You let McDonald's open early, next thing you know some Thai place is going to want to stay open until 3 a.m.

Oh, good God, Allston. On the heels of the Boston Licensing Board letting the Harvard Avenue McDonald's open at 5 a.m., A@Time on Cambridge Street will seek permission to stay open until 3 a.m.

This is exactly what Allston Civic Association President Paul Berkeley warned about, that his members are "fearful we're just going to become a 24-hour community."

A@Time goes before the licensing board on July 10, in the board's eighth-floor hearing room at City Hall.

They are currently licensed to operate until 11 p.m.



Free tagging: 


This is exactly what Allston

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This is exactly what Allston Civic Association President Paul Berkeley warned about, that his members are "fearful we're just going to become a 24-hour community."

Good. This town is a pain in the ass, the way the sidewalks get rolled up at 10. Also, let's get the T improved enough that it can handle 24 hour service.

How do YOU propose to pay for

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How do YOU propose to pay for the T to run 24/7 so you can get your Big Mac in Allston at 3:30am?? Wah, wah! I want my Mommy and I want my Big Mac and I want everyone else to pay for it. Grow up!

Anon, of course, parks his

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Anon, of course, parks his car in the garage promptly at 10PM, and doesn't venture back out on public roads until 5AM rolls around. Wouldn't want to be accused of freeloading off of the public dollar.

Pay for the T out of the

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Pay for the T out of the general fund.

Also, raise income taxes in a progressive method (more tax brackets), and raise capital gains tax, make it state policy to increase T ridership in metro Boston by: adding/increasing tolls; increasing auto fuel taxes in metro Boston; lowering fares slightly; extending and adding new lines to thoroughly service all communities within 128, with large commuter garages at the ends of lines directly connected to 128 and other highways just prior to tolls; congestion charges in Boston proper, Back Bay, and possibly surrounding neighborhoods; new T construction to have 3 to 4 tracks so as to permit for local and express lines in the day and locals at night; adding a third track to the B and C lines at the expense of parking, for express purposes; improving T and rail connections with Logan; instituting greenbelt policies to limit development outside of urban areas (ie pushing 128 and 495 businesses into the city, also stopping new suburban development in greenfields); increasing density and number of affordable housing units in Boston, and surrounding communities; increasing property taxes on generally non sustainable / non dense properties not used for suitable purposes (eg farmhouse is okay, house in the middle of nowhere, not so much) to both fundraise and to shift population into urban areas where infrastructure costs are more reasonable; offer taxi medallions on a shall issue basis, good for the entire metro area, if the cabs meet excellent emissions and fuel efficiency standards, accept cards, accept electronic hails, etc; encourage more car and bike shares too -- as municipal services if for profit services won't move fast enough; get Cape Wind built.

Ideally we ought to end up with most of the population within 495 being within 128, less developed countryside, smaller rural towns, and car ownership inside 128 seen as largely unnecessary due to the convenience and low cost of the T, bike shares, and sometimes, car shares.

And we do similar things for the Worcester and Springfield metros.

This reminds me of the urban

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This reminds me of the urban planning theories of when I lived in the Soviet Union. I got out of that shithole country for a reason, and would never wish to see such nanny state central planning in this great country.

I do agree with you on the taxi medallions though, there should be more of a free market system in place for the taxi cabs.

Wait a sec

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Anon's plan has lots of problems for other reasons.

But the American practice of giving away "free" highways and "free" parking (paid for by our tax dollars) is approximately the most Communistic thing we do in this country.

I too want to get away from nanny state central planning as much as possible. Which is why I oppose efforts to use my tax dollars to subsidize enormous highways, and I oppose zoning laws which would force me to live in suburban sprawl where I have no option but to use a car.

And American policy for a good part of the twentieth century was dedicated to such Central Planning: it was called "urban renewal", it came from the Federal government as well as the states, and it involved destroying old neighborhoods and forcing everyone to live in a suburb and buy a car, whether they liked it or not. Maybe some folks liked it, but clearly not everyone.

Heck, the architecture of "urban renewal" even echoed the Soviet Union, e.g. the horrors of Brutalism.

Luckily, it didn't destroy every American city completely, but it came awfully close.


No, that's what people want

But the American practice of giving away "free" highways and "free" parking (paid for by our tax dollars)

Sorry Matthew, but that's what people, i.e. the taxpayers, want. Yes, there's a small minority of people like yourself that think everybody wants to live like them in the city, but the overwhelming majority of people drive their cars every day. You may have your audience here at UHub, but UHub is not even close to being a representative sample of the US.

