Pride of workmanship along the Freedom Trail

Freedom Trail in the North End

Julia Murphy saw this at Prince Street where Commercial turns into Causeway in the North End and basically thought: "Uhhh."

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it's basically a scam anyway....

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The freedom trail was created by a bunch of power brokers to steer tourists to/past their businesses. It has absolutely no historical relevance/significance.

Basically, imagine your town had a bunch of bars and restaurants and created a "history trail" that led from one to the other. It's like that.

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Yeah, just like that, except not

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I admit, I have no clue on the history of the Freedom Trail, but come on, it does go by key Revolutionary sites downtown and in the North End and Charlestown. Are you perhaps confusing it with something else? Or just feeling grumpy?

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You obviously don't know your

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You obviously don't know your history
It's been around since the 1950s - and hundreds of thousands of school kids who are too young to drink have been forced to walk it since.

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Ah, yeah, no.

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Ah, yeah, no.

It was created in the 1950s to give people a "safe" walking path through what was then a scary city and to instill patriotism during the Cold War.

If you notice, it doesn't go to some key spots like Chinatown where the Liberty Tree was located and has been rerouted through Charlestown at different points of its history.

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Scary city?

Yes, a path for tourists, but what was scary about walking through downtown (then a busy shopping district full of department stores) or the North End (yum) in the 1950s?

(an aside: the Liberty Tree site, and the station that is now called Chinatown, weren't considered to be part of Chinatown at all until at least the late 1980s.)

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North End

The North End in the 50s was considered one of the city's worst slums (it wasn't, that was just a widely held opinion) -- which is why Jacobs focused so much on how great it was in "Death and Life of Great American Cities."

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Well, there's one thing it sells a lot of

Shoes.

I can't remember how many times I have been asked by a footsore traveller "is there a shoe store that sells walking shoes".

There are several, depending on where I am.

I also see a lot of people leaving the DSW, the Clarks store at Quincy Market, and Foot Paths downtown wearing their new proper walking footwear. Some even chuck their flipflops at the first trash can.

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Flip Flops

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I still don't know how, when or why flip flops became the all encompassing thing they are now. I remember when they were fine for beach or pool wear, or around the house or yard. Then suddenly they became everyday footwear that people feel is appropriate to wear anytime, anywhere. There are even "dress" flip flops. They are the most impractical footwear ever. I don't know how people maneuver around the city in them.

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Even worse in other countries

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In the Philippines, construction workers even wear flip flops. It's cuckoo.

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GOOD JOBS FOR GOOD WAGES!

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Workers get paid twice. Once to screw it up and a second time to fix it.

/actually the real story is the pavement marking in the intersection was there before the curb extensions and ramps were built so it aligns where the crosswalk used to be and not where it is now

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Was going to say this. These

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Was going to say this. These bump outs are clearly newer than the freedom trail.

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Not always

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Workers get paid twice. Once to screw it up and a second time to fix it

Not always. Sometimes we make them come back and fix it at their own expense.

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Way Off

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This is the result of a multi-stage upgrade of the curbs, ramps, and sidewalks.

In case you haven't noticed, it is summer. Summer is when tens of thousands of tourists walk this route.

Summer is also when the conditions are good for construction projects.

The result is that things get done in pieces, so that they can be done overnight or in quick breaks. That means that the trail stays passable at pretty much all times that it matters.

It also means that there are temporary things - like the asphalt ramp - that keep it accessable while waiting for the new curbing and the new yellow pad and everything else.

Too many people commenting who love to critique things with tired talking points when they don't have the slightest idea what is going on or how it works.

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The new curbs and sidewalks

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The new curbs and sidewalks were finished in October 2016. The city didn't bother to repaint the lines since then.

Even if they're going to repave the street eventually, there should still be crosswalk lines in the interim.

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Don't tell me you stared at the sun as well

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Take a look at the headline again (just in case you're trying to tell me the word is "workmenship," well, no, it isn't). And while I don't normally criticize somebody's spelling, um, you might want to check the last word in your critique.

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Still, Adam. If you respect

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Still, Adam. If you respect editorial best-practices on brevity, should it be "someone's," and not "somebody's"?

lol, j/k: between eclipse, the orange embarassment's homily on his war plan, then Farrell blowing the Sox game, what a bonkers day. The original pic about sums it up! :-)

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Accessible curbing?

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It looks like they are converting to accessible sidewalks/accessible crosswalks, and may not be worth correcting until the remainder of the project is completed.

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When a utility crew needs to

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When a utility crew needs to do emergency work digging up the street, they understandably put down the quickest patch possible to finish the job and get out of the way. Later on the utility sends out bricklayers to do it properly on a nonemergency permit.

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Yup.

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Yup.

Though the new curb ramps and bulbouts were finished by October 2016. https://goo.gl/maps/Qhno7NPAYm92

When are they getting around to finishing the street, or at least applying the new pavement markings? Not only should the stripe of fake brick be moved, but there should be crosswalk lines as well. 10 months of linelessness is unacceptable.

Unfortunately the law says that if there is no crosswalk marking, car drivers are not liable if they hit a pedestrian.

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Freedom trail is very tired

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They really should do something to spruce this up. The trail, signs and so much more could be done to improve a major draw to the city.

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Just because

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It doesn't connect perfectly doesn't mean anything. The idea is that the path leads you on a self guided tour. Now those with physical disabilities can enjoy it more safely and easily. That's great. Who cares if the bricks don't touch at every moment.

And... Just because it wasn't historic the day it was installed (I'm ignorant to its history FWIW) does not mean it isn't now. It's a landmark of sorts that is very well known to travelers to our city.

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The curb ramps were built

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The curb ramps were built before 2007. https://goo.gl/maps/FLcBrVSbE1H2

The grey tactile pads appeared before 2009. https://goo.gl/maps/b5h1H8gS1MJ2

The project that broke the Freedom Trail was a curb bulb-out built in October 2016.

So people with physical disabilities have long been able to use this intersection.

Yes, nobody's going to get lost because the trail is disconnected by a few feet. But the lack of crosswalk lines is a safety issue.

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