DANGER on the SW Corridor


So, let’s say you’re bicycling from Mission Hill to JP.  You’d take the bike path, right?  This is the route recommended by map peeps.

However, if it’s after dark and you’re riding alone, especially in the warmer weather, the chances of you getting mugged, harassed, assaulted on the bike path at Jackson Square are rather high!  I’ve had things happen to me there during the day with other people riding around!

Recently, a friend had her bike stolen out from under her at this spot.


I know it’s the shortest distance between two points, but not if you lose your bike or you wallet in the middle of your journey!  I suggest this detour.

If, for some crazy reason, you cannot avoid this stretch, I recommend finding a buddy to ride with, even if that buddy is a stranger on a bike.  Just say, hey, will you ride with me to Jackson Square?  It’s a trouble-spot.  Or, secretly ride with them, as I have done.

Watch out for each other out there, please!

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9 Responses to DANGER on the SW Corridor

  1. Phil Lindsay says:

    I’d rather just go out onto Columbus and pick up Centre instead of the veering around the project by a school and down the side streets you suggest. I was noticing how stupid it is since it’s DCR property that the Staties have juristiction there. It’s really silly since the trail goes right past Boston Police Headquarters. Why not work on that aspect? Get the City Cops in on it. They have cops on bikes and a community commitment no? There may be yet another police force involved with the Bromley Heath project possibly still having Municipal Police? Throw in the Transit Police at the station and there are 4 different forces with responsibility within 10 feet. Get them coordinated and not passing the buck and something good could happen.

  2. Fenway says:

    A few days ago a large group of teens were dispersed by police for throwing rocks at cyclists @ this location and there was another armed robbery with a knife. Cameras and lights are only so much of a deterrent.

  3. Mark says:

    I went to the PMAC meeting at the JP Police Station tonight; three members of the Boston Police were there and a State Police Trooper. The rest of the attendees were from the PMAC, DCR, Stoneybrook Neighborhod Association and three residents.
    The Police talked about crime on and around the SWCP noting both the bike muggings at Jackson Square and two armed muggings near Forest Hills Station (one near Boynton St 10/13 and one near McBride St 10/12) by Halloween mask wearing assailants. The police stated that 10 infrared cameras have been installed behind the Jackson Square T station including some covering the bike and ped paths. Vandals have cut wires to the street lights over the path, but DCR stated that they have been repaired and being infrared, the cameras still work without light.
    The police did offer some advice such as buddying up and not riding alone through Jackson Square, make sure electronic devices including earbuds for IPods are out of sight and paying attention to your surroundings as ways to make riding through the area safer.
    If there is an incident, please report it to the State Police. They stated that one of the cyclists who was mugged didn’t report it to the police and the police only found out about it when the DCR found the ladies wallet in the bushes and tried to get in contact with her.
    The State Police have been running bicycle patrols through the park from April 1st to November 1st; hopefully they can extend it a bit this year.

  4. David Wean says:

    Liz – do you have info (for each of the two incidents) on the way the muggers did it, exactly which part of the path it happened on (e.g. before the station, near the opening to the courtyard, or closer to Centre St.) which may give some insight into what to look for and maybe ways to avoid it happening again? I was mugged in that spot in October 2004 – a group of 3 or 4 teens were blocking my way just before Centre St. Thinking it was just a handful of pedestrians and not really paying attention, I slowed to work my around/through them, and they knocked me off my bike. Knowing what I now do, I might have actively tried to avoid them, made some noise, or just barreled torward them. Also, that spot can be avoided by taking Columbus to Centre and rejoining the path, or Columbus to Amory, parallel to the Corridor, as an alternative to the detour shown.

    Finally, do you know whether the information got to the Park Management Advisory Committee, which meets regularly with both State and City police? http://www.swcpc.org/pmac.htm

  5. crankycoffey says:

    Good new, she got her bike back.

    Sure, a “non-starter,” but forewarned is forearmed! And if the police are going to keep ignoring it, at least the would – be victims can get a heads-up.

    And really, that part is a sarcastic joke.

  6. Fenway says:

    I heard about your friend being bike-jacked on the police scanner the other week. I hope she gets her fixie back eventually. At least it seemed on the scanner that the Boston Police took the incident seriously and had several officers looking for the guy in the area for quite awhile.

  7. notbikesnobnyc says:

    that said, asking a community to put up a sign saying “it’s dangerous here!” is a nonstarter

  8. notbikesnobnyc says:

    thanks, this is really good to know. I ride the SWC on the way in the morning but usually the Jamaicaway path home at night. sounds like i should stick with that

  9. crankycoffey says:

    open letter to the city:
    I had yet another friend get mugged on the bike path at Jackson Square last week. At this point, I think everyone I know who rides a bike around here has had trouble at this known danger spot. I honestly think it is time to put up some yellow diamond signs around this area that warn cyclyist they are entering a mugging zone and to seek alternate routes. What does it take to get something done about this?
    many thanks for your help,
    ~Liz Coffey

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