Ramp party

People in wheelchairs celebrate new Beacon Hill access ramps

Members of the Boston Center for Independent Living and friends gathered at Beacon and Charles streets today to celebrate the new handicap access ramps going in at Beacon Hill intersections.

Joe Pesaturo of the MBTA (which got a shout out for its accessibility work) caught the celebration, which also included a ceremonial hoisting of the commemoration's cake by some of the construction workers busy installing the ramps.



    Free tagging: 


    Aaaa UHub

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    One week we bash blue collar construction workers then next we applaud them.


    Um, these guys are actually

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    Um, these guys are actually visibly working unlike the stereotypical hole watches and coffee cup holders reviled throughout the orange barrel zones of the commonwealth.



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    happy for access

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    During the great ramp building of 2014, the sidewalk in front of my house in West Roxbury was ripped up, including the edging by our hedges. This is not a complaint, but a compliment to the city on how great a job they did inserting the ramp, rebuilding the sidewalk, and even filling in the dirt that was displaced from our hedges. Granted, our house is not as historic as Beacon Hill, but I couldn't be happier that the city is providing access for everyone!


    Now how about the sidewalks that the ramps lead to?

    Maybe the secret to getting access stories covered is to have a good enemy. The Beacon Hill Civic Association comes straight from central casting. Yes, it is great to get ramps installed on sidewalks, but ramps without acccessible sidewalks between them is like having turnpike ramps without a highway. People should be asking the mayor when he will be making Beacon Hill SIDEWALKs acccessible. Likewise for the walkways in the parks, likewise for all the sidewalks controlled by Gov. Patrick and DCR.

    When the city is able to announce that it has created fully accessible travel routes, along important streets, that will be the day to celebrate!

    In the meantime, you will continue to see wheelchair users in the streets, risking our lives.


    Without a doubt

    Without a doubt, as poster Stevil pointed out in the case of the Copley Square T station issues, it is very effective P.R. to be able to paint your adversaries as "opposing ramps" or "opposing accessibility", both of which are, of course complete lies.

    I find it particularly amusing that the older ramp on which the celebrants are posed in the top picture is made of red brick, like the neighborhood wants, and not of concrete, like Walsh wants. Except for the fact that it's missing a tactile strip, it's a fine ramp.

    The law suit

    On a side note, how is that law suit going?

    I don't know; I send a check to the BHCA once a year, but I don't really follow their inner workings.

    I believe the ramp is in fact

    I believe the ramp is in fact the concrete part with a rumble strip on it, but it's cut off in the photo.

    The BHCA might in theory support accessibility but saying they do doesn't carry much weight when they do so at the gunpoint of demanding ramps made of more expensive materials that no other areas of the city have. Not to mention their underlying point is erroneous - the ramps will have zero impact on the historical nature of Beacon Hill. They've just picked a very poor issue on which to take a stand for neighborhood uniqueness and are taking a PR hit that anyone could have seen coming a mile away.


    There *you* go again

    expensive materials that no other areas of the city have.

    I just walked through PO square this morning, and the ramps there are red brick.


    Haven't been down there in a

    Haven't been down there in a few months, but IIRC, there is a ramp with brick, perhaps a few others abutting the park. But most of the ramps there are the concrete with the strips that we all instantly recognize.

    The google street view here, from last year, seems to confirm that: https://www.google.com/maps/@42.3568392,-71.056175,3a,75y,269.95h,52.55t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sISBfb3pL40oZ0ZonIGHe9Q!2e0!6m1!1e1

    See below

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    See my comment below for why the sins of the past are not relevant to this discussion.

    Reading comprehension is your

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    Reading comprehension is your friend. Ramps were supported. The materials that were chosen were not supported. The Assoc. wanted materials that were approved in Cambridge and Arlington. Can you get that straight? But let's keep misrepresenting the facts, clown.

    Actually Cambridge

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    Actually Cambridge specifically does not allow anything other than concrete ramps with plastic detectable warning panels. They previously used brick ramps, but are actively replacing them and not allowing them on new sidewalk reconstruction projects.

    I don't know about Arlington though.

    And the point is that they should be a standard, familiar material everywhere, so that they're instantly recognizable.


    Cambridge has plenty of

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    Cambridge has plenty of tactile pads that aren't plastic. They're metal, or the concrete pavers that the BHCA wants.

    They also have plenty of plastic ones, which have lost their bumps after a few winters.

    Cambridge isn't Boston,

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    Cambridge isn't Boston, neither is Arlington. What they do is their business. Why should one BOSTON neighborhood demand special materials for their ramps?