Saying that, your ideas about what to do in Boston are right on - a city should be a city. Do what you want with Boston, make it a great city, remove cars totally if you want. But, don't tell others how they should live.

Pretty sure Matthew is suggesting the opposite

You're implying Matthew wants to dictate how others live and travel. But I see the exact opposite. Matthew is saying that if you want to live and travel a certain way, you should pay the full cost of it and not extort anyone else.

We do pay full cost

Thru our taxes.

When 80-90% of the general population directly use a service (roads) regularly, the remaining population is not being extorted. There's plenty of services I pay for thru taxes that I don't use, either, and I don't consider myself extorted.

BostonUrbEx hit the nail on the head

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And yes, we all do pay, regardless of use, through our taxes. Roads and highways are not self-supporting, and probably never could be. And yes, there are some broad-based benefits to having them, but that's not the point either.

First of all, a world where highways were not subsidized through general funds would look different. You might pay some more for goods and travel, but your tax bills would be significantly lower. Since the cost went through the right channel, there would be incentive to make transport as efficient as possible, instead of foisting off the cost on the taxpayer or letting things crumble. That's why we're supposed to do things like this through markets, in this country.

Second, the main thrust of my comment was that Soviet-style idealistic central planning is what created the highways and zoning codes in the first place. If they had listened to the communities - as they eventually were forced to do - then they would not have been so destructive. Instead, in the guise of "cleaning up the city", the planners imposed the preferences of suburbanites on the city and banged through highways, cleared blocks for parking lots, and generally tried to redraw the landscape in their vision. The Federal government chipped in with 90% of the highway cost and mortgages in the suburbs with guaranteed loans, all covered by tax dollars. Looking at the options, it's no wonder Americans fled out of their cities in mass: on one hand they were being paid to do so, and on the other, their city's living environment was being destroyed.

All of that was top-down central planning, flowing from the Feds through the states. A lot of money, a lot of corruption, a lot of politics. You could write a book on the whole mess (plenty have), so I won't go further.

In Japan....

...the equivalents of our interstate highways (and local expressways) are almost all toll roads. Only local streets are funded by the general public (as opposed to drivers).

This reminds me of the urban

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This reminds me of the urban planning theories of when I lived in the Soviet Union.

Well, I'm not fond of soviet era architecture, or how the soviet government treated the environment, but I don't know much about their land use policies. My example is the UK, which has long had a greenbelt policy to stop sprawl.

would never wish to see such nanny state central planning in this great country.

Don't knock it. Markets fail too, at times. Sometimes they simply miss the best outcomes, sometimes they produce really shitty ones. If you'd like to see the effects of ignoring planning, try living in Houston sometime. I'd rather be pragmatic and use any sorts of techniques available that move us toward a good future. Highways and sprawl haven't been working out and it's clear that gas prices will keep getting worse and sprawl will keep sprawling if unchecked, and it will make our lives crappier. If we can see this coming, why shouldn't we change things in order to avoid it?

Man, you people just don't realize

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Many people, you know, LIKE having their cars, and find them immensely useful, and most even *gasp* NEED them. Even in the only city where car owners are in the minority, New York, it's less than 60-40. Your "progressive" paradise where no one drives and everyone cycles to the T every morning is never going to happen. The T is a disaster that will never get its act together, you can't toll already built interstates like that, and:

" limit development outside of urban areas "

Sorry to inform you, but not everyone wants to live in your "progressive" paradise, guy. And what does that even mean? So people in the Berkshires or Franklin county can't develop anymore? Absolutely ridiculous. The only reason people in my current generation are ditching their cars is because it's hard to afford them in this disastrous economy.


" limit development outside of urban areas "

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It's really quite simple.

There was a school of urban planning that is now thankfully defunct which called for suburban living, highways, and long commutes to the city to work by car.

Now however, there is a newer school of urban planning that says that way was retarded and fucked up. That if you want to work in the city you live in the city. Build UP not out.

Yes, there are people who don't like this newer idea of urban planning. But that is because they are wrong, and should be eliminated.


Cool, if you want to live in massive apartment towers

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and take the stinky, overcrowded T everywhere you go, nice. But I'll pass.

"Yes, there are people who don't like this newer idea of urban planning. But that is because they are wrong, and should be eliminated."

