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Old 09-03-2014, 08:54 PM   #41
F-Line to Dudley
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Re: Beacon Hill Civic Association sues to stop installation of sidewalk ramps

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Yeah I don't agree with the crazies that want solid gold tactile strips or whatever, but as someone who lives in Beacon Hill I can definitely see where they are coming from in terms of preserving the feel and aesthetics of the community. Most permanent residents in BH spend an inordinate amount of time with flower planters, small landscaping projects, tiding up their sidewalk, etc. The condition of the sidewalks is obviously pretty bad in most places, but I still think that the whole neighborhood would look bad with concrete and plastic corners, especially considering how many there are in such a small area.

I like the idea of rusted steel - just embed them into the existing sidewalks and call it a day.

Oh, please.

Charles Circle used to look like this prior to the big Charles MGH station rebuild and associated streetscaping that wrapped just 7 years ago:









Concrete and asphalt sidewalks. Disgusting-ass 1960's cobrahead light fixtures giving off blood-draining dim green glow. Curb cuts galore for driveway parking. And a much higher-speed rotary before the streetscaping narrowed the corners and implemented a modicum of traffic calming.




MassHighway installed the sidewalk bricks, installed the period lighting, installed the brick traffic islands, installed the granite curbing, eliminated the curb cuts. It is 10 times more "aesthetic" than it was a decade ago.

And yet the BHCA is still bitching at them for using machine-pressed bricks in front of a hospital instead of lumpy wire-cut bricks sliced by hand tools. A decade retroactive. And now conveniently forgetting that the state went through the whole process of seeking their approval for the choice of tactile strip materials and color contrast...which they willingly approved.




This was not some lone nut losing his cool and threatening the Secretary of Transportation. You saw the article...the BHCA Board of Directors chair said out of one side of her mouth that she has no insight into his e-mails, then one sentence later expressed shock at how the ramps "took everyone by surprise", then when confronted about her knowledge of the e-mails gave the most weaselly non-denial denial not-not never maybe not condoning such action. Well...how the fuck did it take everyone by surprise when you're the chair of the board who signed off on those materials??? The state provided the paper trail.

And second, this has nothing to do with any of the ongoing controversy over the ramps on city streets. Or Marty Walsh acting like an ass. Charles Circle is state-maintained...the only piece of road touching Beacon Hill that is state-maintained. And the state went to lengths the city didn't to seek their approval well in advance of the installations. And now they're making the same exact legal threats against the state.

Bullshit. They have no ground to stand on expanding this war like that. And all the online comments on this news story, or in UHub, waxing a partial-or-better defense of this behavior have been totally dishonest drawing false equivalences between the Walsh-vs.-BHCA cripple fight and these brand new accusations against the state directly contradicted by a paper trail and state-level pols responding like actual mature adults. To "understand where they're coming from" means FIRST raking these clowns over the coals about why they are wasting everyone's time making threats against officials who have their approval signatures on file. And apparently doing it for collateral damage in an argument against completely unrelated people (as if...what...Davey is going to respond to a direct legal threat on his turf by phoning up Walsh and telling him to be a man on his wholly unrelated turf???).




No, I'm sorry. Wake up and smell who's representing your neighborhood. These are not the actions of persons intending to reach a productive compromise in which some other entity meets them halfway on a viable solution. These are persons who want to watch the world burn. If residents really do care about this enough to put in "inordinate amount of time" on neighborhood aesthetics, perhaps they should hold their designated civic mouthpieces to the same standard first? The BHCA is clearly interested in something much different than honoring the hard beautification work of the neighborhood's residents with the disproportionate energy being expended into threats, intimidation, projection, deflection, and dick-swinging contests with whatever pols lack enough self-control to oblige them.

