State Rep. Sean Garballey and residents of West Medford will meet on Monday, September 8 at 7pm at the Medford Public Library to discuss how to initiate improvements to the poor condition of the West Medford commuter rail station. Broken lighting, a urine stained waiting area, and overgrown shrubbery are just some of what greets you while you depart or arrive in West Medford. Is this image of Medford that we want to portray to the 10,000 daily riders who pass through the station on the MBTA commuter rail and the Amtrak Downeaster? In the past there was a lovely stone rail station crowned with a cupola; now broken sign lettering, graffiti, a dysfunctional Rite Aid sign, and industrial strength metal guardrail makes this an eyesore in West Medford, not only for residents and visitors but for local businesses as well.
In addition to all of the aesthetic problems the West Medford commuter rail station is 100% inaccessible to people with disabilities. If you use a wheelchair, you cannot get on or off the train at West Medford Station. And if you have limited mobility, or have a stroller or bike, it’s challenging to climb up the high steps onto the train, or maneuver your way down the steps.
In 2001, a citizens committee studied other stations in the commuter rail system and drew up plans for a handsome, fully accessible station. But well over a decade later, those plans remain only ideas and stand idle.
Now, Rep Garballey ands Medford residents are re-starting the conversation. Where do we go from here? Where do we stand now in regards to MBTA funding? Where do we stand in MBTA scheduling and priority? Is there a possibility for local Medford artists to contribute to the look of the stop, for example a mural?
“Every stop north of Medford is in great condition, those stops have shelter for riders, and the trains are accessible by people with disabilities; this s a mess in the middle of our community – and we can do better” said West Medford resident Matt Haberstroh.
– Submitted by Matt Haberstroh