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Remember that sidewalk on the Fairmount bridge two guys shoveled out?

Plowed in sidewalk on the Fairmount bridge in Hyde Park

Yeah, about that. Looks like a plow driver completely covered it up with snow boulders, so, as Molly Lanzarotta reports, Fairmount Line riders and people looking to get from one side of the train tracks and the Neponset to the other have to walk in the street again.

It's no better down the line at Readville station, where Boston Strolls reports sidewalks have gone unshoveled since that first January storm.

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Comments

Drivers will complain while sitting on their lazy ass in a warm car if the people who clean the streets for them leave a little slush. Meanwhile pedestrians have to shovel out the sidewalks for themselves and trudge through 4 feet of snow in the cold while avoiding getting killed by awful drivers.

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Jeez, weather is getting to everybody; little displaced anger there. What does this have to do with drivers/cars?

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If you had to walk in the streets lately, nearly getting run down by impatient and uncaring drivers, because plows keep covering sidewalks in mountains of snow and constantly listen to a mayor threatening to fine people for not shoveling city property (sidewalks) repeatedly buried for the convenience of cars maybe you'd understand.

The state doesn't care and the city is giving a hearty f-you to pedestrians/transit riders.

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So, I haven't had to walk in the streets lately? How do you know what I do?
It's no picnic anywhere, for anyone. This was about a sidewalk being plowed in with snow boulders, not about cars or drivers. Are you mad at the plow drivers or people who drive? Make up your mind.
Sidewalks are terrible everywhere, public or private. I don't think people are too afraid of the mayor's threats, I've seen many sidewalks unshovelled. The T should be maintaining that sidewalk, I have seen them around clearing the past week, people need to call and complain. Whether you are walking or driving; be aware of your surroundings, be safe, be courteous, just don't be an asshole.

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This sidewalk is about cars and drivers. The plow that buried the sidewalk was plowing for cars and drivers and screwing over pedestrians.

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Weird, since your first rant didn't mention the word plow... At all. Again, this is the fault of drivers/ cars?

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n/t

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It's not fair that pedestrians get the shaft and have to fight with cars for space. Sidewalks deserve the same care and attention that roads get.

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...is now covering that sidewalk. That's what it has to do with drivers/cars.

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Whose fault is that? Not drivers. Talk to the DPW.

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From above. Maybe there's a sensible game plan here, but we're not seeing it yet.

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Not at all. I have seen people plowing for the city everywhere. I have yet to see a city shoveler.

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N/t

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I know Mayor Walsh is even more car centric than Menino, but this is dangerous and antagonistic towards T riders and pedestrians. He needs to start being a leader and get sidewalks cleared and stop his plows from dumping snow on them. If people havent cleared the sidewalk they are supposed to, fine them, clear it, and charge them the way other cities like Somerville have. Walsh needs to stop telling us this is how it always was and start doing things the right way.

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I've given up on it over the last few weeks as trains are being cancelled left and right! Every time I try and take the MBTA I am reminded how much more convenient it is to drive :( Wish it weren't so.

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As long as you look at the T's website, you can plan your trips, or make other arrangements. It worked out for me with my particular schedule, although I'm sure a lot of other folks will be less lucky.
And yeah, what's up with plows pushing snow mounds onto the sidewalk? They did the same thing in front of my house, after I had cleared a path five or six times.

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i was using their website and modified schedule for Hyde Park station, but they keep cancelling and delaying the modified schedule trains because of breakdowns. so now I drive. The expressway actually wasn't that bad today. Maybe it is because of February vacation, or maybe people have given up going into town. Can't say I blame them. Hope we're back on track (pun intended) soon.

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No you can't.

The modified Commuter Rail service leaves huge gaps. E.g. the first outbound train to West Concord arrives at 11:46 am. How exactly are people supposed to get to all the office buildings around there?

Then they end up cancelling half the remaining trains. And they send out alerts that the remaining trains are running an hour late, only the alerts don't arrive until the train is already halfway down the line. And then the train loses another half hour after that.

At this point, they should just give up on pretending to run a railroad.

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This happened in front of our house too! One of my family members had just finished clearing the sidewalk when a big front end loader showed up and shoved all the mounds in completely covering a portion of the sidewalk. They flagged down the plow driver and asked why they did that- and the plow driver told them that "All the big front end loaders and plows have been directed to push the piles in onto the sidewalks. Another plow and a truck will be by later to pick it all up and take it away. Don't bother shoveling it."

My family member decided to believe them (especially since they didn't think they would be able to get through the amount of stuff the plow had packed in there) but no truck came and nothing happened- within 24 hours we had been fined (as had several of our neighbors who had the same thing done to them by the plow). We called our city councilman (who apparently called the mayor's hotline) and someone came out and shoveled out a path through the mess the plow made. The city councilman's office was shocked that supposedly the plows were under the impression they were directed to do this.

