Trashed highways keep getting worse

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  This is what our summer visitors will see along Route 6  when they start arriving

Route 6 litter has gone from a problem to a plague
Budget inadequate, litter enforcement down by a third

Look at the side of the highway the next time you travel on Route 6.

It's a nightmare of trash and debris.

According to a story in today's Patriot Ledger,

‘‘It just seems that it’s getting worse from year to year,’’ said Ray Fierra, who supervises maintenance employees in the Massachusetts Highway Department district from Weymouth to Cape Cod. ‘‘Litter right now is our No. 1 priority.’’

And the problem continues over the bridge right to Beacon Hill where only $25 million is budgeted annually to clean-up the thousands of miles of state highways and roads. Route 3 between Cape Cod Canal and Boston is especially ugly, according to the story, and that's the state highway over which a majority of Cape Cod's summer visitors travel.

Even a Plymouth tourism official threw up his hands in disgust as the story relates,

Paul Cripps ventured onto Route 3 eight years ago to voluntarily pick up trash. He never went back. ‘‘The stuff on the side of the roads, it would just make your heart sick,’’ said Cripps, the executive director of the Plymouth County Convention and Visitors Bureau. ‘‘A lot of cigarette butts. Lots of coffee cups. I saw porn videos thrown out the window still in their carton. Diapers and empty soda bottles and beer cans. My God, it was amazing.’’

trash1_01Perhaps the early Spring weather has revealed the problem sooner than usual, but the first impression our visitors will receive this season is a very messy environment where apparently Cape Codders are "fouling their own nest" because there seems to be less litter during the summer. Maybe visitors to the cape love it better than the residents.

Bigger problem, lower enforcement 

And while the problem has gotten visibly worse in the last three years, the number of citations issued for littering on our highways has fallen from 359 tickets in 2002 to 246 in 2005.

You can complain to the Mass. Highway Dept. by emailing to [email protected], or filling out this form or writing to

District 5
Bernard McCourt, District Highway Director
1000 County St., Taunton, MA   02780
Phone: (508) 824-6633, Fax: (508) 880-6102, email: [email protected]

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