Controversial bird spikes removed from under Route 2 overpass in Arlington

ARLINGTON, MASS. (WHDH) - A set of controversial bird spikes placed under the Route 2 overpass in Arlington were quickly removed Monday after an outcry from people calling them inhumane.

Apparently, they were never welcome to begin with.

“When I learned that those strips were laid down, I was shocked,” Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine said.

Chapdelaine says the spikes were placed by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation in mid-December after a rise in trash and needles left behind by the people who take shelter under the overpass. He says they had been talking about solutions, but this was never intended.

“I’m glad that they were removed today because it was clear that wasn’t the right step for us to take,” Chapdelaine said.

Health and Human Services Director Christine Bongiorno said: “I don’t think there is one easy solution. It’s a very difficult situation for any community.”

In a statement, a Department of Transportation spokesperson said the spikes were placed to prevent trespassing. Now that they’re gone, they say they’ll work with Arlington city officials to create other plans.

The town manager says that means working on a more holistic approach.

“Work on the issue that’s causing the homelessness, so working with people rather than dictating where they stay,” Chapdelaine said.

7News asked the city what they see as the best solution moving forward. They said their focus is on a homelessness task force that was created years ago but never fully staffed.

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