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In a city stricken by gridlock, the hero we need

Guy directing traffic at Charles Circle

Ed Lyons reports:

During a truly epic traffic meltdown near MGH today, everything was gridlocked until some homeless guy put down his cup, walked into it, and started quite aggressively managing the traffic, unclogging the intersection. He succeeded. People were waving and thanking him.

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Comments

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Voting closed 53

Either BPDA didn't do their due diligence or someone's hand was greased. Do they not realize Speck is the same guy who proposed traffic-calming obelisk plazas in Medford & Somerville? Wu may be right about the BPDA.

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Voting closed 10

Deputize this guy to write red light tickets and give him a commission. Glad to know SOMEONE is willing to make an effort to help people get around this town.

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Voting closed 102

They actually SHOULD do more or less what you said. Directing traffic around here might, y'know, help? Guys in brightly colored jackets with walkie talkies don't have to be cops - they don't have to make cops salary, and they don't have to be a drain on law enforcement resources. People can be trained to direct traffic. It is a worthy, and dare I say, necessary endeavor. YOU DON'T NEED A GUN TO POINT CARS WHICH WAY TO GO. The gun is probably more likely to get in the way of things than anything else.

CIVILIAN FLAGGERS AND TRAFFIC ATTENDANTS IN MASSACHUSETTS, LIKE YESTERDAY

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Voting closed 121

Agreed. But the union will throw a hissy fit.

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Voting closed 36

Vote and let them whine. Its our money after all.

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Voting closed 11

The only reason Manhattan survives rush hours is they use traffic cops at major intersections. If Boston did this in areas around south station, north station, etc, it would make a huge difference. No more box blocking, running red lights, Ubers pulling over to drop off/pick up. It would make a significant difference.

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Voting closed 51

.... traffic cameras and tickets are issued to scofflaws. That would be better than expecting people to stand out in the middle of traffic and air and noise pollution to pull people over and further impede traffic.

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Voting closed 11

traffic cops work extremely well and 100% make rush hour more manageable. Traffic cameras do nothing to help traffic when people block intersections.

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Voting closed 32

The combination of traffic cops at busy intersections and traffic cams is good. One does guidance and the other provides consequences. Both are needed.

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Voting closed 14

Because it's your defense if anybody insists to you ever again that road work sites require police details.

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Voting closed 74

Situation like this could have used a cop.
And many others need one too.
I’ve seen too much reckless driving.
Glad this worked at standstill/ slow speeds but it’s not a good example of why we don’t need cop details.
Guy’s lucky he didn’t get hurt.
But kudos to him. Well done. I hope people duked him. I’m

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Voting closed 9

Could have used a cop? Was somebody acting with malicious intent, or was everybody just stuck in traffic? A uniform, yes, but why do you need a fully armed, full fledged police to do the job of directing traffic?

And furthermore, how would a police get there? They would be stuck in the same traffic. A bike unit?

I think the point stands, that it doesn't take police training or police pay to direct traffic.

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Voting closed 51

My subject line should have clued you in that I'm not a cop detail booster. Of course people can be trained to direct traffic.
The problem is we need to train drivers to obey non-cop traffic enforcement.
There's been major construction on my commute for months and people barely slow down right in front of the cops. If they weren't there I guarantee they wouldn't slow down at all. Threat of police action is what works for some of these jackasses.
Let's bring in civilian details and have the cops work unmarked details for a while to hammer violators until the point is made.
Some arrests and tons of doubled fines might work. A hi- viz vest and a flag won't do shit.

Sign me cynical anon.

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Voting closed 18

Give a civilian the power to write tickets for moving violations (blocking the box, etc). Think parking enforcement, except on the roadways. No need for a full-fledged police officer, but rather someone who can both direct traffic and cite scofflaws. Give them a body cam to catch all the action. This could be a viable workaround to the current constitutional problems of automated traffic enforcement, since there is an actual person there to serve as a witness to the infraction in court. Put them only at problem intersections and only during rush hour to keep costs down. The program would probably pay for itself.

Also, side note, if traffic is moving fast enough that the person directing traffic is in danger, then he or she probably doesn't need to be there in the first place, at least not for the purpose of keeping traffic moving.

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Voting closed 8

Cops are a visible deterrent to crazy drivers. Glad to learn the citizen volunteer was helpful and not creamed in the process.

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Voting closed 6

Wave their hands around like its a combination of kabuki and charades. Get all pissy when people don't just intuit that jazz hands where the right one is lower than the left means that only the left lane can take their left turns.

Give a trained civilian a stop/slow sign instead.

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Voting closed 7

with Eversource workers for 5 hours straight is not as easy as it looks. While staring into a hole in the pavement for most of the time. This is a job for the pros.

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Voting closed 57

Don’t forget, it might be an 8 hour minimum.

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Voting closed 4

Needs the hat, though.

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Voting closed 4

OMG!

You're right!

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Voting closed 13

another DM fan here.

TWIZZIT!!

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Voting closed 10

It was like mid 20's yesterday and this guy's on the street (IN the street actually) wearing shorts. Boston homeless FTW!

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Voting closed 26

Maybe he's coming from lacrosse practice?

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Voting closed 12

Other that some guy who calls himself Ed Lyons on social media, and says he's a Charlie Baker fan, says this guy is homeless. Neither Ed nor any of you knows that this guy is or is not homeless.

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Voting closed 26

You know, for years I’ve been saying if only we had some sort of agency responsible for enforcing traffic laws. Glad this guy took things into his own hands. Next someone get him a radar gun.

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Voting closed 5

Was busy looking at his phone and watching a hole in the ground, or he would have helped.

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Voting closed 24