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City didn't repaint crosswalk on repaved Roxbury street used by kids to get to school, so grandfather went out and painted his own

New crosswalk

Via a 311 complaint comes this report on the new crosswalk at Dubois and Orchard Park streets in Roxbury:

The city dug up my street for WHATEVER reason but never repainted a crosswalk. MIND YOU ITS THE STREET THESE KIDS HAVE TO CROSS TO GET TO THE SCHOOL.... My Dad been calling about it. This morning he goes out there and makes his own crosswalk

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When they redid the roads in the east fenway, they took forever to put in the crosswalks and "yield to pedestrian" signs despite several phone calls to 311. They even made no easy way for pedestrians to pass during constructions despite many calls to 311. I don't think the city has any respect for those of us who walk. This dad is a hero! I hope he remembers what he was forced to do for on election day.

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Voting closed 95

Getting the city to actually enact anything to aid pedestrian safety is like pushing jello uphill on a hot day. Bravo to him. If he wants to come to Rosi and help me put a raised crossing in next to the playingfields where my preschooler and I nearly get mown down in the crosswalk on a weekly basis, I'd appreciate it.

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Voting closed 63

That pavement looks very fresh. Like, a couple days old.

The city will get around to painting the crosswalk. They just can't do it immediately for a variety of reasons. It is standard and perfectly normal to wait a week or two to apply pavement markings. This isn't a case of a street getting ignored because it's in Roxbury, or the city not caring about children's safety. Even interstate highways don't get markings applied immediately.

I think kids can figure out how to cross a minor residential side street without a marked crosswalk for a week or two.

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I think kids can figure out how to cross a minor residential side street without a marked crosswalk for a week or two.

I have every confidence that the kids know how to cross the street safely without paint markings. As to whether drivers can figure out how to stop for the kids, despite the big octagonal red sign, that's a different matter altogether.

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think that most drivers do stop for those big octagonal red signs, Bob.

(On another note: Glad to see the the installation of the pedestrian ramps on The Hill for the disabled. Finally. It only took close to five years.)

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Well, I think that most drivers do stop for those big octagonal red signs, Bob.

The accident statistics, and the cost of insurance premiums, which are based on accident statistics, would suggest otherwise.

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(On another note: Glad to see the the installation of the pedestrian ramps on The Hill for the disabled. Finally. It only took close to five years.)

And they're doing a remarkably shitty job. A proper handicap ramp is, as the name implies, a ramp. Installing it involves cutting the curb and installing a sloping panel of concrete with a raised tactile strip so that wheelchair users and the visually impaired can negotiate the transition from sidewalk to street. For example, what the state has installed on Cambridge Street.

In stark contrast, what the city seems to be doing in the interior of the hill is just leaving the granite curbstone in place, dumping asphalt on the street to make a little fake ramp, and installing the tactile strip. Not only does it look like hell, but snowplows are just going to rip up the little asphalt ramplets in the winter. Obviously the cheapest possible barely-ADA-compliant solution was chosen, with no attention paid to the long term.

It's particularly sad, because, 5 years ago a bunch of neighbors had offered to privately pay to install durable, ADA-compliant ramps with granite and cast iron, at no cost to the city. We could have had the same solution as was used in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and other historic urban neighborhoods. But the Mayor decided to have a tantrum over it, and so instead of a solution that would have lasted for 50 years, we get crap that'll be falling apart even before the installations are done.

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Fear not. They are doing this so that there isn't water ponding at the ramps, and what you see now is a temporary condition. They did the same process in the South End and I was confused as well. Once they finish putting the ramps and pads in, they will come and put down a new layer of asphalt on the street. The end result will be pavement that is a bit higher at the curb cuts, and water won't collect there after it rains.

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What you say makes sense. I hope it comes to pass.

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You know, 'most' is nowhere near good enough. It's outrageous for you to even say that. Even one driver not stopping and causing an accident - or worse, pedestrian injury - is completely unacceptable.

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Beacon Hill already had curb ramps.

What it didn't have was the tactile pads. Curb ramps helped people who couldn't climb curbs, but they created a new problem for blind people, since there was no way to detect the edge of the sidewalk with a cane. So the pads were added to the requirements.

I'd prefer if they focused their efforts fixing places like this: https://goo.gl/maps/FSnqmmdG4dGLy78k9

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I think it's a fair bet that a driver who ignores two stop signs is going to ignore a crosswalk as well.

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Sure, kids can figure out how to cross... But sometimes the cars need a little more help to know when to slowdown and stop.