Understand that the neighborhood's ability to get favorable action first and foremost depends on who they are delegating the power of representation to. They are delegating that representation to a bunch of psychopaths. This stopped being about tactile strip colors and brick aesthetics once they brought the state into this. Now it's just psychopaths acting out as psychopaths. It doesn't become about aesthetics or establishing a basis for "understanding where they're coming from" again until the neighborhood takes it upon themselves to rein in the psychopaths purporting to represent their interests. So...how much does this issue really matter to the neighborhood to translate into action reining in the psychopaths? Or is this all about tacit approval to watch the world burn?
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Old 09-04-2014, 05:54 PM   #42
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Re: Beacon Hill Civic Association sues to stop installation of sidewalk ramps

Neighborhood aesthetic preservation is load of hypocritical bullshit. I have precisely ZERO sympathy for BHCA blowhards. You think citizen participation at the local level of government is bad? I wonder what the neighborhood participation is on these neighborhood councils claiming to speak for the community. I imagine it's often a minuscule minority.
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Old 09-04-2014, 09:11 PM   #43
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Re: Beacon Hill Civic Association sues to stop installation of sidewalk ramps

I bet they exclude anyone they don't like, either.
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Old 09-05-2014, 12:03 PM   #44
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Re: Beacon Hill Civic Association sues to stop installation of sidewalk ramps

Can we add a stipulation to the resident parking that it's only for horse and buggies?
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Old 09-05-2014, 12:31 PM   #45
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Re: Beacon Hill Civic Association sues to stop installation of sidewalk ramps

I agree that these curbs don't degrade the aesthetics of charles circle much but I don't like them for the rest of the Hill. At the end of the day, this is all kind of absurd. It's like debating what color uniforms we should send to the Ukrainian army...IE: these new ramps aren't going to make a damn bit of difference when A, the sidewalks are narrow and overrun with heaved bricks, and B, the gradient of Mt Vernon Street, Pinckney etc sure as hell don't meet FDA requirements. Most of the old ramps I see don't appear problematic. Short of pulling up the street trees, widening the sidewalks and replacing the bricks with concrete, the flat of Beacon Hill will never be accessible to people who have disabilities...and the hill is virtually impassable.
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Old 06-29-2015, 07:58 AM   #46
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Re: Beacon Hill Civic Association sues to stop installation of sidewalk ramps

Preliminary injunction in favor of the BHCA: Judge temporarily halts installation of accessibility ramps on Beacon Hill (Globe)

Not so frivolous, as it turns out, at least legally.
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Old 06-29-2015, 10:33 AM   #47
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Re: Beacon Hill Civic Association sues to stop installation of sidewalk ramps

Another example of how morality and legality diverge.

Anyway, this judge is at Suffolk. The regulations are state and Federal. Out of her league, so to speak.

Hopefully a higher level can move quickly enough to rescind the injunction.
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Old 07-27-2015, 09:17 AM   #48
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Re: Beacon Hill Civic Association sues to stop installation of sidewalk ramps

Nobody tell the BHCA, but 290 Cambridge Street (old Grampy's Gas/Villa Mexico) rebuilt their sidewalks with concrete and bright yellow tactile pads after wrapping up construction.

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Old 07-27-2015, 10:35 AM   #49
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Re: Beacon Hill Civic Association sues to stop installation of sidewalk ramps

Oh, the humanity.
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Old 07-27-2015, 02:25 PM   #50
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Re: Beacon Hill Civic Association sues to stop installation of sidewalk ramps

My eyes! They're burning!
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Old 07-27-2015, 06:36 PM   #51
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Re: Beacon Hill Civic Association sues to stop installation of sidewalk ramps

No, no...you don't understand! My great-grandpappy told us that the BTD horsebuggies always used to spraypaint a single red stripe on the corner of all Irish-free streets, as was the custom of the times.

This is a completely accurate period piece. Including the Subaru!
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Old 07-27-2015, 06:54 PM   #52
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Re: Beacon Hill Civic Association sues to stop installation of sidewalk ramps

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My eyes! They're burning!
Actually, my eyes are burning. That's not the proper installation of a tactile pad at a corner, nor is the sidewalk grading correct. This is a mess.
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Old 07-27-2015, 07:31 PM   #53
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Re: Beacon Hill Civic Association sues to stop installation of sidewalk ramps

There's a few things wrong. At least the tactile panel guides the crosser in the right direction. If the City was against it, they should have brought it up during PIC approval. The signs are also supposed to be 18 inches back from the curb and rotated 45 degrees and the parking meter is not in yet!! It's been a few weeks since it was given the ok to install...

