The cab stand opposite Asticou Road was originally a straight walk away from the entrance to the Forest Hills terminal. That ended Wednesday when the taxis moved to a new reservation further south on Washington Street at the Ukraine Way intersection.
A new traffic lane on Washington Street was created over the summer. The original tree-lined stone-faced terrace was removed and an asphalt sidewalk built against the train wall. All lights and utilities were moved over towards the wall and a new lane paved.
But for what purpose? No one could answer that at the Massachusetts Department of Transformation open house held at Curtis Hall last Thursday.
And then the “cabs only” marking appeared Tuesday evening and the taxis moved down the street the next day.
Most of the cab drivers this writer talked with Thursday afternoon and later in the evening were not happy with the change. It was too far away from the station they all said; and anyone looking for a cab in the usual location didn’t know where to go. There was only one sign saying the cabs had moved to Washington Street and Ukraine Way.
Cab driver Osner Bernardo said Thursday evening that the move “is not good. People can’t see where the cabs are.”
Most of the cab drivers like Yves Lindor of Hyde Park could not explain how long they will remain in the new location.
“We may move to another place,” he said. But he wasn’t sure when.
Demolition and realignment of traffic patterns are shifting now to the Forest Hills Station area as demolition of the Casey Overpass is almost completed. This construction work now is to prepare for a new busway opposite the Blackwell Footpath to the Arnold Arboretum and a redesign of the old surface transportation lanes closest to the station opposite South Street and Asticou Road.
There were also conflicting answers as to who made the decision to move. Some drivers said the police; others said the contractor. Part of the reason for this is because the MBTA is managing the $10-11 million infrastructure improvements at the station while MassDOT runs the overall Casey Arborway project. This was explained at the May 7 construction meeting. But the limit of work which separates the MBTA from MassDOT was not described at that meeting.
A request to Jim Kersten of MassDOT for clarification of these questions was not answered at the time story was published.