I don't know who told who what- but this is a horrid case of the left had has no clue what the right hand is doing.
(And don't get me started on the 45min this same plow spent going into one neighbors house and clearing their driveway/backyard/sidewalk.)

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... from Walsh or Baker -- I guess if we want an effective civic leader we all need to move to Somerville.

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This is a joke. I'm leaving when my lease is up in the fall. I wonder how many other people this winter will be the last straw for.

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Probably quite a few, and even more to take the apartments you vacate. 'Twas ever thus.

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In Somerville they do actually fine people for not shoveling the sidewalk outside of their property. Enforcement is somewhat spotty, but the city does not actually clear the offending sidewalk after issuing the ticket. It either stays impassable, or the owner gets "motivated" to finally clean it up. The sidewalks in Somerville might be in better shape than some nearby communities, but they are far from perfect.

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Somerville municiple code was updated last year include a provision for the city to send in contractors to remove snow, the cost of which is to be borne by the abutter. It also includes a bit about using liens against the property to recoup the costs if necessary. Relevant section of municipal code here.

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This is a sidewalk on an overpass that belongs to another government agency. Who is Boston going to fine to make sure it gets cleaned up?

Smarter cities just clear the sidewalks themselves with their own snowclearing equipment.

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Point well made in calling Walsh a car centric mayor. The last I've heard, he hadn't even met in person with fantastic Nicole Friedman, the person in charge of biking in Boston, essentially ignoring her office. I have no personal gurdges against the guy, but outside of the Olympic bid, he seems to have little vision for the future of the city.

On unshoveled sidewalk: I walk everywhere, and I report many sidewalks covered with snow in my area -I reported 21 addresses online yesterday. Boston only gives $50 fines for an unshoveled sidewalk. That barely covers the administrative cost of issuing and collecting the fine, since they have to send an inspector to look at each location. In addition, it says on the city's website that they have 5 days to respond to an unshoveled sidewalk, so good luck with that. With such small fines and haphazard enforcement, many of the slumlord in my neighborhood (Dorchester) have figured out that it's cheaper to take the low risk of a $50 fine than pay someone to shovel the sidewalk. Somerville has a much better model: 1st offense $50, second: $100, third $200.

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when plows push the snow onto the sidewalk? Doesn't seem quite fair.

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Sidewalks buried by plows like the one pictured above are the rare exception. I know because I shovel 5 properties, and walk past may more on a daily basis. Now and then, I need to clear a pile of snow that was pushed on the sidewalk by a plow, but it's not that big of a deal if you do it before it freezes over; remember it's snow that we are talking about, not concrete.

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This is a commuter rail stop. Hundreds of commuters try to walk to the train every morning and evening (ever hopeful -- since under the best of circumstances the Fairmount/Readville train is constantly cancelled). This is fundamentally different than a sidewalk in front of a residence or business -- this is the city's public transit system! And pedestrians are forced to walk in the street because the plows are accommodating cars. At the T stop.

It is totally nonsensical and completely dangerous (I saw middle school-aged children walking in the street in Cleary Sq. the other day after they got off the train -- because THERE WAS NO SIDEWALK.)

We want people to take public transportation. Right?

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It's the government; you expect fairness?

Smarter cities just clear their own sidewalks with Bobcats and the like, so they don't have to deal with this crap. And as has been pointed out before, this sidewalk isn't even abutting a private residence, so who is the city going to force to clear it for them?

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The owners of 345 Harrison Ave, the former Graybar Electric site in the South End, haven't cleared their sidewalks since the first storm at the end of January and could be liable for fines of at least $600 per day (3 sidewalks x $200 x 23 days = $13,800) for their neglect. They have sidewalks that front Harrison Ave, Mullins Way, Traveler St and Washington St. Not only that, they've been dumping snow from their parking lot on to the the Mullins Way sidewalk. National Development, the developers of Ink Block, had a mobile office there, but are no longer renting the property and have graciously made sure that the Harrison Ave sidewalks have been cleared, however whoever is responsible for maintaining that property has not even touched the other sidewalks that they are responsible for. Pedestrians on Washington St must walk in the busy street here. It's only a matter of time before someone is hit and injured due to the deadbeat property managers' inaction here.

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Grrrr stupid plow drivers , plowing the snow off of the street! Grrrr

It would be nice if the city or other entities cleared sidewalks but lets not attack the plow drivers every time they drive by and do their jobs. They are not plowing your drive way in on purpose , they are not looking to cover the sidewalks.

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In many towns in my area (north shore), sidewalk plows clear the way for pedestrians. (Granted, right now, the pedestrians walk between 4-5' walls of snow).

Boston bills itself as a walking city, so it troubles me quite a bit that no accommodation is made to keep pedestrians safe. While I commute into the city by car, I do have to hike from parking to work on uncleared walkways as businesses and city seem to play a game of "that's your job...no, it's *your* job."

