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Only in Boston: Duck Boat storrowing linked to T-related protest

The Globe reports the driver of that Duck Boat that had its roof peeled back like a can of Norwegian sardines yesterday was on Storrow Drive because traffic was being diverted around the State House due to a protest by MBTA janitors, many of whom are getting laid off. State Police fined the driver $100.

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Comments

Oh, yes i heard about the janitors. I saw their leaflets on the floor of the train. In case you missed that, i saw their leaflets on the floor of the train.

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if they were on strike and doing the opposite of their normal thing, they would have cleaned it up.

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I saw their leaflets on the floor of the train

It's not likely that the janitors put them there. Here's how they probably got there: Protesting janitors hand leaflets to Highly Advanced Commuter Beings entering Park St. Station. HACBs carry the leaflets onto the train, then deposit them on the floor of the train, as they do with everything else they no longer want. The HACBs are the reason reducing the janitorial staff is a mistake.

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The fine should be at least $1,000, plus billing for the police detail and cost to inspect the bridge for damage, repairs, etc..

They could use the extra money to hire more janitors for the .

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a unicode T logo! nice.

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Unless you think someone says to himself "Wait -- will we hit the bridge? Maybe, but since the fine is only $100, let's go for it!", the size of the fine is immaterial.

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... word might get around among bus and truck drivers that they'd better be very careful to avoid "Cars Only" roads around Boston. Otherwise, it's going to cost them big time — regardless of whether they actually hit a bridge or stop in time.

Either way, they cause terrible traffic backups that have reverberating economic penalties for innocent drivers.

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THE T HAS JANITORS?!?!???!?!!

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You must not take the T much.
I think the stations are quite clear of litter/ trash.
Obviously only so much can be done on the moving stock when it's in service but I think on the whole the T is quite clean.
And there are some dirty douches that take it too. They'll leave anything anywhere.

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I don't see many of them but a simple comparison of any shithole, filthy, piss-riddled train station in New York City to our bare bones but relatively clean ones would show that yes, somebody around here is cleaning up.

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If you were here in 1985, you wouldn't be making this dumb comment.

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If I was here in 1985, there would be no easy-access internet for me to make my dumb comments on! I would have to photocopy a zine and distribute it on the T, and then people would throw it on the ground and the T would be a mess--covered with garbage paper that had my garbage thoughts on it. But it would still be 1985, my hair would be so so big, and everything would turn out just fine in the end.

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then complain when the unpredictable happens.

The fact that there's essentially only one way in and one way out of a good chunk of downtown from any given direction makes this completely foreseeable. And if the city of Boston had adults in charge (instead of crooks and bike-riding children) it would also be preventable.

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Storrow Drive is a STATE PARKWAY built IN VIOLATION OF THE TERMS OF THE STORROW'S GIFT. It isn't city controlled nor should it be upgraded to highway standards. If anything it should be downgraded. Trucks and buses are FORBIDDEN from parkways by state law but the state police never enforce it.

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equality enforced through tearing down anything that's better. Worked great in Cambodia, and I hear they're having good luck with it down in Caracas.

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We're just a hellhole, barely better than Caracas or Mogadishu. It's a wonder you haven't cracked yet.

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But the intelligence of our residents keeps that from happening. That's really it.

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IMAGE(http://i2.kym-cdn.com/entries/icons/original/000/018/489/nick-young-confused-face-300x256_nqlyaa.png)

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This place is a lot more inward-looking when it comes to the basics of civilization than a lot of the rest of the country is, and not in a good way.

Other places manage to pave their roads and build enough housing to go around without it turning into pulling teeth. Other places also don't have the holier-than-thou attitude that aboriginal Bay Staters tend to get when it's pointed out to them that there's a better way to do things.

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Have land to do this, but are also running out.

These "other places" also weren't laid out in the 1700s.

These "other places" are really shitty places to live with hour long commutes and schools that wouldn't challenged developmentally disabled people - except they bully and harass their developmentally disabled kids.

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Other places with city plans similar to those of Boston are doing very well with intensive public transit.

Try Zurich, Munich, etc. sometime!

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Try living in some of those other places before assuming you're better than they are, comrade.

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There aren't going to be any more new or "real" roads to coddle commuting drivers. That ship has sailed.
You'll be lucky if you get to keep Storrow as it is. And I hope you're unlucky.

