The town of Arlington here in Massachusetts is receiving a lot of backlash after spikes go up underneath the Rt 2 overpass bridge to prevent the homeless from sleeping and gathering underneath it. The purpose of these spikes is to discourage the homeless and push them elsewhere and into shelters. Apparently MassDOT are the ones who put them up and Arlington officials found it very inhumane to do that to the homeless so due to the town's displeasure, they made MassDOT remove those spikes. Town Manager, Adam Chapdelaine addressed the issue stating:
The spikes seemed very reminiscent of the spikes they use around buildings to prevent pigeons from hanging around and defecating so many citizens found it inhumane. A spokesperson, Patrick Marvin, for MassDOT said: "Upon further discussions with officials from the Town of Arlington, MassDOT has removed the measures under the Route 2 bridge. The Department will continue to have conversations with the Town, community members and stakeholders in order to develop a plan to reduce trespassing in the area while assisting vulnerable populations and ensuring public health and safety."
Are the spikes that inhumane? What's the problem with them? They do seem a bit much. Why not get rid of the spikes and open more homeless shelters if homelessness is that big of a problem? Apparently studies have been shown that even though shelters are available, there is a good number of homeless people who prefer to be outside and do not want to be indoors and thus seek out shelter in public places such as under this Rt 2 overpass in Arlington. It's not that shelters, food, or help isn't available, it's that the homeless choose not to receive that help. We can't force them to go into shelters, even if the spikes are a step towards that...
Should the spikes stay or go? Right now they're gone but should they be reinstalled? We discuss: