Citizen complaint of the day: Too many trees on Beacon Hill street

An angry citzen reports from Revere Street on Beacon Hill:

Can't get out of the car. Someone decided to illegally line the pedestrian path with pots of trees. Remove immediately. Very dangerous. Have to get out on passenger side where there is traffic.

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    VERY

    VERY DANGEROUS
    TRAFFIC

    **

    Yes, soooooo much traffic on Revere St... and soooo much danger....!

    Go back to Brookline.

    LOL!

    Closed. Case Noted. The passable sidewalk is over 36".

    I'm also not following the reasoning for the above complaint. I they had a full car does this mean 1/2 the occupants are trapped since apparently exiting on the street side is "dangerous"?

    looking through related complaints, seems there's a OCD busybody putting most of these in. They even complained about a bike chained to a sign post.

    This s why we can't have nice things.

    Park somewhere else, maybe?

    Or get a handicap placard?

    Am I the only one who thinks it odd that this person is complaining about their ability to get in/out of a car in an area that is known for walking and not known to be very adapted to car travel?

    Then again, if you look at the nearby complaints, there is a photo gallery of "my neighbors are putting bikes/trash/potted plants on the curb" complaints. Funny, but kind of sad.

    So when traffic signs appear

    on the sidewalk, but still leave the minimum 36 inch width, oh the horror - those evil signs MUST be removed, even though they might actually guide road users - including pedestrians.

    But when people place planters and pots on the sidewalk, again maintaining the minimum 36 inch width, how dare people complain about others with cluttering the sidewalk with well-meaning, but totally unnecessary, implements.

    And, with respect, if the person is parking in a LEGAL space, then there should be NO obstructions to them being able to directly access the sidewalk from that legal parking space.

    No parking on that side?

    Based on the signs you can clearly see on street view, it's the even-numbered side of Revere Street that is no-parking; there are resident-sticker-only signs clearly visible on the odd-numbered side (and all of the cars parked on the street are on that side.)

    I'm with roadman....I think.

    From the get-go, I want to say that this seems to be a minor imposition, which I, personally, would look past. However, what follows is a principle-based explanation of why some people might not do so.

    Unless there is something about this space that is not clear from the complaint (e.g., is the street or sidewalk there a private way? Does the City allow, as a matter of law, people to position semi-permanent objects on its sidewalks (n.b., I beg all of you not to bring up newspaper boxes as those are special First Amendment cases that cannot be reasonably discussed on this thread)?).

    If the answer to the two preceeding questions is no, then why the uproar about someone merely asking the City to not allow some other private citizen to appropriate public space for his own exclusive use? If someone is allowed to put those whiskey barrels on the sidewalk portion of a public way, why can't he have them on the roadway portion of the public way (say, because he doesn't want you rabble to park in front of his stately Beacon Hill home)?

    To me, this is less an issue about whether the sidewalk is "passable" (although I put that in quotes because one might be forgiven for thinking that the term also means that you can pass from the street to the sidewalk at any given location, except where the City has lawfully placed an obstruction (e.g., lamp post) on its property) than it is about expropriating public property for private use.

    Principle is correct

    And, at the end of the day, resolving these cases on a matter of principle is the only reasonable way to do it.

    The only exception I would take to your characterization is "for his exclusive use." A person who chains a bicycle to a parking meter is appropriating a piece of sidewalk for his exclusive use. A person who puts out decorative plantings, not so much so, because he is (arguably, not definitively) creating a public good. But, of course, just because some of Joe Greenthumb's neighbors like the look of the stuff he puts out to block the sidewalk, doesn't change the fact that he's blocking the sidewalk.

    But, principle aside, if neighbor A takes the trouble to put out plantings, even if they are technically illegal, and Neighbor B complains about it, it is probably not about the plantings at all, but rather about some interpersonal issue between the two.

    Slide out the passenger side

    No big deal.

    If it is a big deal, get a handicap placard and have your own clear space laid out for you.

    These streets, trees, lamp posts, mailboxes, etc. are in an area of the city that predated cars by nearly a century ... if cars don't fit, is there really a "need" to pave over and mow down everything so that they do?

    Yes, it is nonsense

    Up to a point - the point where somebody calling himself "roadman" whined that any legal spot should have nothing blocking any of the doors.

    Think about that for a moment.

    You don't have to be an "anti-car crazy" to think it is stupid to demand that the needs of motor vehicles dominate a streetscape completely - to the point where all street lighting is removed, all trees are cut down, and signs are plunked into the middle of sidewalks - because THAT is EXACTLY what Roadman is claiming should be the case if you follow it to a logical conclusion.

    The idea that a streetscape is to be totally owned by the needs of a minority of automobile drivers rather than designed for people is dated, foolish, dangerous, ugly, and idiotic - particularly in an intensely urban environment.

    I'm with swirly on this one.

    But only because of the tone of this persons complaint.

    Can't get out of the car. Someone decided to illegally line the pedestrian path with pots of trees. Remove immediately. Very dangerous. Have to get out on passenger side where there is traffic.

    You here things like this all the time when people park illegally.

    "I was forced to park there (in the bike lane) because there were no spots and I was in the car. The officer should have just asked me to move"

    " I was forced to park in two spots because the car that was there was also in two spots"

    I'm actually having a good laugh tonight reading these.....