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deteriorating mental health programs must be true. Even a broken clock, I guess.

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And you're dead wrong if you think Boston or MA is ever building a "real" road again. It ain't happening.
We don't even maintain or repair the ones we have have The City Of Boston and its residents have no desire to accommodate more cars and traffic by building more roads. It's called induced demand and it is simply not happening.

Unless by real roads you mean ones with curb bump outs to slow traffic and other accommodations for bikes and pedestrians.
That's going to happen.
Mark my words.

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not easier. At least in Boston.

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How does cutting transit to emphasize private car use make anybody's life easier?

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But then...how does clogging up the roads by failing to keep up capacity with demand (and in many cases through decreases in capacity) make transit any more workable?

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I already told you that.
Try to keep up.

And I told you about induced demand.

Please do,your homework so you aren't so ill-prepared.

The whole point is to make driving a worse option than others. Then volume drops and there is no "need" for more "real roads."

Are you a time traveler from the 50's?

Everyone knows this. Good grief.

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80% of the people who live in the Boston area don't live in the city.

Unless you're going to secede and set up passport control at the city line, you need to get out of your 60's acid trip and deal with the fact that other people have as much right to be in your little medieval fiefdom as you do in theirs.

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should definitely be allowed to use the T. It's just not fair to keep excluding them as they apparently are in roman's world.

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many more would.

Instead it's broken down trains, clogged or nonexistent parking lots, and overstuffed buses that not only get stuck in the same traffic as your car does but also stop at every other intersection and a litany of excuses about how they can't put heaters on the third rail or build more parking or otherwise keep their equipment in working order because it's a day ending in y...but give them more money anyway....because for the children.

Philadelphia has the same population, the same geographic size, the same age (founded in 1660 vs 1640...big deal) and roughly the same per-capita economic output when normalized for cost of labor and housing...yet somehow they manage to keep the commuter trains running and the highways and surface streets in good repair.

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how does running empty trains and buses because people choose to/need to drive make any economic, environmental, or traffic sense?

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Safer to walk. Less pollution.

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Read up on some history of the area between 1950 and 2000

Your suggestion was tried.

Your suggestion yielded what we have today.

Your suggestion already FAILED.

You are very wrong to suggest trying it again.

You need to go back to Indiana - preferably Gary.

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Get a username.

Stop confusing 'half-assed, half-planned, mafia-built scam' with 'try'

Go outside the Boston bubble. Indiana's a nice place. So is Pennsylvania. So is New Hampshire. Hell, even Massachusetts outside of 128 has its charms.

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So because Indiana has nice spots, we should rebuild Storrow with higher clearances?

Fascinating logic you have there.

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anon here is specifically referring to Governor Sargent's moratorium on highway expansion inside of 128, which has held ever since, and which under Governor Patrick has become an expansion moratorium throughout the Commonwealth.

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and stop complaining about how if only people stayed within their pales of settlement and curtailed their freedom of movement then we wouldn't have to do pesky things like build more infrastructure to accommodate an increased population size.

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And IRL I honestly have never met anyone who thought more roads were a good thing.
That might fly in Houston but not here.

And you mentioned how nice New Hampshire is. The Seacoast was charming and fairly traffic free before it became a suburb of Boston. Now it's sprawling with McMansions that's what improved roads did for that area. You can keep em thanks.

And this isn't 60s hippie nonsense, it's 21st century quality of life reality.

Your notions of building bigger and more roads is now as antiquated as the horses and buggies cars replaced. Time moves on

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because they represent the concept of people owning things, and we can't have that in our egalitarian utopia where prosperity (read: privation) is evenly distributed among the population to ten decimal places of precision.

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All they represent on the Seacoast is a suck ass drive from exurbia into Boston everyday. Like I said, knock yourself out if you like that sort of thing.

As for aethestics, the Seacoast was certainly more charming when the Yankee go-getters made their money and built distinct houses in density that worked.

I'm certainly not opposed to prosperity and acquisition. Where in the world did you get the idea that I, or any other poster, is?

It's quality of life, guy.

Someone needs to put down the Ayn Rand.

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But that's distance working against you more than anything else. A 40 mile drive will always suck. Says the guy who used to reverse-commute 35 miles each way every day.