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I bet if it was your child’s school you’d want a crosswalk painted right away as well. It’s not a Roxbury issue...this is a major safety issue. They could at least provide a crossing guard in the interim.

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Voting closed 56

It doesn't matter who it's for - they physically cannot install crosswalks until after the asphalt has been in place for a period of time. If you think a crossing guard should be posted at every street that gets repaved until they install the crosswalk, that's another matter.

I'm just pointing out that there is a reason the city has to wait to install the crosswalk.

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Says who?

Even if the pavement needs time to dry, there are temporary markings they could have used. That's how you don't end up with a laneless Route 128 after it's repaved.

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Last year Mass Highway redid a 10 mile stretch of Route 2. They were able to provide temporary lane markers throughout. So why can't Boston do something similar?

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There are three types of temporary lane markings MassDOT uses on freeways - short strips of tape, paint, and short vertical plastic markers.

Tape is used as temporary lane markings, but not usually for anything transverse, like stop lines or crosswalks, because it will quickly get dragged and deformed by vehicles braking and accelerating.

Paint is normally only used on surfaces that aren't final, because it would need to be removed before applying the final thermoplastic markings, and the only way to really remove it is to grind off the asphalt around it.

The plastic markers aren't suitable for this because they only really work spaced out every 50 ft or so.

There's a huge difference between temporarily marking out lanes on a freeway, and temporarily marking a crosswalk on a tiny side street. You'll note that when MassDOT repaves a road, they don't normally provide temporary markings for crosswalks, stop lines, etc. Look at the recent reconstruction at Sullivan Square, for example. The only temporary markings that got used were tape to mark out the lanes.

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If you’ve ever been in this neighborhood cars fly around these streets, especially to avoid the traffic on Mass Ave/Melnea Cass. With the close proximity to the school and the vast amounts of young school children crossing everyday the city should have at least put up cones or something if they actually *cant* paint crosswalks right away. We do not need any more young children being hit by cars.

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What are cones going to do that the existing TWO stop signs aren't? Unless you're suggesting they use cones to just block off the street completely?

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Cars may be traveling too fast, but not because of shortcuts

- It's not really an area to use to avoid Mass Ave any more than Hampden already is.
- It's not much of a shortcut to get to Cass Boulevard. There's prohibited turns during school zone hours (Yeah, I know, as if people obeyed signs...) that mean you can't get to Cass through there.
- A year or two ago, they flipped half of Eustis to one-way opposite to previous, so the two halves meet in the middle. That eliminated Eustis as the handy back way alternative to Dudley or Cass when going from Washington St to Hampden St.

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Voting closed 6

You should've stopped there.

Why did your guard go up when you read "Roxbury"?

No one but you mentioned the neighborhood being a factor. Not even the original complaint.

I assume you expected the underlying complaint to contain something about an aggrieved minority and you immediately put up your dukes to rail about something tangentially related.

Just come out and say it.

If he deems it appropriate, Adam will post it.

Be a man and say whats on your mind, friend.

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Voting closed 5

I mentioned it being Roxbury as a preemptive response to someone pointing out that the city often ignores neighborhoods like Roxbury. I'm not trying to rail about anything, and there's nothing on my mind to say about it. Are you trying to accuse me of being racist or something?

I just pointed out that it's the same story everywhere in case anyone was going to try and accuse the city of neglecting certain neighborhoods. That's all that was on my mind.

If my "guard went up" at all regarding Roxbury, it's because I lived there for several years (and quite enjoyed my time there, actually!)

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I live on a moderately busy street with a cross walk at the corner of my land. A neighbor had been complaining for some time that the curb cuts were not wheelchair accessible. When they came and reconfigured the cuts and added the yellow tactile pads, it then took a couple months before they repainted the crosswalk. They seem to like to do that in the middle of the night, which is annoying to those trying to sleep, but sensible from a traffic disruption standpoint.

(Not one kid or adult was struck during the months when there were no crosswalks.)

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But WHY? I honestly don't know how or why it takes so long for the crosswalks to be repainted. It's not even just a Boston issue, I see it in Cambridge as well. Even on less frequently traveled streets.

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Because...
- they're not going to pave it and then bring in the crew with the special mixer and all the equipment to do one crosswalk. That wastes money
- they're going to pave several locations and then bring in the crew when they have enough marking work to fill a shift.
- the paving crew might put out temporary, limited markings with tape or spray paint until the permanent markings are placed, or might rely on the stop signs.

