Victory for Mission Hill pedestrians: Contractor removes highway signs from sidewalk

Where the signs used to beThis morning: Where the signs used to be

A contractor yesterday removed the Rte. 9 signs that popped up right in the middle of the sidewalk on Tremont Street last week.

Turns out that neither the city DPW nor the state Department of Transportation was gripped with a sudden urge to inform Tremont Street motorists that they were just a half block from Rte. 9, a.k.a. the street better known as Huntington Avenue. Instead, MASCO, a private consortium of Longwood Medical Area institutions, decided to sprinkle the area in and around Longwood with signs informing drivers of their imminent arrival at the "highway," and apparently its contractor felt it was OK to just stick the signs wherever the hell it felt like it.

We learned this from somebody in city government, who said MASCO "is inspecting other locations to make sure additional new signs are out of the way of those using the sidewalks."

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Comments

Seems like the consortium had the City's blessing - to a point.

I read it a bit differently, and consequently had the reaction - "wow, the city has abdicated its responsibility for placing decent signage on public ways to a private consortium - is our government really that inept?"

I got that impression from the quote offered by the person in city government, who, while apparently not pleased with the location, seemed to be well aware that this was happening in multiple locations.

I could see the city outsourcing fabrication and installation to an outside vendor (it is almost certainly cheaper than having city employees do it), but not exercising oversight over placement? That's probably going a bit too far.

plans

There are usually very detailed plans regarding things like signs, and the private contractor and city engineers both read over and approve these plans. The city engineers are supposed to be watching any public works project to make sure the work is being done to code and being done the right way. Often times there are these newer federal regulations which these companies abide by (sign height/width, curb length, HP ramp slope, curb cuts, sidewalk cement mix percentages/colors.

That being said, the city engineer should always be in the know about any sign that is put up, expecially new ones going in the ground. Someone didn't get the message somewhere.

Thanks for a laff

The city engineers are supposed to be watching any public works project to make sure the work is being done to code and being done the right way.

LOLWUT? Next you're going to tell me that city police officers are supposed to watch motorists to make sure they are obeying traffic laws.

Statement from MASCO

Sarah Hamilton, vice president of area planning and development for MASCO, sent this:

As part of our ongoing efforts to improve transportation and access around the area, a MASCO contractor recently installed signs orienting drivers to Route 9. The signage was part of a plan approved by the city. Unfortunately, the contractor made a mistake in installing the signs in awkward location; as soon as MASCO was informed of the situation, we had the issue corrected. We apologize for any inconvenience that was caused to pedestrians. We are completing our inspections of other signage this week to make sure that all are properly positioned.