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MassDOT quickly fixes snow mistake on Park Drive, thanks to alert bystander

Park Drive snow removal

State Bobcat clearing the sidewalk it had just blocked.

Last night, Vasant Marur was out for a stroll along Park Drive when he noticed guys in Bobcats clearing snow from the roadway by pushing it into mounds along the curb, where it promptly rolled onto the previously clear sidewalks, blocking them.

But rather than just take a photo and tweet about it, Marur looked for the supervisor of the operation - a MassDOT guy, since Park Drive is owned by DCR:

I had a friendly chat and indicated that all the snow was falling onto the sidewalk. He was nice about it, stepped out of the truck and realized the problem. They are now clearing the sidewalk as I type this up.

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Comments

Typical MassDOT. "Hey, you're blocking the sidewalk!" "This road has a sidewalk? Well I'll be..."

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You mean all the of the snow removal people aren't anti-pedestrians? You mean they're just trying to do their jobs and may sometimes overlook (after probably working 90 hour weeks for the last month) where the snow they're pushing is going?

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They should realize that pushing snow onto sidewalks is bad without having to have someone to tell them that. Its called doing the job you are paid to do.

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Having to remind them is much more preferable than reporting to Citizen's Connect where it goes on UHub as another-state-worker-making-pedestrians'-lives-harder article and we spend the next 50 comments arguing to each other including Markk chiming something about roads not wide enough, Swirlly saying something from her experiences, numerous posts something along the theme of being another example of how MassDOT hates non-cars with another group saying something along they are doing their best.

And that hypothetical post itself may or may not spur someone to send someone out, but that best case scenario still means more costs in transport and wages than this guy just doing it himself because someone decided to just directly talk and point it out. And maybe he'll keep it in mind better the next location he goes clears after this one time confrontation.

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It's not about being intentionally anti-pedestrian. It's about being indifferent, or prioritizing cars so much that no resources remain for the rest of us.

The MassDot guy wasn't trying to screw over pedestrians, but he clearly didn't consider that he might be doing so. That's what is frustrating.

Today I saw people still forced to walk down busy roads, made worse by the end of the parking ban, giving pedestrians even less space just so people can store their idle cars.

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But I do think that they know perfectly well where the snow they're plowing will end up, on the sidewalk or otherwise. It's part their job to know where it's going.

It's not their job to worry that it's going on the sidewalk, or to clean it up afterwards - often it's not anyone's job, and that is where the problem is.

Most everyone has been working very hard to clean up snow and deal with the weather. It would be nice if it was more of a cooperative effort, so no one is making more work for someone else.

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with a happy ending, for a change.

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how sad that some state employee didn't "know" that. GENIUSES.

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Actually engaging people, rather than simply saying "F* off!" And what do you know? It works!

Boston, you're losing your edge. The supervisor should have had his guys plow in some cars instead.

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Welcome to the new Boston! World Class is just a few more years away.

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Communication folks....friendly, respectful...a nice chat...goes a long way. Nasty notes or tweets do nothing except piss people off.

We need Socialization 101 in our elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and college level. Hell, it should be required to get a driver's license, including renewals.

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Maybe all state workers and politicians and contractors should also take Socialization 101? Because many of them are like the guy in the previous comment thread who said "oh, don't worry - somebody else will show up sometime to fix what I say I'm being told to do".

If they aren't downright hostile and plow everything up out of spite over being questioned.

Remember that there is always another train right behind this train.

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If we all have to take Socialization 101, then it would mean the state workers would have to be in those classes too.

Regardless of the anon's hypothetical rhetoric (I doubt he really means it), I like his mindset that we should try and talk more than your implication of adversarial stances towards the workers. He's right approaching that that mindset will decrease the chance of a positive outcome. In my experiences (though it is more of talking to plow drivers in general so that would mean some are contractors) in making requests, it worked out okay. And the times I got the hostile reaction, some of them I didn't approach them very friendly either.

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No matter how nice, nonconfrontational, and hyper polite you are, I guarantee that 9 out of 10 times you will be told to go mind your own business if you dare interact.

Even when what someone is doing IS very clearly your business. Trust me. Been there, done that.

Not that I still don't try - and, yes, I am as polite as can be when I do (dad was a civil servant after all), it is simply an ingrained part of the local culture to attack the messenger rather than fix the problem - particularly when someone's job depends on their family ties or their community connections and not on taxpayer satisfaction.

Look at how many people on UHub attack anyone who files a Citizen's Connect complaint. Look through the threads - that's part of the local culture.

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I disagree because my experiences have been better than 9/10 failure rate. Not that high of a rate, but not enough to guarantee. And the failures are more "sorry, can't do that" rather than something to say state workers needs to take a class. Maybe there's a difference in what or to who we request for our differences in experiences, but there's a difference in our experiences.

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included in their union contract.Good luck.

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Well, hopefully they are on their way to the Fairmount Bridge, people in Dorchester and Mattapan need sidewalks too.

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I digress a little but can I just give props to the DCR for how quickly and well the SWC has been plowed? Maybe it's just a squeaky-wheel situation but it's been pretty great. Really, really nice to have a place for the stir-crazy to get out and walk with dogs and kids. Not great for biking yet but honestly I think that's too much to ask right now.

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I have found the SWC has always been in better shape than pretty much every sidewalk in the city. I run home through it every day after work and even though some places are a bit slippery, I'm always amazed at how wide the paths are. I saw them out in full force yesterday clearing even wider paths and removing snow during my run. In fact, post-blizzard last Sunday my roommate and I decided it would be a good idea to walk 2 miles to brunch and the SWC was the ONLY place that was plowed by 11am that day. In some cases, it was better than the street. We were stunned.

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I asked you about this on a different article. Thanks for the info.

I saw the crews at work Tuesday rush hour. They do put the City, MBTA, and most homeowners to shame (though to be fair to the homeowners, they are using equipment.)

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It's not down to pavement, but in some areas it is (from probably Northeastern to Ruggles) and in others, it's only mildly snowy/slippery, but this winter, that's all I think we can hope for! I think of it as the cold version of running on the beach, which is a great workout anyway!

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I'd try biking on it, but I don't and I'm really trying to protect my bike from the salt this year--I don't own a beater anymore. So it's shank's mare for me for the time being.

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Someone pointed out a problem. The guy he pointed it out to was nice, responsive, and fixed it right away. This should be a POSITIVE.

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this approach was great and achieved a great result! however, why they didn't recognize it on their own is a curious problem that represents the status quo..

tweeting has its merits as well and may get results when there is never a warm body in a DOT jacket, much less bobcat, to consult with or appeal to...I give you the Fairmount bridge, for example. The fact that it was plowed out at all for the first time in 11 years according to a former city councilor, may have been the result of a tweet (see Tim and Marco)...

long live whatever it takes to get results

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One-job-to-do did that one job, eventually, with a little of reminding. Forgive me if I hold my applause.

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The plowing of Park Drive in the Fenway has been magnificent in storms. I even took video of some of the adept equipment operators after Linus.

The fact that snow was being plowed at 2 am this morning shows how determined MassDOT and their contractors are in keeping Park Drive accessible.

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