Tiresome and dangerous.

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Now...how many miles of sidewalk in Boston?

A solution that's practical for a small town with very limited sidewalks is simply not going to work in Boston.

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Um, maybe use more sidewalk plows?

Think, think.

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Try first answering the questions.

1. How many miles of sidewalk are there in some suburban town that uses sidewalk plows (and how many miles do they actually plow)?
2. How many miles of sidewalk are there in Boston?

Then do the math and answer:

3. How many sidewalk plows would Boston need to own in order to "sidewalk plow" all the sidewalks in a timely fashion?

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I suspect that the numbers work if you consider it a matter of "people served" rather than "mileage plowed".

Same works for roads - more road segments per square mile in cities, but far more people is why it is cheaper per taxpayer to maintain cities than countryside.

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How many miles of sidewalk are there in some suburban town that uses sidewalk plows

Wrong question. The right question is, "How many miles of sidewalk per resident, or per $1M in taxes collected"

I'd bet that Boston has, proportionately, many fewer miles of sidewalk to worry about than any suburban town.

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...let's see the numbers.

Seriously, this comes up over and over and over again. Can anyone name a single town where the sidewalks plowed add up to miles, plural? Or even a single mile?

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Dedham

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Newton has school walk zones where they plow walking routes.

Lexington has these beefy little plows that can take on 4' tall messes, according to my coworkers.

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Brookline. Where every commercial district and sidewalk leading to/from, and every sidewalk around every school gets the sidewalk snowplow/snowblower treatment.

Same thing in Wellesley.

Boston residents (living in a city with a tax base that includes many skyscrapers (except for those that were given tax breaks - oops)) are getting hosed. And you are absolutely right to pissed and indignant about it. Just don't be ignorant - that gives the City license for further hosing.

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The Friday before last, I was driving through Woburn. I saw a town blower clearing off the sidewalk.

The previous storm was on Monday.

I don't think Boston residents would be okay with waiting a week for the sidewalks to be cleared, and it is still only to what I can Canadian standards (an inch of compacted snow left.)

Also, I have driven in parts of Brookline (the leafy South) where the sidewalks are not, or haven't yet been, cleared by the town.

That said, the T needs to get off their asses and clear the bridge.

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OMG Newton, Lexington , Brookline are being used as examples of how to do it right? You do realize those three places are little havens for the well off to run away to. They get to be liberal by being very generous with their lower income residents since the ratio is so low. They also get to do things like plow every sidewalk.

I have a better idea, rather than trying to emulate those communities we force them to combine with their lower income neighbors and see if they can still manage to pull off the same level of service. Every higher income city/town gets paired up with a city/town on the other end of the spectrum of about the same size. I would be curious to see if these places that we glorify so much would be able to provide the level of service that a place like Boston provides for all of their residents.

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That's how you do it right.

Major pedestrian conduits plowed.

That's how you do it right.

All it takes is ... PLANNING! and THOUGHT!

Soo hard, right?

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Now...how many miles of roads in Boston?

A solution that's practical for a small town with very limited roads is simply not going to work in Boston.

Now doesn't that sound ridiculous when I replaced "sidewalks" with "roads"? Or should Boston start demanding property owners all plow the stretch of roads in front of their properties, too?

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New York City never had sidewalks like this. What's Boston's excuse?
Boston needs to take control of the situation for the safety of it residents and the health of the local economy. People need to walk for food and for healthcare-- and they can't get around. The city just gives lip service instead of doing something. Its shameful.

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I don't know about driveways but on my block plows have deliberately left six-foot mounds on crosswalks. And, yes, it was deliberate. There are plenty of other places for them to leave the mound at the end of a plow run but they've chosen crosswalks. Blocking the crosswalk makes the entire sidewalk useless for anyone who can't climb over a hill of snow. They've done this three storms in a row. I know because I shoveled canyons through the first two myself but blew out my shoulder and can't get to the latest dumping.

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look at the pic: if this wasn't deliberate, the driver is lousy at his/her work. their job description is to clear the streets, apparently at all costs. this street/bridge is very wide with no parking allowed...no reason to clear to the curb at the expense of the pedestrian way.

if plow drivers are as skilled as you suggest: no excuse for this or other examples provided on this post.

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It reminds me very much of the bridge across the Charles on Bridge St. between California and Pleasant St., in Newton. There's relatively little pedestrian traffic, but a LOT of cars, trucks, and the occasional 558 bus, but apparently neither Newton nor Watertown want to take responsibility for it, so both sides of an already narrow sidewalk are covered nearly up to the handrail. Even if pedestrians try to carve through the snow, the level of the footpath is invariably raised so that an ordinary slip can easily send you OVER the railing and into the water below.

