Boston's largest park is plagued by chaos, according to area residents. There's dirt bikes and ATVs racing by people and young children on the trails. And Boston police say the large number of bikers delayed an emergency response to the scene when a pregnant woman was shot nearby on Sunday.
“A typical afternoon it’s going to be riding all around here and the back side,” said Dot Fennell, a Jamaica Plain resident.
“It seems like it’s gotten worse in the past two years. A lot of motorbike activity and it’s back by the zoo which is where we live and you can see how much he wanders around,” resident Allison Meierding said while holding her toddler.
Earlier Sunday, there was another incident when a bicyclist was struck by a biker.
On top of that, neighbors say the music from parties in the park is so loud that it rattles windows a mile away and goes on until 6 a.m.
Neighbors also say there’s routinely more than 100 cars lined up near the park -- sometimes double parked.
The park is due for a multi-million dollar upgrade, but in the meantime residents say they would like to see a balanced approach at fixing the issue, and say city government needs to be a part of the solution.
“I feel like it’s more of a design issue. I want people to have a place to blow off steam and do their thing but I don’t want it to be at the expense of families,” said Meierding.
The city needs to be looking at opportunities for people to be outside," Fennell said, "but they also have to do it in a way that doesn’t put communities, especially communities of color in danger of the only recourse being call the police.”
Councilor Matt O’ Malley, who represents Jamaica Plain, hosted a virtual meeting Tuesday about the issues, but it was cut short due to zoom bombings. It will now be held later on this week.