    I dunno,

    I dunno, for the same reason that one Boston neighborhood has different laws about what color we can paint our houses than other Boston neighborhoods have? For the same reason that one Boston neighborhood has different streetlights than another? For the same reason that one Boston neighborhood has different sidewalk materials than others?

    Some Boston neighborhoods are high rise towers. Some are freestanding single family houses. Some are attached row houses. Some neighborhoods have wide sidewalks, and a strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street. Some have sidewalks that are 4 feet wide.

    Why should they all be the same?

    Because paint colors, types

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    Because paint colors, types of street lighting, and presence of a grass strip between the sidewalk and the road are all purely cosmetic issues. Wheelchair ramps are not, they are a required component of the sidewalks, and must follow standards so that they are widely recognized by the people who depend on them.

    And, for the zillionth time,

    First of all, street lighting is not purely cosmetic, there are standards that it, too, must meet.

    And secondly, for the zillionth time, the solution proposed by the neighborhood, (which conducted, at it's own time, effort, and expense, a study of other ramps in other historic districts) is fully compliant with all applicable standards.

    The City of Boston does not have a "standard ramp design," as evidenced by the fact that ramps in some areas are concrete, some are brick, and some are of other materials, so the argument that the historic district ought to get "the same standard ramp as everywhere else," really doesn't hold together.

    The proposed solution is compliant...

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    ...and costs more than the standard solution, am I right? Is this cost borne uniquely by the neighborhood? If so, then have at it, as long as it's equally functional. If not, raise the funds for the special snowflake version of the ramps.

    The City of Boston does not

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    The City of Boston does not have a "standard ramp design,"

    You might want to point that out to Boston Public Works then, because this easily findable document on their website seems to think they do: http://www.cityofboston.gov/images_documents/sidewalk%20policy%200114_tc...

    All components new accessibility ramps built will be constructed with concrete. In order to provide a stable, firm surface for people with mobility impairments, differentiation for people with limited vision, brick or other specialty paver ramps will not be allowed.

    At the base of the ramp a 2 foot tactile warning strip will be installed. The standard color of the strip will be pale yellow. In historic districts where there is a brick sidewalk, the tactile strip shall be brick red.


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    What is not standard is what has been done in the past. I think we all agree we cannot change the decisions and lack of standardization of the past. The City's model for correcting that now is to rebuild a ramp whenever development or changes are made to any portion of the intersection or crosswalk of which the ramps are an integral feature.

    In the case of Beacon Hill, the City has taken on rebuilding the ramps as a separate project based on the fact that they have the highest concentration of non-AAB compliant ramps in the City.

    The red strips on the

    The red strips on the concrete with the red sidewalks look good too. They have them in the South End and they blend in well with no issue. Makes no sense how hard the BHCA is fighting this....

    that is the brand new ramp at

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    that is the brand new ramp at the corner of Charles and Beacon. Why don't you take a look at it and then make a comment.

    That is what I find amusing!

    DCR and accessible sidewalks

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    DCR and accessible sidewalks is like oil and water. Almost every bridge they control is inaccessible. Their predecessor, the MDC, only cared about parkways as mini-highways and the abysmal treatment of sidewalks to crosswalks shows it. DCR has never had the money, manpower, or motivation to rectify the MDC's near criminal neglect of accessible infrastructure.


    It was much better

    ..before the third wealthiest state in the union was railroaded by neocon grifters and disgruntled braying douchewagons in the years following Frank Sargent and Dukakis.

    Lookin' at you Barbara Anderson.

    They were aided and abetted by supine legislative leaders more alert to hog troughs to jam their maws into than the nuances of infrastructure upkeep.

    And then you have the legions of gold bricking fuck ups who get the repair jobs from municipal gov cousins and legislative back alleys and then charged through the nose to make sure everyone gets disgusted at the very notion of ever fixing anything.

    25 years of sandbagging with a layer of severe recession covered the rest.


    Yeah, before going through

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    Yeah, before going through all this effort and expense to put in tactile pads at corners which already *had* ramps, I would have preferred if they put in ramps at the corners which don't have them at all: http://goo.gl/maps/J4X3o

    Yes, I know that Boston isn't the DCR. But the DCR would get cracking on Mayor Walsh's requests a lot more than mine.

    That is a state ramp.

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    That is a state ramp. Complain to MassDot and see how far that gets you.

    Boston is doing a great job not only leading the state, but the country.