Great thing we live in America! You'd fit right in in 1980s Romania.


You're going from one extreme to the other

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Building UP not out doesn't mean you need to look to Manhattan for examples.

You can promote projects like a 6 story (hardly massive) building that sits on the footprint currently occupied by a few 3 deckers. Older, rougher versions of this already line Comm Ave and Beacon Street.

Such a building can hold 2 times the number of residents, and still have room for a small kidney pool and maybe even some deeded parking out back. Now you have a building that by itself generates much more tax income for the city than those three lots did before. And that is money that can be used to improve public transit networks.

AND... unlike those mega-luxury-towers downtown, such projects can be built in outlier neighborhoods like Brighton or Hyde Park... thus be priced much more affordable than downtown, where developers argue the only way to make enough to recoup investments is to crest 40 stories and/or charge a million plus per unit.



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Barcelona. etc.

4-6 story buildings, not designed as a car sewer, few high rises.

Seems like the poster you replied to just wants to sit in the car, hit the drive through, and grow massively obese because it's AMERICAN DAMNIT!


Actually, I don't drive much

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because traffic here sucks. BlackKat never responded to the fact he sounds like a ranting State Communist (no surprise there) and you libs need to get it through your head that this isn't your precious Europe.

Europe is the closest model to our shitty street layout

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You've obviously never been to both LA and to Europe.

To model after cities like LA, Dallas,or Seattle would be a joke. Boston is nothing like those cities.

Boston is a hell of a lot more like Europe than your faux news shrunken brain could ever comprehend. Especially northern Europe. Standing around chanting USA USA USA USA doesn't change our medieval European street design.

(places like Dublin are excellent bad examples of what happens when you keep all your roads down to shitty little tracks out of dread fear of population mobility and have a major city of 2 million to transport)

Manhatten isn't even that dense.

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Densest neighborhood in NYC is Brooklyn, and there's few modern skyscrapers out there. It's still mostly low rises and brownstones.

Ditto for the south end, back bay.

Big problem with Boston ("Metro Boston") is we're not allowing density along our major public transportation lines very far outside of the "Downtown".


Corollary problem

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We don't have mass transit lines that run very far outside of downtown. Hence close in Somerville getting totally fed up with buses.

Most major cities, both older and those putting in light rail, are going 15-20 miles out.


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It's not exactly like the ones that do have really been allowed to build up. The green, orange, red lines all go pretty far from the metro core with many a stop, yet the neighborhoods they hit feel more like mini-suburbs. Nimbys really want to keep it that way too. They could be a lot more built up along those far flung stations, and the ones in between.

The only places where this seems to be allowed it the end of line such as alewife or wellington, which both recently have seen huge new developments in the right direction. But again that's end of line in places that were industrial swamp lands used to throw down huge suburb commuter parking lots up till recently. The realization of density had developers look at those spots and realize the gold mind they were to build up, especially since there was little there in the first place but asphalt. Asphalt doesn't organize against dense multiuse developments as much.

Kendal finally got high restrictions eased, but it was mostly because businesses needed more room and were able to beat back the Nimbyism. There's not as much push when it comes to residential units.

The idea really is to build up these islands/hubs ON transportation points, so you don't necessarily have to travel into the core to work, eat, and play every day. You still have that option, but the smaller satellite areas become their own self sufficient economic zones, and then also become destinations for the less transportation serviced community around them.

So then instead of people needing to travel from Lexington to the finical district, they can travel to their offices at Alewife. That economic zone supports the areas all around it likewise; retail, residential, ect.

"new T construction to have 3

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"new T construction to have 3 to 4 tracks so as to permit for local and express lines in the day and locals at night"
And just where do you propose fitting these extra tracks. For example the T in the past couple decades just spent millions of dollars rebuilding just about all the Blue Line stations. Do you suggest they knock down all those stations so they can accommodate that extra track or two. What about above ground stations? Should the state confiscate private property so they'll have extra space for those extra tracks?

"shift population into urban areas"
And just what do you propose to make urban areas more attractive to the average middle class family? I realize it's considered hip and trendy among the left to bash suburbanites, but there are reasons people choose to live in the suburbs. Please tell us your plan to improve the Boston Public School system so that it's on par with many of the suburban systems. What is your crime reduction plan? There's at least one or two headlines each day here at UHub about someone getting shot, stabbed, murdered somewhere in the city.


