|There is a dividing
line in Upham's corner. It is a strip of land that
winds from Franklin Park out to the very tip of South Boston.
part of a long sequence of parkways and waterways designed by America's
first landscape architect - Frederick Law Olmsted.
It's a strip of
land that Olmsted would never have wanted to be used to separate one
group of people from another, one socioeconomic class, one ethnic
group, one racial group from any other. But that's how it is in Upham's
Talk among the colored peoples is hush-hush. It isn't politically
correct to speak openly about the segregation that continues throughout
Boston and especially in Upham's Corner. The west side of
Columbia Road marks a distinctly different section of Upham's Corner,
and why? Look at the facts. Look at
the colors. The further east you travel, the more you find the
politically savvy residents and the further east you travel, the whiter
Or look at in the other direction - cross Columbia Rd towards the
tracks and watch how the conditions change as you move towards Roxbury - the
businesses, the colors, the weeds, the condition of the
properties. Is it because the residents don't care?
Click to enlarge
| Upham's Corner
as defined by the BRA
Area B-2 and C-11 Police Boundaries
Click image to enlarge
The west side of
Columbia Road is
under the jurisdiction of the area B-2 police while the east side of
Columbia road is covered by area C-11. Everyone knows that C-11
means Dorchester. Everyone knows that B-2 means Roxbury.
police are wonderful but
they are the "Roxbury" police. That makes the west side of
Columbia Rd part of Roxbury
So when people say Roxbury, they don't mean Upham's
Corner and, for them, the other side of Blue Hill Ave doesn't
We want our wonderful relationship with B-2 police to
continue but we don't want to be forgotten because we don't have the
Clearly this is not a Boston Police Department issue. Upham's
Corner does not stand out as unique and special enough for Bostonians
to even remember where it is and how far it extends.
|District 7 and District 3
City Councilor Boundaries
Click image to enlarge
The same type of
exists for our city councilors though slightly further east. The
west side of Columbia
Road is under the jurisdiction
Tito Jackson. His responsibilites also snake part way down Hancock Street then
through Jones Hill starting at Rowell and out Everett Ave, then up
Sumner to E Cottage Street.
The remaining easterly section of Upham's
Corner is under the jurisdiction
Feeney. Guess who attends the Jones Hill Neighborhood Association
meetings. Maureen Feeney.
During Tito Jackson's campaign, he repeatedly
mention the several jurisdictions under his political responsibility
EXCEPT for Roxbury. The byword was always Roxbury.
In multiple venues Upham's Corner News
had to shout out from the peanut gallery: "Upham's
Corner, Upham's Corner. Don't forget Upham's Corner."
Note: Tito Jackson isn't forgetting Upham's Corner any more than
his predecessor did. Chuck Turner has many faithful followers in
Upham's Corner. He also has people who were very frustrated with him, those who say he didn't come through. One
example is cited by a Jones Hill resident. "Chuck Turner
never showed up at any of the meetings. We are really grateful to
Maureen Feeney for everything she did for us."
|The whole of Upham's Corner has an
that the east side of Columbia Rd is Dorchester. What about the
west side? Where does Dorchester end and Roxbury begin?
Pity the poor people who live on the west side of the tracks but the
east side of Blue Hill Ave. What is that?
but is it Upham's Corner? Upham's Corner Main Street has
streteched their interests out to the Kroc Center for obvious reasons,
but not farther than that. The BRA ends Upham's Corner at the
tracks. Upham's Corner is
Roxbury and Roxbury is not Upham's Corner.
during the campaign Tito Jackson forgot about Upham's
Corner in his speeches and his promises but he is getting better - after
all, he only took office Spring 2011.
The problem, however, is
pervasive. In Mayor Menino's April 2, 2011 speech at the new Kroc
Center, he described its location as Roxbury.
"this beautiful community center right here on good old Dudley Street, good old Roxbury MA."
Another reason for the Mayor to call it Roxbury?
On the east side of Columbia Rd, there is no ambiguity. NO ONE
would ever describe the east side of Columbia Rd as "good old
Roxbury." That's Dorchester. In fact Dudley Street ends at
Columbia Rd and continues "into Dorchester" as Stoughton Street.
- Dudley Square is Roxbury
- Dudley Station is Roxbury
- And Dudley Street? Why that's also Roxbury, right?
So where does that leave the predominantly colored side of Upham's
"broken window" theory of
neighborhoods applies to all sections of Boston but it finds no better
home than the west side
of Columbia Rd, north of Dudley Street. There are so many blatant
problems in this section - abandoned property, unkempt property,
reputed drug house, two murders since the beginning of the year.
All of this comes together to
paint a section of Boston that has long been neglected.
Residents have called the police and Inspectional Services repeatedly. "Nothing ever changes," they say.
At Safe Neighborhood Initiative (SNI) meetings, the term "quality of
life" is used as an arbiter of
what should or should not go on the "list" of neighborhood
More than the "justifiable" violations of city ordinances, they say,
resident attitudes towards "quality of life" - their's not anyone
else's. The fact that weeds and weed trees and trash don't cause
harm is not a reason to tolerate their existence. In frustration
the residents say that Inspectional Services has told them: "There's
nothing we can do."
has scheduled a neighborhood walk for June 21, 2011 to draw particular
attention to some of the problems in this neighborhood.
- Project Pride - house in decrepit condition,
abandoned for years
- 35 Humphreys - reputed drug house, under foreclosure
- Maxwell Flea Market building - DND not maintaining -
- Wendover property - closed off by city, overgrown
- The top of Elder (and Columbia) where the teenagers
are a problem every night
- Many residential properties that are "a mess,"
usually unkempt - weeds
SNI Sponsored Neighborhood
Meet at the City School
Tuesday, June 21, 2011.
group expects the police, city and elected officials and residents to
participate. They are asking for help identifying
problems and raising priorities for City assistance.
Did you miss the
meeting? You can still drive through the area and get a sense of
the problems. Make your own list. Call your councilor and
lobby your support for this effort and your neighbors.
Two sets of garages in close proximity of concern to neighbors
Garages at (approx) 49 Humphreys St
Used for flea market activities after Maxwell closed
Garages at (approx) 8 Harrow Street used for car repair
Corner lot with garage - overgrown with weeds
Corner Humphreys and Quincefield Streets - weeds
Corner Humphreys and Groom Streets
35 Humphreys, reputed drug house
Project Pride house in April
Project Pride house in May
In front of Project Pride
Corner Humphreys and Groom Streets
City owned lot on Wendover Street - overgrown with weeds
Empty lot, Humphreys & Dudley
The old Maxwell Flea market, owned by DND,
as seen from Hillsboro St
Rounding the corner towards Groom St
Maxwell - notice condition of Hillsboro St
Poor condition of Hillsboro Street