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Citizen complaint of the day: The mismatched bricks of the South End

Bricks

A pattern-conscious citizen complains about the bricks on Lawrence Street:

Who chose these bricks? These bricks do not match the look or feel of the existing South End brick sidewalks, Please look into this ASAP AND GIVE ME A REPORT BACK thanks

Earlier:
South End font kvetching.

Neighborhoods: 

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Comments

Are all being made to be closer to accessible than the old ones. Not matching may be annoying but not being able to get down the sidewalk is a much bigger problem.

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The wire-cut bricks make it so someone with poor vision, balance, etc. isn't going to get a toe hung up on the edge of a brick and someone using a wheelchair isn't going to have a sore ass all day from the bouncy surface.

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Wire cut bricks are a compromise based on years worth of meetings. The disabilities commission wanted concrete and nothing else. So instead of concrete sidewalks, you get to live with wire cut brick. Lesser of two evils.

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I hate to break it to them, but that's what new brick sidewalks look like. My street (elsewhere) is being repaved, and they're exactly the same.

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Below: City Hall pavers, no longer the city standard.
Above: Wire cut brick, currently the city standard.

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I thought the bottom bricks were the "new" ones because they look kind of awful and just naturally assumed the worst, so hooray Boston DPW and ADA and nicer looking bricks.

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I called my source in City Hall specifically to enlighten us all with the pertinent info. I might have assumed the same otherwise.

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Please look into this ASAP? Less than a mile away people are observing bullet holes in their houses and someone needs to check on brick patterns in a neighborhood that already has some of the most uniform architecture in the city.

The South End used to be filled with character and characters. I guess it is just has a-holes and Sherman Tank strollers now.

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I'll just make the assumption that it is the same person as the earlier Font Complainer you linked to, Adam, and say that I hope this individual is getting help for their massive OCD problem.

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I'll assume that someone should throw a brick at this person.
"Please look into this ASAP AND GIVE ME A REPORT BACK"
...really?

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here's going out to you!

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They would probably blow a cerebral artery over this one:

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/lvkxn.jpg)

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I honestly don't see the problem with that. Looks like a good faith effort on the part of the person who had to build that ridiculous access panel.

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It's one thing to have a problem like OCD, a real illness. It's another to demand that the world take on those symptoms like they are the #1 priority for all of us. Assuming this is the same person, his/her issues are becoming a joke and taking city time to deal with (granted, this issue can be closed easily without any actual action, but I count on Adam to bring us the repeated demands for change that this goober will post for the next few weeks).

Seriously, dude/dudette-- see someone to help you with this problem. There are treatments.

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To some poor intern working at the Mayor's Hotline, over much less legitimate concerns like broken pedestrian signals, out of season space saver, a hypodermic needle discarded in a park, another hypodermic needle discarded in the same park, not to mention countless graffiti reports in the Back Bay that will give certain members of NABB a chronic case the vapors for decades to come. But no, mismatching bricks are a priority that require an immediate response.

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They're right, the new ones look crappy and not a good match. Is it really so hard to make them the same color at least?

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Since the city is probably buying them in large batches and not manufacturing them themselves, I would think that, yes, it probably is kind of hard to make them match the existing bricks in every single neighborhood in the city.

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Yet somehow life in the South End goes on. Get over it already.

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Take a look at the brick sidewalks on Historic Beacon Hill, they are ALL mismatched, which reflects the fact that over time, things change, repairs are made, brick makers using clay from different sources come and go. Its all a testiment to the fact that these are neighborhoods that persist and wear the scars of time, not a ye olde colonial Williamsburg disney theme park under a bell jar. Sheesh...!

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+a million

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I wish the City of Boston would replace ALL crooked, uneven bricks in the entire city. I have to wear flats to work and change into my work shoes because the bricks ruin my heels and the unevenness can make me trip or twist my ankle.

That is a true tragedy.

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Why is it the city's fault that you have to wear normal shoes conducive to walking safely when walking through the city?

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and I don't get how anyone shovels those god-awful crooked bricks. They need to be cleared of snow and ice, and when little bits stick up here and there, it's harder. They are dangerous and unsafe.

And yes, many people wear heels. There are a lot of places where heels are the most appropriate form of footwear for women, and carrying a pair of neon New Balances would be most inappropriate. Please note that there are way more women in Boston than men, too.

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I totally forgot to use the *end sarcasm* tag on my post.

The point of my post is that I was making a complaint that is as trivial and vain as the original "the bricks don't match" one.

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...realized you were using sarcasm. ;-}

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Disability access advocates got the style of brick changed, because "City Hall Pavers" are unbearable to roll over in a wheelchair, walk on with a cane or a guide dog, for anyone unsteady on their feet, and yes, for people who like to wear heels. Do people know that bumpy brick sidewalks can cause women to pee their pants because of all the vibrations? Brick sidewalks cost four times as much, too, and they are designed to raise property values and enhance prestige, while excluding certain people from the use of the sidewalks. And they don't last because they heave.
We tried to get the city to install a smooth vibration free travel route through the brick, and have the brick as an accent on the outside. The wire cut brick are much less bumpy but still make you kind of seasick from the rolling and pitching, but they were the best our advocacy could get.
Brick sidewalks function as a subsidy for wealthy property owners, and because of their extreme expense prevent sidewalks from getting built in other areas of town.

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That explains the brick-free path installed a few months ago between City Hall Plaza and State Street.

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That access route across City Hall Plaza resulted from the (re)formation of the Advisory Board to the Boston Commission for Persons with Disabilities in 2009. We thought that the first thing we should do was to make sure that people with disabilities could get to City Hall! Lots of advocacy, lots of going back and forth with the designers, side discussions with the T over the reconstruction of the stop at Government Center, change of routes and back again, and we finally ended up with the current path. I would have thought that people would have been complaining about it, how the access route disrupts the aesthetics of the Plaza, or somehow besmirches the revolutionary character of Boston.

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then you're an amateur. Real women can wear heels with no complaints or excuses. Boston women wear Crocs or sport sandals with socks.

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Gasp! You have to wear flats to walk in the city lest your heels be damaged? Please reread what you wrote... a bit silly, don't you think? Did you not notice the brick sidewalks before you chose to live in Boston?? Perhaps the
smooth floors of the condos at the Natick Collection would better accommodate your delicate fashion sensibilities.

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They need to change the name.

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should have pissed off this Yup and paved the whole sidewalk with asphalt.Probably the same person who was asking them what they were doing.

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mismatched bricks wont affect the value of your overpriced condo.

The safety issue seems pretty legit but also bricks just simply aren't manufactured like they used to be and repurposed bricks are ridiculously expensive... i.e. the city couldn't care less about aesthetics if the alternative is thousands of dollars more costly.

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You know where they have sidewalks that have evenly matched bricks? Winchester. Wellesley. Wayland. Weston. Get your ass back there you whiny yuppie if you don't like it.

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