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Privatization, which was the goal of former Governor William Weld as a cost savings to taxpayers-
The Boston Globe
September 14, 1999 Robert A. Jordan

Well, Well

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Let's put huge tolls on all local roads and tax drivers per mile.

And privatize it. Fair is fair you know.


Would that it could...

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...but the system is not double-tracked, as in NYC. There is no way to do so, they have to shut down overnight to do maintenance. It'd have to be buses.


Pet peeve: 2 != 4

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First of all, you mean quad-tracked. Of course the subway is double-tracked. Otherwise you could not run trains in both directions at the same time.

Second, you don't need quad-tracking to do maintenance during operation. Plenty of double-tracked subways manage it. For example, right now in DC people are complaining about reduced service on weekends because WMATA is doing maintenance during the day, taking a track out of service and alternating directions on the remaining track. That's quite a common technique. Chicago manages 24-hour service on double-tracked line. So does PATH. I even saw live maintenance in San Juan. Obviously it has implications for scheduling. It requires more crossovers installed. And it costs more to do.

So the real question is not one of ability, but of cost. And my conclusion is the same as yours: night buses are the most feasible and cost-effective.

maybe wellesley

seriously, if you are complaining that things are closed at 10pm, you do not live in Allston


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Really though, props to McDonalds in breaking this open - even if for it's own gain. Would be good to see more late night options around town.


15 years ago

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at a community meeting in South Boston, one politician who will remain nameless told the crowd " the Allstonization of Southie has begun". Boy, was he right.

Oh Horrors!

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Things change over time!

NEWSFLASH: things change over time. Resistance is futile, unless you are running for office on the old scared lead-damaged brain vote.

Planning for change and facilitating the change that is best for the community is the best you can do!

Oh noes! Food options

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Oh noes! Food options besides Mitti's at 3 AM? How will the community cope?!?!

They are right. These things

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They are right. These things are slippery slopes. Once you start allowing one business to do it, others will follow. So if you don't want a great number of businesses doing it then you really must prevent any business from doing it.

Just look at Arlington and their slide into boozy decadence.

A "Bar" called "The Dav"

It was the weekend before Arlington voted on whether to allow beer/wine in Restaurants. The paper was full of nervous residents insisting that it was going to mean horrifying alcoholic consequences if people were allowed to have a beer with dinner in a restaurant - and that there wasn't enough parking.

My husband and I walked over to our bank in Arlington Heights. Just as we were leaving the ATM, a man pulled up in a pickup truck looking for "A bar called The Dav".

We were confused - there weren't any bars in Arlington. Just the full licence premises at Jimmy's Steak House and the Chinese food restaurant in the center.

Then we figured it out: he meant the Disabled American Veteran's post just down the street ... the one our neighbors stumbled home from just about every night. The place was largely reduced to a bar - but it was a fraternal organization so they got a pass.

A bar called The DAV, indeed.

What's wrong with a 24hr

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What's wrong with a 24hr community again? Allston isn't known for being one of the quieter neighborhoods of the city. If you want that there are other neighborhoods further out.

Not everyone works from 9 -

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Not everyone works from 9 - 5. Some people get out of work in the middle of the night and would like to be able to buy some food. Some people sleep during the day and somehow make it work.

Doctors, nurses, cops, etc. deserve access to the same things as the 9-5ers.


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since when does some drunk, loud and obnoxious insomniac's right to a slice of pizza at 3 AM trumps a hardworking citizen's right to a peaceful night's sleep? You want to be drunk and loud? I'd poke your eyes out.

Drunk people aren't the only

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Drunk people aren't the only ones who are up in the middle of the night. Some people work the night shift, and want to be able to do things after work. Or, for that matter, not all college students are drunks. Maybe they're just staying up late because they don't have to wake up for class until noon and they want to get some dinner at 3am after studying diligently?


Don't blame the decent folks for trying to sleep

I have worked those hours and it's true that it's not easy.

Unfortunately for those workers there are a lot of stupid loud people who can't behave and ruin it for everybody.

We have these rules about closing time because of stupid loud people.


Silence is Overrated

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One can learn to sleep through just about anything...
People aren't any more sleep deprived in Manhattan than they are in Boston, are they? In fact, many people can't sleep without a TV or music playing.

Obviously there is a difference between someone yelling and pounding in the hall of the building at night because they are drunken idiots, and someone who just enters or leaves the building in a normal manner. But that is not because they are out late, or even necessarily drunk, but because they are inconsiderate people in general. They make bad neighbors even when sober. Building have noise ordinances to handle those issues - for example mine has $150 fine for first offense.


