I’ll admit it: Sometimes, I let e-mail get away from me.
With the high volume of messages sent by insightful readers with questions or concerns about their daily commute, it’s sometimes challenging to address them all in a timely manner.
So it was this past week, combing through my folder of archived Starts & Stops e-mails, that I came across a message sent by John Bonavia of Needham on May 26.
“WHY can’t the MBTA fix the station clock at Back Bay?” Bonavia wrote. “It’s been broken for WEEKS — so long that I don’t recall when I first noticed it.”
He worried that the clock, located close to arriving Amtrak trains, would reflect poorly on the city, and that fixing the broken timekeeper should be a priority for station managers.
“Things that are right in the public eye should get faster attention,” Bonavia wrote. “It’s all very well bringing visitors and business people in on the Acela, but any image of modernity is instantly destroyed by silly things like this.”
But, of course, that e-mail had been sent two months ago.
Surely, I thought, by now the clock must have been fixed?
I checked back in with Bonavia, who asked a colleague who frequents the station to take a fresh look. And sure enough, in the early afternoon, one side of the clock said 8:50 and another side said 9:40.
“It was already pretty embarrassing,” Bonavia said. Now, he commented, the clock’s continued disrepair is “totally shaming.”
I sent a question to T officials last week to find out what the problem was.
On Saturday, Kelly Smith, an MBTA spokeswoman, got back to me and said T staff were aware the clock was broken and had assigned a crew to fix it, though she did not have a timeline for when it would be back up and running.