Power restored to Bay Village, Chinatown, part of Back Bay

Boston Police report that as of 4:15 a.m., NStar had restored power to Bay Village, Chinatown and the area east of Clarendon Street.

Police also provide a tip for motorists who find themselves at an intersection with no functioning traffic lights and no police to direct traffic, and no, it's not to re-create that scene from Gremlins:

Motorists are asked and instructed to treat the signal as a stop sign. As such, motorists should yield to traffic to their right before safely proceeding through the intersection.

The T reports the Prudential and Symphony stops on the Green Line remain closed.

The Citgo sign remains off, as does power in the rest of Kenmore Square.

Berklee, right between both the Dalton Street and TC's Lounge fires, has cancelled classes today.

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Comments

Er. Driver's manual?

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"Some motorists have asked how to proceed when approaching an intersection where there is no police officer present and where the traffic signal isn’t functioning."

Oddly enough, there is a large degree of correlation between these motorists and those licensed drivers that should have to retake the written permit exam for their next renewal.

This has always bothered me

Supposing four people pull up all at the same time. They all look to their right, and see the other cars. Who goes first now? I've always given right of way to cars traveling straight, and expected turning cars to yield.

When asking my driver's ed instructor this in high school, all she said was "the car on the right". It's a four way intersection, all cars pulled up at the same time...THEY'RE ALL ON THE RIGHT!!!

Anyone else?

Victory goes to the swift

This doesn't happen often because most 4-way stops around here are on lighter trafficked intersections. When it does happen, you need to treat it like an uncontrolled intersection, which means making eye contact and waving the other person through. Once one person takes the plunge, then everything should proceed to that person's right.

When I was in high school, there was a four way stop just before the school that always had a big back-up in every direction. I have no idea how the first person to go through the intersection got started, but after that, it was a fairly orderly taking of turns.

No power mass ave to Kenmore

No power at 830am from Mass Ave to Kenmore Sq. Power starts up again at the traffic lights on the West side of Kenmore, but all the businesses in Kenmore have no power.

Looking East down Comm Ave, from Fairfield Street, there didn't appear to be any power at all, with most of Back Bay in the dark and no traffic lights working.

However the Hotel Commonwealth in Kenmore had power, I assume they have their own generator.

Update

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Took a walk out of the South End into Back Bay from 2:30 to 3:00PM. Power out from Mass Pike north and from Clarendon St west as far as I could see (at least to Mass Ave looking down Huntington, well past Mass Ave looking down Boylston). I couldn't see the Citgo sign but it may have been hidden by fog.

NStar is digging a trench down Stuart St from Clarendon to somewhere around Prudential Center and dropping a giant extension cord in it as a temporary fix. A worker said they should have it plugged in by tonight.

At least a couple of dozen portable (tractor-trailer sized) generators on Boylston and Huntington. Some places have power as a result - looks like the BPL, Shaws on Huntington, some building lobbies. Otherwise all stores in area are closed. Prudential and Copley malls are open, elevators working, but all stores closed. Back Bay Station is open.

Lots of overtime racking up: I stopped counting NStar vehicles when I got to 100. Similar numbers of State Trooper and BPD rides.

We have no redundancy or spare capacity in infrastructure

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This whole thing is highlighting something that keeps coming up - we have nearly no (or no) redundancy or spare capacity in any of our public infrastructure (transportation, utility, etc.).

I would have liked to think that a fire at one substation would not blackout a substantial portion of a major American city for an extended period - just as I would have liked to think that a single disabled train would not strand thousands of people.

In far too many cases, we have all of our eggs in one infrastructure basket.

Certainly we cannot afford to build two of everything, but surely there ought to be more thought given to this sort of thing in the design phase - and an effort to make people understand that it is worth building in at least some redundancy.

Security Theater

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Good to know a little fire in an unattended substation can black out an 1/4 of an entire city. Meanwhile millions are spent on security theater.

This just as easily could have been sabotage. It's probably cost the city and local economy a million + already. Meanwhile we're wasting money on theater that only servers to be a scapegoat for politicians.

Fires, manhole explosions, water main breaks, brown outs, MBTA crumbling, bridges that need to be replaced and tunnels falling apart.

These things are much more dangerous to everyday residents in Boston than terrorists.

Well, now that you brought up the security thing...

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I wasn't going to bring it up, as I thought it was too far afield for this thread, but since you mentioned it, I will.

Our lack of redundancy would be painfully on display if the I-84/Pike interchange and a single overpass over I-95 somewhere in CT west of I-395 were taken out (or otherwise rendered impassable by something like a tanker fire that melts an overpass?) Most of eastern New England would be cut off - within days stores would be running short of nearly everything because of our reliance on trucks, our just-in-time delivery system, and limited rail and port connections. Yeah, there are lots of other roads, but all you have to do is think about what happens on the Pike every holiday to see what would happen when all of that truck traffic tried to make it in on the pre-interstate highways.

I feel I need to remind folks, however, that this was a private company's (albeit a public utility) infrastructure that went bad - the problems are not just limited to the public sector. Hence, I'm not sure that disbanding the TSA, or eliminating any government waste, etc. would have done anything to prevent this incident.

Aren't you wondering about

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Aren't you wondering about now what I actually paid for? Obviously not critical infrastructure as advertised.

I mean really, shouldn't stuff like this have been up there on the priority level, and not replacing old highway signs and whatnot?

warning - power surge may start more fires

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my gf got her power back at 140 clarendon at 3am thanks copley pl dark pru mall sheraton and 1 elevator there running on a generator more on the way from new york city! hope all is up and running soon..

but - warning - the power coming on all at once may cause a power surge and start fires all over the back bay!