There's a virtual ton and a half of empty land much closer in that doesn't get built on because Open Space or because Community Character or some other BS that's meant to keep the projects out by shutting down all development since that's the only way to do it in Mass.

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And how many homes and businesses should we knock down to build those surface streets?

You want Boston to wind up looking like Pensacola, FL?

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or a dedicated busway, monorail, cable car, or public catapult:

As many as you can afford to buy at fair market value as required by the 5th Amendment to the United States Constitution when seizing private property to construct public infrastructure.

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Busways, cable cars (street cars in our case since Boston is not San Francisco) involve removing a traffic or parking lane.

Which will no doubt make you gnash your teeth.

Monorails also were invented specifically to avoid taking land.

But if you want to widen a road, in this part of the country, you need to knock down people's homes.

Meanwhile, those "children" riding bikes are not getting anyone's home demolished.

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A dedicated bus lane that comes at the expense of an existing automotive lane reduces overall capacity of the road for all of the trips that that road is used for, not just trips that the bus happens to theoretically include.

Yeah, I know the standard argument: A standard T bus takes about 40 passengers and is 40 ft long. A car is 20ft long. If a hypothetical city block (ie in Back Bay or along Washington St) is 400 ft long, then a single car lane will take 13 cars carrying (because this is 'murica!) 13 people. Thus, You would need a bus every three blocks to match the throughput of the car lane. If it's one of them 60-footer articulated buses that take about 60 people, then you need on bus every 4.5 blocks. In both directions. Let's look at our favorite example of Washington St where the SL bus runs a route that is about 2 miles long. That's 26 of my hypothetical blocks, meaning you'd need at least 12 buses on the road at all times to make that happen. That's fine since the T has about 20 of them on that route...so it's a win because it's double the capacity that the car lane would have been, right?

Well...no. It's only a win if you count carrying capacity along Washington Street. Not all trips along Washington St begin and end along Washington St. Same deal with just about every transit project. It's only a win if it removes cars from the road instead of cramming them in to a tighter space. There's no parking at the start and end of the SL route, nor is there a magic car transporter so I can't drive to one end, take the bus, and keep driving from the other.

For SL, it's a silly statement but let me make a not so silly statement: the T just doesn't go to about half the places it needs to in order to be usable to suburbanites. Get to Harvard Square? Easy from Alewife if you don't mind waiting to get into the parking lot. Not as easy from anywhere else. Get to Longwood from Newton or Brookline? Cake. From Alewife or Medford? PITA. The hard routes here are all ones where it's frequently easier (not easy, easier) to drive. So putting in a radial bus lane at the expense of car lanes won't eliminate trips in cars. Nor will simply eliminating lanes because Lane Diet.

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"A dedicated bus lane that comes at the expense of an existing automotive lane reduces overall capacity of the road for all of the trips that that road is used for, not just trips that the bus happens to theoretically include."
"

Nope. A bus lane has capacity for more PEOPLE than a lane that allows private cars.

It's that simple.

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It's only a win if it removes cars from the road instead of cramming them in to a tighter space.

Who do you think is riding the bus? It's not all poor people and school kids. Every 501 bus from Brighton to the Financial District in the morning carries at least 40 Brighton/Newton riders who would otherwise drive to work. Imagine how many more would ride if they didn't get caught up in downtown/Pike/Brighton traffic and knew they could get to work/home in 20 minutes reliably.

And by dedicating a lane, I know the bus is going to have spacial priority which means more predictable and faster scheduling which means I can put more of them on the road which means more people will want to take the bus.

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See the #9 form Southie to Copley. Packed every day, mostly with young professionals.

You could drive and be stuck behind that bus in traffic and then pay 30 bucks to park. Or you take the bus and get to relax (at least compared to driving) and pay approx. 1/10th the cost.

No brainer.

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Ah, yes.

Nothing says "child" quite like the refusal to go out and get a $20K fashion accessory for getting around town.

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assuming that 'town' is the only place you could ever need to go.

If it ain't within ten steps of a T stop, it doesn't exist...is that about right?

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Without a car. I recommend Switzerland - my 17 year old wandered it for four days on his own. Wandered from town to country to city and around cities, and he wasn't even driving age yet. $100 for four days of unlimited rambling, including transit systems and boats on Lake Lucerne and rural mountain tramways. He even bought a beer to go with his lunch and drank it on the train to his next destination.