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Paint adheres best to asphalt when it is allowed to cure for several weeks, this site says 30 days is best, although generally lines are painted sooner. (It actually keeps curing for several months.) Then road paint can only be applied to dry roads in a certain temperature range. Sometimes this can take a while, but it's hard to blame BTD/DPW for things like this. Sometimes they will put down temporary markings like this with spray paint, basically, but they're pretty meager.

(I live near Pearl Street in Cambridge which didn't get final markings until several months after it was paved: they finished it late enough in the season that it was too cold to install the markings until this spring.)

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As an engineer, this is exactly why.

Though I believe BTD usually uses thermoplastic rather than paint. I haven't done any work for BTD, but MassDOT uses thermoplastic, as does the city of Cambridge.

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they'll do it sometime after school gets out. In other other words, they could have waited a few weeks and done the paving after the school got out and the waiting for the painting wouldn't be as much of an issue.

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You could make an argument like that about every street. There'd always be some inconvenience about the date the city chose to repave it. And if they waited until school got out, people would still be making the same complaint, just about kids heading to the playground rather than the school.

Road work is always inconvenient, but needs to get done sometime.

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So if the street can't be repainted until the asphalt cures (not necessarily true since the city uses a special plastic paint to do this), why object to someone else doing on a DIY basis? A crosswalk by a school is a big deal. It shows kids where to walk, where they can expect to be watched for, where they can expect to be safe. It shows drivers were to look for them.

There has been more consternation directed at the parent who did this than at the city who chose to do this project during the school year, knowing the crosswalk couldn't be done immediately. And as for the Roxbury connection, this is the same school that wakes up to heroin needles in its schoolyard park every day, where last November a child was pricked by a needle during recess, where last week a person was found in the parking lot, passed out with a syringe in his hand. Any wonder that they question the city's commitment to their children's safety?

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If 311 doesn't respond, call your local city councilor. They can apply pressure to make sure it gets done. It has worked in my neighborhood with trash or problems with sidewalks.

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How about Ritchie St. they paved that 2 weeks ago.

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Per usual, we citizens who get around the city by foot, regardless of age, race or gender, are lowest on the totem pole... far behind motorists and cyclists who regularly fail to yield us who are on our feet, while they are sitting on their asses on their wheels.

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In it's 2017/18 Vision Zero update, (p12), the city claims that "We will prioritize places where people gather or receive services - schools, libraries, Boston Centers for Youth and Families, parks [....]" https://www.boston.gov/sites/default/files/document-file-02-2019/vision_...

According to the city's Roadway Resurfacing information page, "The pavement markings are restored, and sensors for the traffic signals are replaced. This occurs anywhere from 48 hours to two weeks after the new pavement is replaced." https://www.boston.gov/departments/public-works/roadway-resurfacing-boston

Clearly, as this is near a school, the work should have been done closer to the 48 hour range than the 2 week range (and I think we can all agree 2 weeks is uncharacteristically speedy for this in our real-life experiences).

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Voting closed 4

Did the Dad get a response that they would be painting a crosswalk before he went all rogue? Seriously. It appears that the black top is new, perhaps the crosswalk was going to be painted in the very near future. If it is a major problem, how about calling the school and see if they can get a crossing guard then at that spot?

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Haha, I almost died laughing. Calling the school???? That's like calling Casper the Friendly Ghost. Just wait. And wait...and wait for an answer or resolution.

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I would have used a roller and blocked it off with cones in half-steps. Or just tossed a lot of white or light sand on top of the fresh white paint.

Kind of a barely visible job.

Vigilante crosswalk painting ain't what it used to be.

Shame that the video and witness statement will be evidence to charge vandalism.

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Would a pedestrian who gets hit walking on an unofficial crosswalk sue the guy or the city?

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Neither. There's a very official stop sign right there as well.

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Voting closed 4

Who has the right of way if there's a stop sign but no (official) crosswalk?

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Legally there is still a crosswalk present at every intersection even if it's not marked. In most states, unmarked crosswalks have the same right of way rules as marked ones, but MA law is ambiguous.

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Be happy you gave a new Street and handicap ramps. Take a ride to some other major cities then see if you want to complain about these petty issues. The amount of ungrateful people in this city makes me sick.

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LOL Basic infrastructure isn't a gift out of kindness. It's a service we pay for with actual money from our own pockets. People just want what they paid for.

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You want city denizens to be grateful when basic services and infrastructure, as required by law, are done at a slow pace? Because other major cities are worse??

YOU make me sick.

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