From drug deals on Washington Street to drinking in the Arboretum: Roslindale catalogs its crime issues

Some 50 residents from across Roslindale met last night with local police and elected officials to figure out how to keep Roslindale's crime rate low.

The meeting was organized after two women were robbed near the Roslindale Village train station last month.

State Rep. Liz Malia (D-Jamaica Plain) said now is the time to organize neighborhood watches because of an epidemic of opiate addiction. "It's almost out of control," and worse than most people have ever seen, she told some 50 residents at the Community Center. Already, one Cornauba Road Extension resident said she has seen kids as young as 10 dealing drugs from her house. "I just stand there and watch them" until they leave, she said, adding she worries about the day they refuse to move and instead confront her. Police officers at the meeting urged her to call 911 - especially if she's seeing little kids who should be in school.

Ed Roach, a community service officer at E-5, said major crime in Roslindale is actualy down 21% over the past three years - and larceny is down 45%. He said the rates would be even lower if residents remembered to keep their house and car doors locked - and to not store valuables in plain site in their cars.

Among those attending the meeting: The family of Brandon John, a Roslindale teen shot to death on Rowe Street on Jan. 9.

They expressed concern about the comments in this Universal Hub discussion about the small memorial friends assembled on Rowe Street.

City Councilor Tim McCarthy (Hyde Park, Roslindale, Mattapan) said he would work with the family on a dignified plan for ending the memorial that would involve a small ceremony with the family's clergy member and police, in which the family would take with them items they want to keep. "We like to do it as delicately as possible," he said.

Residents said the CVS/Burger King parking lot on Washington Street was a major drug-dealing area - and that when police crack down there, the dealers just move across Washington to Liszt Street. One Liszt resident said she keeps paper near her door to take down the license plates of cars whose occupants seem to be engaging in drug transactions.

Capt. Joseph Gillespie of E-5 acknowledged the problem - he said Washington Street from about the Burger King down to Grove Street seems to attract drug dealers and buyers from as far away as Providence. He added E-5 is paying special attention to the corridor and has made a number of arrests there - and urged residents to keep an eye out and report anything suspicious to 911.

That's what residents on Conway Street did last month when they heard a woman screaming. But they did more than that - they ran outside. One stayed with the mugging victim until police arrived - and the other chased the suspect - ultimately caught by police - even though he had no shoes on. The woman attended the meeting and said their actions and the kindness from police really made her appreciate the neighborhood. "I was just so proud to live in Roslindale that night," she said.

Residents said warmer weather has meant an increase in drinking parties on Peters and Hemlock hills in the Arboretum - and an increase in the broken glass and trash people find on their morning walks there.

Gillespie pledged to try to crack down, but said combating drinking in the Arboretum has unique risks: Police are reluctant to chase after soused after-hours visitors for fear they might run off a hillside in the dark and die. He said a few years ago, somebody being chased by police did fall off a cliff, but fortunately only suffered a broken leg.

Also an issue: Two homeless guys who spend a lot of time in Roslindale Square, one of them making inappropriate comments to young girls. Gillespie said police have tried to get them into programs out of the neighborhood, but that so far, they keep returning to Roslindale after doing their time.

Residents also complained about speeding. One Florence Street resident said her street "continues to be a speedway." Gillespie acknowledged speeding is a major issue in the neighborhood. Malia said she has been trying for years to get legislation to let Boston lower speed limits on smaller neighborhood roads. The problem, she said, is that legislators from rural areas don't want to meddle with speed limits.

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Comments

Drinking in the arbs

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is no worse than the clowns you let their dogs off the leash.

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Drinking might not be, but

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Drinking might not be, but smashing your bottles everywhere, in an area frequented by pets and little kids, is.

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They aren't "smashing glass

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They aren't "smashing glass bottles everywhere". They're drinking cheap CANNED beer. The broken glass is an overblown issue. Kids have been drinking on that hill for generations, and its only a problem now that Rozzie is gentrifying. Go back to the 'burbs your boobs.

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Um No...

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First, although the kids on Peter's Hill appear to limit their drinking to cans, the kids on Hemlock Hill seem to prefer bottles and smash them everywhere. Second, saying that people just care about this because Roslindale is gentrifying is a pretty low shot at working class people, plenty of whom still live in Roslindale and frequent the Arb. I could actully care less if someone wants to have a drink in the Arb but those who can't do the simple coutesy of throwing away their empties in the trash cans are, themselves, trash and I would enjoy seeing them arrested or at least lead around and forced to pick up every can, and sweep up every shard of broken glass, that they leave behind. No one would call the police on kids drinking there if they would clean up after themselves. As things stand, I will call 911 every time I see kids headed toward the gate with a 6-pack.

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hey instead of calling the

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hey instead of calling the police everytime you see a buncha kids who have been for generations (and will continue) to go there and drink 30s of natty light why dont you go volunteer and place trash cans up there? exactly. cause last time i checked there are ZERO trash cans on Hemlock Hill.

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stop

first off, no one calls it hemlock hill, second off kids have been drinking at the top of the arbs for generations, generally without any problems. if you feel theres a dior need to clean up the cans after a weekend why don't you volunteer and place some trash cans up there? exactly

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Well ...

