Citizen complaint of the day: Enough with the trolley poles already

Today's complaint comes not from Centre Street in Jamaica Plain, but Ashmont Street in Dorchester, where a fed-up citizen complains about one of our many longstanding relics of a bygone era:

Remove tilted old trolley pole! In the middle of the sidewalk - no useful purpose served any longer.



    Free tagging: 


    It is waiting!

    Waiting for the second coming of the trolleys! Ready to go, just string up some wire.

    Bring back flush granite

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    Bring back flush granite setts for paving! They look so much better and last forever. Granite setts also slow down traffic and create a soft audible cue to increase pedestrian safety.

    While we're at it, we can

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    While we're at it, we can look for old bus and trolley stops that were marked with an orange band around the pole, rather than a sign.

    Looks like a trolley pole

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    Of the sort that still infest Centre Street and which can still be found elsewhere in the city where trolleys once roamed.


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    I love seeing remnants of the past.

    in a country where progress too often means "tear down the old and let's replace it with something inferior and tacky," it's great to at least see clues to what used to be.

    It's a guy pole.

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    It supports the 1st. overhead utility pole in a line of overhead wires. Without it, the weight of the wires would pull the pole over.

    I don't think it's either

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    (Is this a "trolley" pole or a telephone pole? )

    I think the correct answer would be "neither". A trolley pole is the pole installed atop a streetcar or electric bus to draw power from an overhead wire. I think this would probably be called a catenary pole.

    It is trolley pole

    These poles have never held up catenary wire, as catenary is under tension. These poles supported trolley wire, which had a lot of give to it. I've never heard of them referred to as anything other than "trolley poles", but you are correct that trolley pole can also refer to the part of the trolley which reached up to the wire.

    Nor Is It Technically A "Telephone" Pole ...

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    ... but just as "Telephone Pole" is used as a generic term for any kind of utility pole, "Trolley Pole" is used to describe the particular metal poles that were associated with trolley lines. These interesting, historical artifacts are scattered around the Boston area.

    While many people wouldn't be impressed to hear about a "Catenary Pole" standing in an unexpected place, the sound of "Trolley Pole" evokes something they can understand and relate to, especially while stalled in traffic on a congested highway where trolleys once provided a pollution-free, rapid transit option.

    IIRC, the power conduit on S

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    IIRC, the power conduit on S Huntington and Centre Streets was never disconnected. So there is 600v of live DC under the street to this day. This is one reason an extension to, say, Hyde Square would be relatively inexpensive; only the superficial track work would be necessary; the power is already there.


    Correct, there's still a feeder line along the former Arborway Line and the Watertown Line, as well.

    Such Rage

    I think Citizens Connect is a good barometer on community rage.

    If only people complained

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    If only people complained about each other on CC instead of shooting or stabbing each other.