Then you might understand what a proper transit system can do for you. You can even get around by bike, if you so chose - but even those aren't necessary when you can get anywhere you want without the inefficiency of a giant personal box.

It used to be possible to get to just about anywhere in our area by transit. Even into the countryside. We went backwards, not forwards.

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It has never been possible to get to places like Groton, MA, or Sudbury, or Sherborn, or a little closer in the Burlington/Woburn/Lexington line, unless you include driving in your car for five to ten minutes in your definition of 'transit accessible' which kind of makes my point for me.

Europe's the same too. Cities are perfectly walkable and there's buses and trams and subways and trains to go between them. But if you want to go outside the cities, you need a car. Landing in Florence last spring, I saw plenty of interesting-looking places from the plane that I knew I wasn't going to see because I wasn't going to get a car. Sitting on the Frecciarosa as it barreled over the countryside at 140mph, I saw plenty more places that would require a private vehicle to get to.

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Most of those Massachusetts places had passenger rail, even if it was narrow gage, as recently as the 1950s or 1960s. Look it up.

As for Switzerland? Again. Look it up. My son made it to some rather rural areas without a car.

France is a little more centralized, but I've wandered around it on a bike. Germany? No problem finding a train to get here and there ... only issue is the distances you need to cover.

Denial is a strange drug.

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Or was it in the center of town some two or three miles away from where you live? And was there a magic transporter system that let you go from the town you lived in to the town you worked in without having to take a detour through Boston in between? Since we're talking about fictional physics...did this train also break the sound barrier so that it would get you where you needed to be at the time you needed faster than driving a car would?

A lot of those rail lines are still there as standard gauge freight lines or abandoned spurs or else they ran right down existing roads (indicated by twin ruts of rust down either lane) so you don't need to look at anything other than a map to figure out the answer.

A strange drug indeed.

Edit: You said 'Europe' I gave Italy as a counter example. Germany and France don't change my point.

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Roman has gone from "it was never possible to get to" an assortment of suburbs, to "the train didn't stop on your street."

He is of course completely wrong in his original assertion that you couldn't ever get to those towns. Sudbury, for example, had commuter rail until the '70s. There was a streetcar line that ran all the way out Mass Ave. to Lexington, and then to Lowell. There were lines from Lexington to Waltham and yes, Woburn. As for getting from your home to the rail stop, there were taxis for that, and they were cheap and convenient.

The widespread dominance of private autos is not a blessing; it's a curse.

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Since the claim was made that you could live anywhere without needing an automobile. Now the anti-car crowd went and moved the goal posts from 'you don't need a car, period' to 'you should take the train into town' which you will note I never once disagreed with.

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Little other explanation:

http://stateofobesity.org/states/in/

http://stateofobesity.org/states/ma/

There are reasons why relatively few adults in Massachusetts are obese - it is because they freaking walk and don't drive everywhere in their "assisted mobility scooters" known as cars.

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The rest of civilized humanity has better manners than not doing shit and not being places because it's too far from the T.

That speed assist is a lifesaver.

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People are giving their rationales for how they reduce or eliminate car use. Common denominator? We all know that building more roads to accommodate more cars is a blast from the past, not a path to the future.

That future is less car-centric infrastructure (especially in urban areas) and more public transport and green spaces and shared roads.

And more alternatives to car ownership/dependency, i.e. Uber and Hubway and ZipCar. Even big rental companies like Enterprise and Hertz are moving this way.

The 21st century technology and innovation and lifestyle values are steaming along (on alternative energy.)

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Your point isn't made at all just b/c someone may need a car to get 2 mins/miles to the public transit near their house.

There aren't traffic jams there. You're not sitting in traffic for 2 plus hrs into, thru, and then out of an urban center with many public transport options.

I recently moved from the city to the burbs.
I occasionally drove into downtown Boston due to weather or the need for my car after work.
Now I simply do not do it. Not an option to me. It would be 2 painful hours in rush hour traffic each way.

I've been de incentivized out of commuting by car. And I'm happier for it and the environment is too.

That's what will happen more and more as choices see made to favor public vs. private transport.
It's America. Drive 5 hrs each way in stop and go traffic. It's your time and money.
It will no longer be subsidized like it once was though, sorry.

