MBTA Adds Transit Police Patrols, Signage to Deter Illegal Hunting on Haverhill’s Atlanta Street

Atlanta Street is being monitored by transit police to deter illegal hunting in the wake of neighbor concerns. (File photograph)

Less than two months after Haverhill residents complained about illegal hunting near the city’s Atlanta Street, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority that owns the 19-acre parcel along Little River has taken steps to protect neighbors.

A letter from Chief Railroad Officer Ryan D. Coholan obtained by WHAV confirms the MBTA has added transit police patrols and signage to deter illegal hunting in the residential area east of Hilldale Avenue and south of Route 495.

“”We have installed six ‘No Trespassing/No Hunting’ signs along the property line (and) transit police have instituted regular patrols of the area, including the utilization of our detective division,” Coholan wrote in a letter addressed to City Council President John A. Michitson.

Haverhill’s governing body took up the issue at its Oct. 30, with Atlanta Street resident Maria Zangari imploring the Council to take action after she said shotgun pellets from hunters hit her home and landed in her backyard last fall.

“What I’m asking of the City Council tonight is to show us and prove to us that you believe the most important issue here is the safety of the residents you represent,” Zangari said at the time. During that meeting, the Council agreed to consider enforcing a buffer zone or even banning hunting citywide. As it stands now, firing a shotgun is legal as long as it is done more than 500 feet from a dwelling.

Ahead of a Jan. 23 Public Safety subcommittee meeting, Zangari tells WHAV recent actions to protect residents are a step in the right direction.

“I don’t want to see hunting abolished—I don’t think that’s the right avenue. In my neighborhood, I don’t think it’s safe to do hunting. There are areas in the city where they could hunt. I’m looking forward to the public safety (committee’s) recommendation.” Something has to be done.”