To the Editor: Morse Ave. Fence is Dangerous

Whiting Ave. resident Ann Kavanagh believes the fence to be a mistake.

The following was written by Dedham resident Ann Kavanagh.

On Saturday, January 14, 2012, abutters erected a tall wooden fence across the entire width of Morse Avenue which blocked all access from Morse Avenue to Whiting Avenue. How can this be legal? How can this be right?

For at least 97 years Morse Ave while designated a private way, has acted as the
access point, either by car or by foot, to Whiting Ave for the residents of the area called “Whiting Park,” and for many other Town residents. Especially impacted are those students of Dedham High School and Middle School who walk to school each day from this area. Their travel time has been greatly extended and in the winter time made more dangerous when they have to walk on more snow covered streets.

Can a few people choose to turn a road shown on all Dedham maps as a thru way into a dead end road by simply building a fence?


Ann F. Kavanagh

121 Whiting Ave, Dedham

Avon Barksdale January 25, 2012 at 06:21 PM
You can be against the fence without condoning illegal activity by teens. And whether or not "10 times as many people who are in support of it being up as those who are against it", that does not give anyone carte blanche to break the law in retaliation. Two wrongs don't make a right, these fence vigilantes need to work collaboratively with the police to solve any problems with teen crime. The Dedham police were VERY effective in ridding the Manor of a huge teen problem several years ago through a community policing approach, and I'm sure if these folks - who apparently are organized enough to build a fence - advocate as a group about the scope of the problem, they'll get results from the police.
Dan January 25, 2012 at 07:25 PM
I think the building of the fence sets a poor precedent, as two property owners across the street from each other on a private road could obstruct passage for whatever reason they choose (child safety, noise, etc). From what I've read on Facebook, it seems a number of longtime residents of Morse and Edison Ave are rather upset over it, and I have to believe the people who built the fence would have done things differently had they known how it would effect their neighbors. If community policing worked in one part of Dedham, why not apply it to this neighborhood in the interests of keeping the peace? I don't want to speak for people in the neighborhood, but perhaps they'd be willing to help out in policing this pathway in the interests of keeping it open.
Avon Barksdale January 25, 2012 at 07:52 PM
I do love that agreeing with the professional opinion of the municipal legal counsel - someone who does this sort of analysis for a living - from a nearby town is dismissed as "interpret(ing) the law however you'd like to from a newspaper article." That's rich.
Kathy January 26, 2012 at 12:26 AM
Definition of an Easement - an interest in land owned by another that entitles its holder to a specific limited use or enjoyment; also : an area of land covered by an easement Massachusetts GL C 187 2 - Easements by Prescription Section 2. No person shall acquire by adverse use or enjoyment a right or privilege of way or other easement from, in, upon or over the land of another, unless such use or enjoyment is continued uninterruptedly for twenty years. 20 years has well passed. Time for those who want the fence down to get a lawyer!!
jill restnerson February 08, 2012 at 02:45 AM
I'll keep it short: with the fence the morning and afternoon police truck/car parked at the end of Morse Avenue is no more. Let's use some common sense here. The neighborhood was unsafe and required daily police presence. I too liked cutting through but safety, regardless of who is annoyed by the fence, is the number one priority for my family. I could care less about the legal mumbo jumbo or the inconvenience it's caused. Mr. Avon do you live on this street and see drugs being dealt and your lawn being urinated on. Likely not.


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