Thursday, September 20, 2007

Salem Depot and the Steps of Doom

MBTA Salem Depot Steps 2, originally uploaded by dmoisan.

In yesterday's Salem News (Wed., September 19th), Ed Carberg, of Gloucester, wrote about Salem Depot, the train station I have complained about in numerous past posts.

He puts it well:

Salem’s railroad station is positioned differently from those in the cities and towns that precede it. While the stations that come before it are either higher than street level or at the same level, Salem’s is below it, facing a high wall going up to the intersection of Bridge and Washington streets.

I do not consider Salem’s station attractive or overly welcoming. Worse than that is the manner of normal exit from it.
How would you like to be a traveler with a fear of heights, or any type of vulnerability? Well, I am one of these, and the Salem station certainly brings such fears to the surface with its stairway to Bridge Street in a state of semi-repair. "

He is not the only one who finds these steps scary. To a person with low vision,
stairs--particularly loose, broken, dark or just not well marked--are their
mortal enemy!

I had the dubious distinction of falling down these steps a year ago. I only sprained my ankle, but it hurt for some time and every time my ankle throbbed, I cursed those steps! It still hurts!

That's not been the only problem with those stairs. Several years ago, the top platform at street level had to be reconstructed when the concrete panels rotted away, leaving a 20 foot drop to the ground below.

Salem Depot is not quite 20 years old in its present location!

Mr. Carberg uses the wheelchair ramp that's about 50 feet from the stairs (off to the right in the photo.) Perhaps I'll have to do the same.

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