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Switzerland has been a tourist destination since the 19th century, especially it's rural areas. They are also expanding on several railways this year, with a new line coming this winter (I was actually there recently). A bus ticket to the White Mountains will cost you $35 from Boston though as well. Once you get to North Conway, there are plenty of other private transportation options to get you aroundl.

But like Massachusetts, there are places in Switzerland where tourists aren't going to go (I'm thinking Sherborn or Sudbury here), although if you wanted to see where the British fought the Colonials on Lexington Green, public transportation can get you there from Boston in an hour. Minute Man National Park will take you longer and you will need to walk a mile and a half, but it's doable. There are also private companies which will give you the whole tour as well, and this is common in Switzerland as well. I think if you planned your "Boston" sightseeing vacation, you can get by with plenty of transportation options (unless you want to see Sherborn or Dover Center)

Commuting is a different story. If you want to leave your house during rush hour, you will probably get to Boston quicker on public transportation, but if you leave your house earlier or later, you will most likely find driving is almost always faster, and sometimes cheaper and easier for your daily needs overall.

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It's quite feasible to arrange one's life so that one never needs to reach outside the T service area.

House in a good T spot?
Work in a good T spot?

Done. You're all set.

On average, I need a car 4 to 5 times a year. Tell me again why going without a car is the hallmark of a child?

Yankee frugality: ever heard of it?

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Yankee frugality: ever heard of it?

That's the one where you not only do something the hard way just to say that you did, but also burn your neighbor at the stake for witchcraft if he dares do something the easy way...right?

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Work for years to pay for your own car.

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Did a detail cop wave an overheight vehicle onto Storrow Drive? Couldn't have been a dangerous and unqualified civilian flagger - those are illegal here. Maybe it was a renegade orange barrel

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If you read the article Adam linked to you'd know that the duck boat was sent west on Beacon instead of east.
The driver then apparently chose to get on Storrow.

Nice try though.

Remember, reading is fun.

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Blame the T

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... to pay me to clean the T. I see the guys in orange vests cleaning & sweeping all over the place-- I'm surprised anyone who uses the subways could possibly have missed them. They do a remarkably good job, considering how sisyphian their challenge is.

Fun anecdote: Last year, June, tourist season in full swing, I was on the Park Street Green Line platform commuting from Job A to Job B at about noon. Game day, so lots of people heading to Fenway, full platform. A very intoxicated, perhaps homeless woman yells something to her friend down the platform, walks to the top of the Red Line steps, drops her shorts & pees on the top step. Floods it. She must have been holding back for hours. And she is absolutely oblivious to everyone stepping very carefully around her.

Seriously, these guys deserve ALL. THE. MONEY.

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For alcohol licenses. We should have those, and also something similar to New York's stop and frisk where cops with Breathalyzers enforce random testing if you're being a real (expletive) in public.

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Because our transit system is too clean?

Or is Charlie Baker just making it "more efficient" because he's such a great manager of things?

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Privatization = Republican patronage. Because more levels of management naturally translates to greater efficiency.

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While the Janitors are unionized, they are in fact NOT MBTA employees. What was going on was the MBTA was cutting the amount of money they pay to there Janitorial Contractors, which in turn would mean layoffs. http://baystatebanner.com/news/2016/aug/17/mbta-janitors-protest-layoffs...

Under the terms of the 2013 contracts, the MBTA was to pay approximately $36.5 million to ABM and S.J. Services. Instead, the agency has spent $53.1 million, representing a more-than 50 percent spending increase. S.J. Services’ president David Shea told the Herald that pulling costs back down would result in layoffs.

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specific to MBTA janitors, requiring (at the time) $15./hr with full heathcare insurance (private or Masshealth).

Ever wonder why all the janitors are Hispanic, especially central American? It's no accident or coincidence, and the federal government also gives tax credits for hiring and keeping certain people. Many companies like this janitorial one, security guard companies, etc. are specifically set up to take full advantage of this tax credit $kick-back$.

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You're going to have to back up your assertions that all the janitors are Hispanic, and that companies are being financially encouraged to hire "certain people." Also, please tell us exactly what you mean by that phrase.

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Want union-busting performance for their money.

Meanwhile, Charlie is whining at other states about their emissions while working hard to destroy our transit system. Way to go Pioneer Institute "logic"!

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