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Alewife Pis

Octr202 took some time out of this morning's rush to enjoy the fountains at the Alewife T stop.

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Kudos for those scrappy MBTA thinkers for supplying a public shower benefit for those riders coming in off the Minuteman Bike Path this morning.

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The stormdrains have been clogged for years. I do sometimes use it as a bike wash and raingear wash on rainy and muddy fall days when my bike gets crudded up.

It's extra fun in the winter when this area freezes.

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Please unplug the drain before it freezes solid in December causing additional problems.

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I feel that it should be "Alewife Piss" with two 's'-es.

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I know my spelling's not the best, but this time I deliberately dropped the last 's' - and not for savings.

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That's our Adam, always sharing Boston's culture and beauty with us.

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I thought it had to somehow be the plural of Pi, even though there's only one of those. Then I saw the picture, and was disappointed.

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And here we have the MBTA just wasting it.

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It appears to be a drain pipe.

Also, if the 'fountain' manages to wash at least some of the pigeon shit that blankets that entire area, it's a good thing.

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Hey MBTA!! We're in the middle of a drought! Need to conserve water!

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Have you noticed it's raining today?

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Not sure if serious or trolling. We have a 18" rain deficit. We might get an inch today, if we're lucky.

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That fountain exists because of rainwater streaming from blocked or leaking drainage pipes, not because the T is wasting precious Quabbin water.

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That aside, if this drains to the Great Swamp, it might be a waste to dump it on pavement. Otherwise, no biggie.

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It's a rather stupid design that put the drainpipes inside the columns, instead of mounted on the outside. This way, a clogged drain is far more likely to cause water damage to the concrete.

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If the drain isn't clogged and is tied directly to the underground storm drain system, you won't have water running across the walking surface. Especially during the freeze thaw time frame we have around here. No one needs to slip on the ice.

Now, typically there is a clean out in strategic locations that allow for just that: clean out.

I don't know what code was in play when this was built, but today you'll see two drainage systems in play: the primary system and the overflow system. The latter lets management know when the primary is clogged. Perhaps this Pis acts as the overflow system - alerting us that it's clogged.

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You can tie a drainpipe to the underground system without having it be inside the column.

The current mess doesn't exactly keep the water off the ground where people walk.

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You can tie a drainpipe to the underground system without having it be inside the column.

whhhhaaaaattttt?

The current mess doesn't exactly keep the water off the ground where people walk.

Really?

In all seriousness, this not an uncommon practice. No duh, of course rain leaders don't need to be INSIDE the structural column, but sometimes this practice is done for other reasons. Some of those being preventing them from getting beat up/destroyed by vandals or snow removal. And this does not negate the need for maintenance which is clearly needed in this location.

You don't always know what's inside columns, or actually, inside column covers. Did you know that there is at least one column inside the Haymarket T station that is actually 2 columns, one inside the other? One serves the Orange line and the other the Green line. And the outer column was design to take into account seismic codes (hey, there's that pesky earthquake code change we discussed in a previous UHub comment section).

Just because you don't think it makes sense, doesn't mean that all aspects of the reasoning weren't looked at. And yes, sometimes decisions don't make sense, and sometimes the tail does wag the dog. And we move on.

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