Most people, from commuters to parents taking baby strollers to the nearby groceries, just share the street with cars coming down the Newton side.

Better yet, the Riverworks office park's maintenance staff often parks its trucks right on the sidewalk, so even if you get across the bridge safely, you STILL have to get off and brave the oncoming vehicular traffic to go around the trucks.

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why this war on pedestrians?

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Every agency says, hey not my job. The DPW plow drivers get paid to plow the street, not to care about whether the sidewalk's passable. The MBTA might eventually clear a bridge over their tracks, but the city won't clear the adjacent sidewalk by a city park, the DCR may or may not get around to sidewalks adjacent to/through a reservation, and homeowners are a complete crapshoot.

The biggest middle finger is a bridge near my house. Apparently, the city is responsible for clearing sidewalks on the bridge, but the DCR controls the sidewalks on either side. We end up with 25' of clear sidewalk in the middle of the bridge, with 75' of untouched sidewalk on one side and hundreds on the other.

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The very biggest middle finger is the pedestrian exit on the west side of the Readville Commuter Rail station. The T plowed the parking lot and shoveled the stairs leading up out of the lot. But at the top of the stairs, there's no cleared pathway, so you have to walk in traffic as cars, tow trucks, and school buses are coming in and out.

If you're trying to cross Milton Street, good luck. The crosswalk on the opposite side across from the pedestrian exit isn't shoveled, so you have to cross in front of all the entering and exiting traffic to use the other crosswalk.

If you're turning right, you're in luck! Somebody (MBTA?) shoveled the walk up to and across the bridge.

Turning left? LOL, you're fucked. The sidewalk hasn't been touched yet this winter, so you have to walk in the street through the busy intersection of W. Milton and Sprague. Work in the Boston/Dedham Industrial Park? You're REALLY fucked, because the bridge across the train yard on Sprague is apparently nobody's responsibility.

I tried to illustrate the problem. [linked, because I can never figure out BB code]

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/137KuIP.png)

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User error or Drupal issue? This is a dissection of what happens every time I try to use BB codes to insert an image. The example is taken from my comment above about Readville station. Is it just me??

What I put in the comment box:
[img]http://i.imgur.com/137KuIP.png[/img]

What I see after saving my comment:
http://imgur.com/uG31igU

What's in the page source:
<p><img src="&lt;a href=&quot;http://i.imgur.com/137KuIP.png" alt="IMAGE(&lt;a href=&quot;http://i.imgur.com/137KuIP.png)" />"&gt;http://i.imgur.com/137KuIP.png[/img]</p>

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Until I fix this, switch from Default text format to Filtered HTML and BBcode stuff should work correctly (when I first upgraded to the current version of the software, Filtered HTML didn't seem to work, so I created a new format; then some mini-upgrade reversed that and I've yet to fix it on my end, for which I apologize).

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I had never even considered changing the text format. You're definitely better at maintaining this site than the MBTA is at maintaining their system.

Thanks!
IMAGE(http://wac.450f.edgecastcdn.net/80450F/screencrush.com/442/files/2013/03/thumbs-up.jpg)

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Don't forget the Charter school at the Westinghouse Building. Hundreds of students have to walk those sidewalks to get to school.

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Yeah, but that diagram was getting bad enough as it is.

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... of demanding that homeowners shovel their sidewalks (even when there's a place to put the snow) while government agencies fail to shovel their own sidewalks, is getting a bit tiresome. For some reason, today there is actually a path across the Berkeley Street bridge that spans the Mass Pike and MBTA lines, but in past years it's looked as if the City, MBTA and DCR each point fingers at the other rather than hoist a shovel.

And after I laboriously hacked out a path from my house to the middle of the street (to avoid the sidewalks full of ice that would surprise the property owners who no doubt are in the Caribbean), some plow driver pushes a five foot wall of snow into it. Yes, I should be grateful that the street was plowed at all ...

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Its illegal to shovel snow into the street in Boston, but apparently Walshy is fine with shoveling snow onto sidewalks.

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Highland Station on the Needham line has not had it's sidewalks cleared of snow in years. People walk in the street and use the car entrance to the station because the pedestrian entrance is piled with snow.

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Too the Fairmount train all th time, in every season. Those sidewalks by the station were NEVER cleared. I walked in the street. F it. And yes, it's ridiculous, they of course should be cleared. Maybe a nice, fat lawsuit would work, after someone gets killed.

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I'm not sure what good is actually does, but if more people complained maybe more sidewalks would get cleared.

You can officially complain here: http://www.cityofboston.gov/snow/removal/snowremoval.asp

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Everyone we know is reporting multiple addresses- and the next day, same thing different day...nothing happens... no action is taken...even if a hundred citations are given out at the same address, and nothing happens as a result, the city must develop a "Plan B" to clear the walk so that the city can operate

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