The next time you call an ambulance at 2am

Do you plan to scold the EMTs, nurses, doctors, etc. about how they can't be decent working people if they are awake at that hour?

Or are you going to want to order them a pizza because they won't be able to get out and drive for miles to get lunch while they are taking care of you and yours?

(note that this is mostly for MoeHoward above, but also applies to anybody who thinks the world shuts down for everybody at regular hours)


Seriously! Allston is the

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Seriously! Allston is the exact neighborhood that should have 24 hour stuff.

translation: "fearful we're not going to stay white, 9-5'ers"

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"fearful we're just going to become a 24-hour community."

What he means is: fearful the lower classes, who by and large don't work 9-5, will be able to get services they need. Groceries, gas, meals, etc.

Early closing hours have always been about controlling where the lower classes that work shifts live.

Not necessarily

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I believe Paul is more worried that a "24 hour community" is one that has a lower quality of living late at night due primarily to noise...especially if your particular community is the only "24 hour community" in a certain radius because you become the de facto go-to place at 4 AM for any services at all.

So, you become an attractant of attention and more noise and more people at those late/early hours of the day because you're the only thing open. It's a bit of a chicken-egg problem in terms of being the first to go all night and getting other areas of the city on board with such a thing as well. As long as nobody is all-night, everyone can maintain an equivalent standard of living for those hours when nothing is open anywhere.

I think the solution is to take the small pain of being the first so that others will follow suit when they realize you're getting all of the benefits too (like higher employment, greater tax dollars, etc.). Then levels of attention will even out as people will go to their closer resources and your quality will rise back up again.

10, I'm pretty sure

By on, I'm pretty sure they're talking about college kids staying out late. Not everything is a race war.

This is not Class/Race Warfare

I would not attribute this to a class/race (you mentioned white, I think that as a subtle hint of your assumption) that this is about lower classes. Unless you view college-age people as a lower class then what class typically means.

Also, the 9-5 argument also doesn't make sense. If things closes early, then the people who don't work 9-5 can access services easier. 9-5 have to race after 5 to get services done before things closes.

This is about lifestyle groups. From what I understand of Allston's history, those people were people who live quietly and sleep early. The neighborhood was like that and some like the area for generations. The new group want to stay up late and do things late (college age and relatively recent post-college). Honestly, while I fall in the group that stays up late and do things late at night, I remain understanding of their distress. It goes against my interest as I like to eat Thai food at 12 AM (I would so go for it so fast) as well as my peers, but I understand their viewpoint. Unfortunately, I don't really see a win-win compromise here (unlike my previous comment in the latest bike post).

That said, I can think of one compromise. I would prefer late-night Thai food over McDonalds any day and any night.


Worst name EVAR

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Kidlet happened to be sitting next at the dining-room table with me as I wrote this item (yes, the table is the UHub World Inner Sanctum), so she can vouch that I kept muttering "What kind of stupid name is that?" as I furiously pounded the keys.


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Bear in mind it's just down the street from @Union

Especially since

the Yellow Pages aren't so popular anymore. I mean a place called "A A A A A A A A Aaron Aachen AC repairer" is going to show up first in a phone book but come on.

I'm pretty sure residents in

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I'm pretty sure residents in Allston care more about about traffic easement measures and implementing bicycle lanes on Cambridge Street than having a small Thai takeout restaurant open til 3AM. Maybe I'm wrong?

As someone who 1. Owns

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As someone who 1. Owns property in Allston, 2. Bikes down Cambridge Street every day, and 3. Has a pregnant wife who has demanded thai food at 1am, All of those things are important.

It's a slippery slope people!

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It's a slippery slope people! Soon, men and dogs will be walking down the streets together at 2:30 AM, out for Thai food!

Allow 5AM closings in all neighborhoods

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If it's good for Allston, it should be fine for South Boston and Roslindale and suburbs like Brookline. There is no reason any community should be able to deny business operations until dawn if that is your opinion for Allston.

If you want to make an argument that we should have more supermarkets and laundromats open 24/7, fine. But spare me this horse shit assertion that people who work late hours are looking to party after spending a long shift on their feet.

I wish the people who get so riled up about this stuff would lend their laptops to the cause of late-night T service. I frequently work those hours and have given many a co-worker a ride home or to the nearest, latest MBTA stop.