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One of the people at last night's meeting said early morning dog walkers are cleaning up cans up there, but there's not much they can do about broken glass.

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Thank you!

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I had wanted to go to this meeting last night but couldn't make it. So thankful to have UHub to fill me in on what I missed! I am really encouraged by all the action in Roslindale lately to get residents talking to each other and the police.

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Wish I'd known about this!

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We've had two intruders on our property recently, and in the last year and a half I've personally witnessed 15 car accidents at our intersection on Hyde Park Ave. fur me to people driving like idiots (I bet there've been more and I just haven't been home to see them). Wish I'd known about this meeting!

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people need to drive slower

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speeding is a real problem around here. I know the traffic volume on hyde park ave is low enough to remove a lane in each direction without affecting things - this is why people speed through there - too much space. Have you ever driven down walter street next to the arboretum? the speed limit drops down to 15 on one turn - and is 20 along the arboretum, but if you aren't going 35 people will tailgate you, or even cross the double yellow to attempt to pass you. and I know they made that ped signal at cummins and washington a couple seconds longer (still not long enough, IMHO), but there should be a "no turn on red" sign on washington there.

i've also seen people attempt to drive in the bike lane to get past traffic heading south on Washington. But the scariest thing to me is seeing people speeding on cummins when kids are out in front of the THREE schools that are all within a couple blocks of each other.

also - a few months ago someone almost crashed into a house on the corner of cummins and sycamore.

if crime is down, maybe E-5 police could start ticketing for speeding with all their "free time." - maybe they'll actually bust some of the drug runners.

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people use Florence & sycamore street as cut through

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You can't really speed on Florence because of the turn - it just seems faster because it's hard to see around the corner and there's no safe crossing to get to the playground - but sycamore - I've seen people racing motorcycles down that street - there are children in that neighborhood. People will speed down Cummins and Hyde Park Ave too. We need some physical traffic calming at the corner of florence and sycamore - I wouldn't be surprised if someone eventually does some guerrilla speed bumps or crosswalk in there.

I felt like I was being paranoid about the drug dealing, but now that I know it's a problem I'll definitely be more proactive about reporting suspicious behavior.

Thanks for sharing this - I wish I could have been there.

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I don't understand why people

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I don't understand why people want to lower the speed limit when there's speeding. If some people are ignoring the 30 or 25 limit, why is a 15 or 20 limit better?

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15 mph over the speed limit is a serious offense

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15-20 mph zone would keep people down to below 30. Although - police need to be enforcing it otherwise it goes ignored. two 15+ over the speed limits and you can get your license suspended.

When I first moved here from Michigan, I thought it was really bizarre and dangerous that everyone drove so fast down residential streets, then I learned that the speed limit is 30, not 20 or 25. Also - cops there will pull you over if you're going 5 over in a residential neighborhood.

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Florence and the lines

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About 20 years back Florence Street was rebuild to modern engineering standards. Prior to that there were no real sidewalks as you have now. You had narrow macadam (hot top) sidewalks raised above street level, and with people often parking up on the walkways.

When it was rebuilt (down to the dirt and back up again) formal sidewalks were installed. This narrowed the street area considerably.

Florence Street actually had a double-yellow line installed and that is a part of the problem. The line has not been repainted in many years.

Also, the City traffic department BANNED parking along the even side (that's the side with Dale Village, Marion, Harrison, and the ball field) from the bridge all the way to Firth Road due to the road being narrowed. However parking is rarely enforced. You can look up the restriction at the City Transportation Department. Parking is also banned on Florence on BOTH SIDES from Sycamore to Firth due to the acute curve, but you will find plenty of residents parking there, or nearby neighbors.

So maybe what needs to happen is just get the existing line restored and parking bans enforced.

Then, ask for "selective enforcement" from the police. I can vouch for school buses blazing through there morning and afternoon often on the wrong side of the road. It's a hellish accident waiting to happen.

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People drive on Florence

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People drive on Florence like it's a one way street, which is terrifying around that curve.

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What are souced after-hours

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What are souced after-hours visitors? Also, as someone who frequented Pete's and Cherry Hill "after-hours" all throughout highschool, I really don't believe the "cliffs" are the reason the fatso cops never chased us out.

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missed the meeting

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I wish I had known about the meeting. How does one find out about them? I am happy to hear these are being held to bring our community together. We are personally affected by our street being used as a cut-through street and also as a school bus garage (off of cummins highway). It would be great if it could be made into a resident parking only one way and people actually took to the speed limits given the number of schools in that area. It blows my mind how fast people will go down these very narrow streets to cut off a light....

On another note, I think we should stop dividing ourselves on new residents versus those who have had the great fortune of calling Roslindale their home for generations.At a very basic level, I think we can all agree we want a clean and safe community. Perhaps I am just an optimist but I am very grateful for my neighbors and their welcoming attitudes and very happy and proud to call Roslindale our home.

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also check out Nextdoor.com

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You can also check out Nextdoor.com. You have to enter your address and become a member to access it, but once you're a member you'll see that notices about local meetings are sometimes posted there, as well as other good neighborhood info.