Graney v. Massachusetts District Commission (MDC)
Affidavit of David S. Wean in Support of Injunctive Relief
I, David S. Wean, do hereby affirm and attest as follows:
- My name is David S. Wean and I live at [xxxx] St. in [xxx], Massachusetts.
- Since 1996, I have commuted by bicycle to work at my job at the John
Hancock Tower. Bicycling is thus my main mode of transportation to work in all seasons.
- My most frequent route to work includes the Southwest Corridor Bicycle
Path, formally known as the Pierre Lallement Bicycle Path. I ride the path as
part of my regular commute from its southern terminus just north of Forest Hills
station until its intersection with Melnea Cass Boulevard, just north of Ruggles station.
- This bicycle path is maintained by the Metropolitan District Commission [MDC].
- In 1996, when I began to use the path, I contacted park management to
report broken glass so that park staff would remove it. After some discussion,
it became clear that the park was under-resourced, and Allan Morris, the
Superintendent of the park, encouraged me to become a park volunteer. In
September 1996, I was provided with a dustpan and hand broom, to sweep glass
while commuting to work.
- In the three years since that time, I have used the broom and dustpan
approximately 450 times to sweep up broken glass, averaging 3 stops per week,
year-in and year-out.
- I value the Southwest Corridor Park both as a transportation corridor and
a community resource, and I support the work of the MDC to maintain the path and
surrounding parkland. However, I have observed a number of practices that disturb me, detailed
- Maintenance, construction, police and other vehicles are regularly in the
park. Routinely they travel on the bicycle path, which is intended for use by
bicycles and is neither wide enough for nor intended to be used by motor
vehicles. Often these vehicles park on the path, completely blocking it from use
by its intended users. Except for once or twice, I have not seen a warning sign
or other indication that the path is blocked or closed.
- Numerous times I have stopped and asked the operators to move these
vehicles from the middle of the travel lane roadway of the bicycle path to the
side so that bicyclists can pass. Sometimes the operators comply, but often they
- Routinely in the summer, sprinklers (both in-ground and portable) are
used to water the grass in the park. More times than not, they are set to spray
across the paths, onto the cyclists and pedestrians who are using them.
Sometimes you can wait until the water swings out of range, and sprint past
across the wet pavement, hoping to get through before the spray swings back onto
the path. Sometimes you cannot and have to choose between just getting soaked,
or finding a way to circumvent the spray area.
- In the spring of 1996, I remember seeing large piles of mulch dumped on
and completely blocking the lane of travel of the bicycle path at various
points. The mulch was eventually used around the base of the trees and in flower
beds, but my recollection is that at least some of the piles sat in the middle
of the bicycle path for more than a week before being applied.
- In the summer of 1999, mulch piles again appeared on paths in the section
of the park between Prentice and Ruggles Streets. Again, some of these piles of
mulch remained for at least a week in the middle of the path.
- Although the bicycle path is regularly plowed in the winter, it is not
sanded or salted, like the bike path along the Jamaicaway, which is maintained
by the City of Boston. On January 19, 1999, a relatively warm morning, on my way
to work my bicycle slipped on the ice at a spot between Tremont and Prentice
Streets, and I fractured the upper part of my left humerus. This injury would
not have happened but for the MDC’s maintenance policies.
- In general, if an automobile user of an MDC-maintained roadway (such as
the Jamaicaway) encountered treatment such as this — landscaping materials
dumped in the roadway, service vehicles completely blocking the roadway, inadequate
protection in the winter, water spraying into car windows — it would be
recognized promptly and unequivocally as a safety hazard and not tolerated. In
fact, the MDC does not do this type of thing on the many area Parkways that it maintains.
- When I read in The Ride magazine about Mr. Graney’s accident, in 1996,
I sent the clipping to Allan Morris, as a supporter of the park and a volunteer,
along with a note suggesting that he might want to respond.
- I also requested that the park establish policies so that park personnel
and also contractors would the keep the bicycle path lane of travel clear from
obstructions. I did not receive a response to this note.
Signed under the pains and penalties of perjury this ________ day of September, 1999
David S. Wean