.

up
Voting closed 3

Do they shut down the T during the championship parades? Or after big wins? Those also have a history of devolving into chaos and violence. The reason you need to obtain permits for protests or other large events is literally so the city planners can figure out how transportation / traffic will work and how to keep emergency routes open for BFD and ambulances. If they want people to go home after they exercise their rights peacefully then don’t make it impossible. If MBTA feels the need to close a particular station then plan ahead, and put up notifications so protesters counting on the T will know which way to head when it’s over. That way less people will be left out on the street if a situation does arise.

up
Voting closed 3

I am so sick of Frank Baker. What a useless man.

up
Voting closed 23

You live in his district. Give it a shot. It will be funny watching you get destroyed on election day. I mean you have given support to tweets in the past indirectly calling for physical violence against him and his properties. Show your fortitude and file papers to run, if not, clam up.

up
Voting closed 22

Bit strange to say folks can only criticize politicians if they’re going to run against them.

Strikes me that would mean most folks by your definition should “clam up” including you.

up
Voting closed 2

Such a wonderfully moronic and reactionary response.

You already said they'll get destroyed running in the election but also if they don't file papers and run they should clam up.

Damned if they do, damned if they don't amirite?

up
Voting closed 27

That immediately defeats any point you've made. Grow up Sit N Spin.

up
Voting closed 6

tHaT iMmEdiAtEly dEfEatS AnY pOiNt yOu'Ve mAdE.

up
Voting closed 20

Makes your comment on me being a keyboard warrior makes you look even less intelligent.

If you can't understand that calling you a child's toy as a play on your name and you cannot comprehend it to be such... then perhaps you should think a bit more.

up
Voting closed 10

Kinda seems a little self-defeating to deflect and say it was a comment about a kids toy. lol

I mean come on, you don't have to be a coward about this, be a brave keyboard warrior!

But hey maybe you were just referencing the sit n spin toy

up
Voting closed 12

Of course, since the sit and spin predates the internet, it mustn't exist, right?

I'm not even going to try and think what you thought a sit and spin was.

up
Voting closed 6

You get a chance to convert that VHS recording of WBZ report on that cyclist running a red light on Mass Ave? Shouldn't be hard to do in this current internet world.

https://www.universalhub.com/comment/783461#comment-783461

And I mean Urban Dictionary is not an absolute authority on things but hey, use your imagination and its fairly easy to pick up what I though John was puttin down:

https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Sit%20and%20spin

up
Voting closed 9

One might want to see the world beyond the internet.

So, you, by default, use the Urban Dictionary as your go to for finding out what something is? Sad. So sad. It's a deeper level of information illiteracy that I even thought you had.

As for my VHS tapes of everything I watch on TV that I do in case someone doubts that I saw something, I cannot find the place for the 3 cables on my iPad.

up
Voting closed 4

But it would probably involve referencing the slip and slide. Since you lack the means to discover what a slip and slide actually is, you’d probably accuse me of some kind of phobia.

up
Voting closed 1

https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Slip%20%22N%22%20Slide

Lemme know if you get around to digitizing that VHS clip!

up
Voting closed 4

Let me Google that for you.

As far as your obsession with the idea I make up seeing things on television, let's just say that there will be an investigation of the incident in question, and you might not be sharing the results.

up
Voting closed 3

I mean you have given support to tweets in the past indirectly calling for physical violence against him and his properties.

I'm sorry, what the entire hell are you talking about?

up
Voting closed 8

Putting aside Frank Baker's pro-police rhetoric and inflammatory language, he makes a good point about keeping crush crowds out of T stations because someone is likely to fall on the tracks.

It's the same reason why the T closes Broadway during the St Patrick's Day Parade, etc. It's not to make it harder for crowds to disperse.

up
Voting closed 1

Protecting mbta equipment from a mob is bad? That’s what happened on that Sunday, the city was looted.

All of the other protests in Boston have been peaceful and the way things should be when protesting.

When you have police cars burning and businesses being destroyed, it only seems like common sense the same thing is going to happen to the trains.

up
Voting closed 5

Useless? He is very responsive to his constituents, are you one of them?

up
Voting closed 8

I am. "Responsive" is near the bottom of the list of adjectives I would use to describe his city council presence.

up
Voting closed 11

I know, it sucks that he thinks for himself and doesn’t rubber stamp everything that comes across his desk.

up
Voting closed 8

how are ya

up
Voting closed 7

Ya right, like Frank knows how to use Uhub.

up
Voting closed 2

Councilor Frank Baker (Dorchester), angrily denounced the resolution. He said what he watched on TV Sunday night "looked like a riot to me

Of course it did, Frankie, because that's what you wanted to see.

This was intentional, and it was planned. The cops kettled people into Tremont and Washington street, shut down the T, and then tear gassed them.

Police got exactly what they wanted- a riot.

up
Voting closed 2

At this point the T has truly become intentionally dangerous. I took the Blue Line today because I had to get back to work, and a full third of the car was blocked off with rope "for safety reasons due to the virus" as the sign read. How does making less room, causing people to bunch up int he remaining space, make things "safer"? And since the train stalled in the tunnel (naturally), I had the time to count forty two people bunched up in the remaining space (standing and sitting), nine of whom did not have masks or had them around their necks as a fashion accessory. Had people been able to spread out into the blocked off portion it wouldn't have been so bad. There is simply no excuse anymore for the T's unexplainable and idiotic behavior during the pandemic and the protests. Somebody has GOT to step in.

up
Voting closed 1

I can sleep in my office so it doesn't matter to me. I'm sure I'm not alone. 60 State, shower, kitchen, couch in my office, 1%.

up
Voting closed 3

If assholes were airplanes, this place would be an airport. If it wasn't for jumping to conclusions, none of us would ever get any exercise.

up
Voting closed 1

?

up
Voting closed 0