Talk to Ten: Snowy Sidewalk Dispute With Eversource Resolved

A 30-year dispute with utility Eversource and neighbors in a Roxbury neighborhood over shoveling snow was going no where until NBC10 Boston got involved

Yma Arrington has lived on Woodbine Street in Boston's Roxbury neighborhood for almost 30 years.

She’s seen snow before and said she and her neighbors shovel their walks, both in front of their properties and for their neighbors when needed.

“That’s how we do,” Arrington said.

She said one neighbor across the street from her, though, doesn’t.

The utility Eversource owns property across the street from Arrington near Dudley Square. There’s no office or house on the lot. Just a shed.

Arrington and several neighbors said Eversource never shovels the sidewalk in front of this property, forcing pedestrians to walk in the middle of the busy cut-through between Warren Street and Blue Hill Avenue.

“There are a lot of families,” she said. “In fact, there’s a woman with small kids who comes down here every day. She has to come out in the street and deal with the traffic. It’s just not fair.”

Arrington has called and called, well over 100 times over the years, she said. But nothing got done.

Last Thursday, Arrington was one of many viewers who called Talk to Ten, NBC10 Boston’s telethon. It was a chance for viewers to tell us what is happening in their towns and neighborhoods. Knowing snow would be coming over the weekend, Arrington wanted to send a tip.

Two days after Monday’s snowfall—11 inches in Roxbury—Eversource still had not shoveled.

NBC10 Boston called Eversource Wednesday morning to ask why.

Within a few hours, a crew of seven men, a backhoe, two dump trucks, and a box truck arrived to shovel, scoop, and hall away the snow.

“I was so happy to see you, I said, ‘Yay!’” Arrington said as the work was underway. “Talk to Ten, of course. It’s the only way we got results.”

The NBC10 Boston Investigators asked the city of Boston Wednesday morning how much it has fined Eversource for not shoveling that property in recent years. The city has not yet answered.

Eversource released a statement Wednesday, saying, "As soon as we became aware of the situation, we immediately sent a crew to remove the snow from the sidewalk. We always encourage our customers to reach out to us directly, should they have any concerns, and we will address the issue."

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