For two weeks, commuters who get dropped off at the Braintree MBTA station have been greeted with construction fences and forbidding signs, warning them that the ramp to drop-off or pick-up travelers has been temporarily closed.
T officials say expect to have the problem fixed by Monday morning, but the problem has caused discontent among travelers.
Officials say the issue is with the concrete on the ramp, which has closed the Ivory Street entrance to the pick-up/drop-off area of the garage. Unless commuters use the ramp off Union Street, they are rerouted to the bus and taxi pick-up lanes, which causes complications.
“This creates a traffic backup and doesn't provide adequate temporary parking for those waiting to pick someone up,” said Todd Maddock, a Duxbury resident who drops his daughter off at the garage frequently. “If you do, however, enter the garage/drop/pickup area from the elevated ramp [off Union Street], there are now fewer cars waiting in the garage so this situation is actually an improvement over what is usually a clogged mess.”
Melissa Manganello, a Braintree resident, said she tries to walk to the station when she can. But on recent, colder days, she either was dropped off or took the bus.
Either method has proven hazardous with the newly installed traffic configuration, with people parked all over the exit lanes in areas that are typically for moving traffic, and confusion over where to go.
“What I’ve experienced Monday was when I was leaving, it was mayhem. The buses couldn’t get through, there was no one directing, there weren’t even any taxis – bet they couldn’t even get in,” Manganello said.
Manganello said the situation improved throughout the week, with MBTA officers there to direct traffic and ease congestion. Increased signs have also helped, “but it's still not the best set-up,” she said.
The main problem stems with the Transit Authority’s lack of ownership around the garage, Manganella said.
“I’ve had a couple of experiences, where the people at the T are just so rude to passengers coming in from the garage to say it’s slippery, or there are no spots but the sign says it’s open…and they say we have nothing to do with the garage, which is a problem, people are using the garage to access the public service,” she said.
Manganella said she saw a tweet alerting her to the closure, so she wasn’t too surprised to see the change.
For Maddock, the only thing not surprising is the lack of maintenance.
“Not only does this garage have inadequate parking and a poorly designed drop/pickup area, but it obviously has not been maintained by the MBTA. Makes you wonder, what they do with the money that people pay to park there?” he said.
According to MBTA Spokesperson Joe Pestaturo, the T is working on handling the maintenance issues.
“The Braintree garage is safe, and to keep it that way, a rehabilitation project is in the works. The project is currently in the design phase,” Pestaturo said in an email.
Furthermore the MBTA’s Engineering Maintenance Department will be making repairs to the closed pick-up/drop-off area this weekend.
“The MBTA expects to reopen the ramp Monday morning,” he said.