    Other report at St Botolph St, Boston
    STILL a huge hole in the road. Numerous small children, puppies and kittens have been lost down this hole it's so big. Please do something about it before we loose anymore loved ones.
    Closed about 6 hours ago via iPhone

    Other report at Falkland St, Boston
    BPS School Bus HS31. Driver just gave me the middle finger after stopping for her stop sign.
    Closed about 7 hours ago via iPhone

    Other report at N42.35 E71.08
    It is Memorial Day, thousands of visitors to Boston, the grass in Copley Square has yet to be mowed this year. It looks awful.
    Closed about 13 hours ago via iPhone

    Other report at 113 Summit St, Hyde Park
    My idiot neighbor doesn't know your not supposed to throw huge piles of brush on the sidewalk
    Opened 1 day ago via iPhone

    Streetlight report at N42.29 E71.14
    Lights out again. Awesome. Major traffic and pain. Nothing like the sounds of honking horns and steaming drivers to wake your baby up.
    Opened 4 days ago via iPhone

    Other report at 390 Commonwealth Ave, Boston
    Cut the lawn!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Opened 4 days ago via iPhone

    Other report at 163 Commonwealth Ave, Boston
    Porta Potties at the new construction job site stink to high heavens and make you wanna pass out or suffocate.... Odd complaint but so damn gross
    Closed 4 days ago via iPhone

    Graffiti report at Beacon St & Charles St, Boston
    Gold tag on base of traffic light. "Htea" is back again! Fun!
    Closed 5 days ago via Web

    Complaining about cars

    Complaining about cars apparently fits with your political viewpoint. But these planters (which are new, not historic) are annoying, and also cause problems for pedestrians.

    The city can remove some annoying planters without requiring that all trees get cut down.

    There are actually tons of

    There are actually tons of planters on Revere street - granted most of them only have flowers in them instead of bushes. And I recall them existing back in the 80s when I worked nearby.

    And those specific planters from the complaint may have been there long enough to practically be historic. They appear in this Google streetview which was likely taken as much as 5 or more years back. And they're not some solid wall of doom. There are only a few of them and there appear to be spaces between them. Plenty of room to open ones door if you align yourself correctly.

    https://maps.google.com/maps?q=revere+st+boston&hl...

    Reminds me of the anti-satellite dish people on BH

    This goes back a couple years, and I can't even remember whether it was here on UHub that I read it. But someone on Beacon HIll a few years back was trying to rid the neighborhood of satellite dishes, on account of they don't fit in with the historic theme of the neighborhood. Of course, nobody wanted to ban *automobiles* from the neighborhood, which are...I don't know...thousands the size of satellite dishes and outnumber them by about that much too.

    It's not "Anti-satellite-dish people"

    It's not a bunch of anti-satellite-dish cranks; it's a legally designated historic district, which means you can't make alterations to the exterior of your building. No satellite dishes, no budweiser signs, no floodlights, no aluminum replacement windows, no rooftop mechanical equipment visible from the street, etc. There's nothing specific about satellite dishes in there; just no modern junk on the outside of a building. Cars are not an architectural modification to the outside of a building, and so (obviously) not covered under the historic district laws.

    Cars are visible from the street.....

    .....and from every window of every building. Want the neighborhood to be truly historical? Make it a pedestrian zone, with exceptions only for handi-capable and emergency vehicles.

    Talk about modern junk, there's a lot of four-wheeled modern junk taking up a lot of space on Beacon Hill.

    I wasn't out to debate what is covered under the existing historic district "laws," but am pointing out that if the goal is to have the neighborhood appear as it did a few centuries ago, the hysterical society should put their money where their mouth is and lose the cars altogether.

    Oh I agree

    The hysterical preservation laws are largely there to support NIMBYism. If they were really serious about it, they would support measures that were inconvenient to them. Like doing without street parking.

    Of course there are some cases which do warrant preservation. And the reaction against the wanton destruction of city blocks was understandable. But the preservation power gets overused. Sometimes even convenience stores get "historical designation." Ridiculous. This attitude just freezes all progress and turns the area into a museum, not a city. There has to be some slow (key word: slow) progress over the decades. At least to allow new uses, even if the facade or form remains the same.

    Blocked curbside access

    however, if I lived on the street and had to park my car, and could not get out on the driver side because some citizen stuck a row of trees on the driver's side so I could not open the door, I would be upset also.

    Sort of... except that between sign posts, trees, railings around tree pits, street light posts, etc., a pretty large number of parking spaces have a curbside obstruction. Generally, this is not a problem on most streets, where parking is on the right. If you're driving solo, you just get out on the driver's side; with passengers, you stop for 10 seconds to let them out before you back into the space. On a few streets there is parking on both sides; on others (Revere being one), for some reason the parking is on the left side of the street rather than the right; on those streets the obstructions are more of a hassle

    There are lots of places in BH where curb side egress

    is not easy. 3 days a week is trash day. Lots of people
    block the walk way for up to 12 hours. There are numerous
    tree cages and other things. The above complaint highlights
    one of many obstacles. I am with the majority: The citizen
    needs a new job. It the city did decide to address the pots
    there would be many other similar obstacles to complain about.

    Swirly girl is probably way wrong on the length of time most of the
    obstacles (lamps, trees) are fairly recent additions. The Revere
    side of BH has a poor neighborhood in the 19th Century and not
    that well todo into the 1970s. It is quiet possible there were no
    lamps in the 19th Century because the neighbor wasn't in the
    good graces of the powers of BH.