The replanting of the median of Route 6 in Sandwich, MA has begun. Unfortunately, it will take years before the area will begin to resemble its former beauty, thanks to what appears to be more than a few incredibly stupid decisions by incompetent management in the Massachusetts DOT. As quoted in a Cape Cod Times article back when this tragic fiasco first began; “The clearing is to reestablish a safe clear zone, which allows space for drivers who may lose control of their vehicle to either pull over or get out of the roadway to a safe area, or space to recover or regain control,” said MassDOT Deputy Communications Director Michael Verseckes in an email. “The clearing also helps by improving sight distance along curves. Also, during high winds and storms, removal of the growth prevents any trees or limbs from landing onto the roadway and either making contact with vehicles or blocking the road.” I wonder what the family of Lawrence Barros, would have to say about DOT's statement. Barros died last November when an allegedly distracted driver veered off Route 6 eastbound, crossed the barren median and slammed head-on into Barro's car.
I guess it is a safe bet to assume the sub-contractor hired by the DOT to do the "clearing" will not be getting another state contract anytime soon (maybe), but is that all? Shouldn't someone or many someones in the DOT be held accountable? and by accountable I mean fired. How anyone would think that it's perfectly acceptable to just start whacking down trees on Cape Cod without benefit of proper oversight is beyond belief. I'd like to see the head of the DOT, out there, shovel in hand wearing an orange vest, replanting some of those trees. I'd like to see a memorial sign that reads "In memory of Lawrence Barros." where trees are being replanted. I'd like to see a financial accounting of how much the Route 6 deforestation project cost, and the subsequent cost to repair the damage from the deforestation project, after all it is all funded by Massachusetts tax monies. But really what I would like most of all is for none of this to have ever happened, and for Mr. Barros to still be alive.
As the saying goes, it is what it is.
On a side note; the local news media reporting of this story is a tragedy in itself. No one is demanding accountability. Wouldn't be refreshing to see the news media actually holding Massachusetts politicians accountable for the agencies they oversee? But they won't, and it's almost criminal.