My bigger concern over here is the "rear" egress from Charles/MGH that isn't actually alarmed (though signed) and is super convenient. The problem is that it lets you out in the middle of a busy intersection with no crosswalks.

Last edited by sm89; 07-27-2015 at 07:41 PM.
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Old 07-27-2015, 07:31 PM   #54
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Re: Beacon Hill Civic Association sues to stop installation of sidewalk ramps

Ew. They opted for the wide single-curbcut instead of a curb cut for each crosswalk.
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Old 07-27-2015, 08:53 PM   #55
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Re: Beacon Hill Civic Association sues to stop installation of sidewalk ramps

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My bigger concern over here is the "rear" egress from Charles/MGH that isn't actually alarmed (though signed) and is super convenient. The problem is that it lets you out in the middle of a busy intersection with no crosswalks.
I swear at some point in the last few months they escalated the super-seriousness of the language on the signs. And right after I took this pic I noticed a T cop sitting in his cruiser in the cobbled bit of the median. Maybe waiting for people to take the shortcut?
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Old 07-28-2015, 09:41 AM   #56
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Re: Beacon Hill Civic Association sues to stop installation of sidewalk ramps

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Ew. They opted for the wide single-curbcut instead of a curb cut for each crosswalk.
So when they do the single curb cut (as shown) why are they not required to use a crescent shaped tactile strip -- so the full curb cut is protected?
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Old 07-28-2015, 10:38 AM   #57
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Re: Beacon Hill Civic Association sues to stop installation of sidewalk ramps

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So when the do the single curb cut (as shown) why are they not required to use a crescent shaped tactile strip -- so the full curb cut is protected?
+1 Given the purpose of the strip is to alert people to an "edge" this one seems to neither be near such an edge nor to point to one.
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Old 07-28-2015, 03:19 PM   #58
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Re: Beacon Hill Civic Association sues to stop installation of sidewalk ramps

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+1 Given the purpose of the strip is to alert people to an "edge" this one seems to neither be near such an edge nor to point to one.
In accordance with MassDOT's Construction Details and Standard Drawings (June 2014 edition), the detectable warning panels are typically located 6" from the roadway gutter line at the ramp opening. In this case, where the ramp is located in an area of continuous travel, the panel is typically oriented along the path of travel. These panels are typically cast-in-place (placed into the wet concrete) and cutting them to fit makes more of a mess than it's worth.

In this particular instance above, the panel really should be up against that 6" concrete buffer strip.
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Old 07-29-2015, 08:40 AM   #59
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Re: Beacon Hill Civic Association sues to stop installation of sidewalk ramps

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In accordance with MassDOT's Construction Details and Standard Drawings (June 2014 edition), the detectable warning panels are typically located 6" from the roadway gutter line at the ramp opening. In this case, where the ramp is located in an area of continuous travel, the panel is typically oriented along the path of travel. These panels are typically cast-in-place (placed into the wet concrete) and cutting them to fit makes more of a mess than it's worth.

In this particular instance above, the panel really should be up against that 6" concrete buffer strip.
My point was not to cut a rectangular panel. My point was that rectangular panels are clearly meant for linear (rectangular) curb cuts.

Why are there not cresent shaped panels (it is molded plastic, not hard to make) for the rounded curb cuts?
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Old 07-29-2015, 08:59 AM   #60
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Re: Beacon Hill Civic Association sues to stop installation of sidewalk ramps

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My point was not to cut a rectangular panel. My point was that rectangular panels are clearly meant for linear (rectangular) curb cuts.

Why are there not cresent shaped panels (it is molded plastic, not hard to make) for the rounded curb cuts?
There are crescent shaped panels available, I noticed some metal ones in Medford just yesterday.
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