Editor’s Corner

The stoplight saga continues

By Gwen Walsh
Alumni Editor

Last week I wrote an Editor’s Corner about a stoplight on Highland Street that was not functioning properly and was causing traffic jams in the WPI neighborhood. I retold the story of how I reported the issue to a Becker security officer and he literally slammed his door in my face.

Several days after this incident I noticed the light was still broken so I called the Worcester Department of Public Works (DPW) to file a complaint. A week later I was still sitting at that red light in a gridlock of impatient drivers, so I called again to check up on my complaint. An incredibly curt woman answered the phone and insisted that I had never filed a complaint and that if I wanted to do so I would have to call so-and-so. Which sounds curiously like her job description to me…

Twenty minutes of phone calls with apathetic employees and a slew of voicemails later, I had achieved nothing except raising my blood pressure: the next day the light was still broken. Maybe I’m in the wrong, but this whole situation seems ridiculous. The traffic light was broken, creating a serious public danger and nuisance. I informed several public officials of the problem, but none of them wanted to take accountability for getting it fixed. I wonder how long it would have taken for the light to be repaired without my involvement. I also wonder how long it would have taken for any of the other scores of inconvenienced drivers to step up to the plate. I’m satisfied because I did my part, but what is that worth if the authorities don’t care? And what happens when everyone starts to think “I’m sure someone else will take care of it”? Will anything get done?