12/3/12 12:17 PMCambridgeport senior housing tenants demand bus shelter - Cambridge - Your Town - Boston.comPage 1 of 2http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/cambridge/2011/10/cambridgeport_senior_housing_t.html
Cambridgeport senior housing tenants demand bus shelter
Posted by Your Town
October 10, 2011 12:27 PM
By Amanda Karakoudas, Boston University News ServiceTenants from a Cambridgeport senior housing development have threatened to swarm into Cambridge City Hall thisweek if municipal officials will not officially commit to installing a bus shelter they have sought since 2003.Members of the Tenant Council of the Lyndon B. Johnson Senior Apartments on Erie Street have been requesting abus shelter at the corner of Erie and Brookline streets on the MBTA’s 47 bus route to protect them from harshweather.“We’re not the only ones that don’t want to wait out in the rain,” said John Ramos, president of the Johnsonapartments’ Tenant Council. This isn’t just for us, it’s for everyone that rides the 47.”Ramos said many seniors in the Johnson apartments ride the 47 bus to get to Central Square for groceries andmedication, but he said he sees a variety of people waiting at the stop.Bill Deignan, the city’s transportation program manager, has said the city plans to install the shelter within the nextfew months. “The city is just going to have to come up with the money to install it,” said Deignan, “and the Departmentof Public Works will have to clean and maintain it.”Deignan said the city is awaiting word from a bus shelter company on when it will put in the shelter. The timeframe for manufacturing and shipping is 11-12 weeks.Ramos said he remains skeptical because he has received letters in the past from city officials stating they will installthe shelter, but no shelter was ever installed.“They’ve promised us on and on, but we’re still waiting out there in the rain,” said Ramos. “And if we don’t seesomething new from the city that will really convince us that [the shelter] is going in, we’ll protest again.”On Sept. 25, the Mass. Senior Action Council helped the Tenant Council organize a protest of more than 50 people atCity Hall to demand the bus shelter.The protesters held signs that said “Shelter for Erie and Brookline Street Seniors” and talked to people walkingthrough Central Square about their campaign. They told people that many seniors from their 180-person apartmentcomplex often wait at the stop for long periods of time for the bus in the rain, wind, and snow.“We thought that the protest outside last week would open the city’s eyes,” said Ramos. “But since now we know it’sgoing to take even more effort, we’re going straight into the offices in City Hall.”Members of the group initially had hoped that the MBTA would install the bus shelter, but members claim that theMBTA was uncooperative.Pam Edwards, Community Organizer at the Mass. Senior Action Council, said the company that installs the MBTA’sbus shelters, Cemusa, refused to put one at that location because nearby trees would block views of theadvertisements on the sides of their bus shelters.