Hey, there! Log in / Register

Illuminating study finds less than half of Beacon Hill's gas lamps are fully functioning

The Beacon Hill Times reports that a survey of neighborhood gas lamps by Northeastern students on behalf of the Beacon Hill Civic Association found that 127 of the neighborhood's 1,028 gas lamps don't work at all and that another 413 are damaged.

Neighborhoods: 
Free tagging: 

Ad:

Comments

LED streetlights are more efficient and greener.

up
Voting closed 12

What's next, wanting ramps on corners with yellow marking to warn people with disabilities that you are at a corner? Sure thing Stalin.

Just remember - When anyone from the Back Bay, MIT, the Seaport, the Bulfinch Triangle, or most of the South End says we need to do something about storm surges, tell them to dig up and restore the wetlands that used to be where their house is located.

If anyone from BU complains about the Weymouth gas transfer station (which they have, a lot), tell them have BU turn off perhaps about 70% of their lights so we don't have to use as much natural gas and that Comm. Ave doesn't need to be lit up like a minor league ballpark from dusk until dawn.

If anyone from Beacon Hill complains about carbon emissions, tell them their cuteness in their broken streetlamps is killing the atmosphere.

up
Voting closed 25

Wellesley Park off of ,Mellville Ave in Dorchester still has some gas lights as well I think, they look nice but .....

up
Voting closed 8

The gas lights in Wellesley park are beautiful, but are also constantly in need of fixing. There are numerous complaints just in the last 2 months alone. ( I stopped counting at 15) .

LED lights are bright, energy efficient, and the old gas lights can look great with a LED source of light inside the globe. It would however require funds and underground wiring to convert them.

up
Voting closed 1

"If you don't stop everyone else from doing something that you have no control over, you don't get to complain about anything"

That's definitely not a long-winded way of saying "I don't want to hear people talk about climate change so I'll just pretend they're all hypocrites".

up
Voting closed 10

My house isn't on filled wetlands. My house has lumber from the 1700's in it. My house has a high efficiency boiler. My house has nearly all LED or CFC lights. Solar panels are next.

Go you know what up a rope guy named after a massive diesel emitting failure. It fits you.

up
Voting closed 3

Are you in charge of the lumber or lights or power source at the office where you work? How about the streetlights installed on your street? Because I can assure you, random students or faculty at BU don't get to decide where the power there comes from and when the lights are turned on or off on Comm Ave, and people who live in Beacon Hill don't get individual decisions about what kind of streetlights are installed. To claim that they don't get to voice concerns because of other decisions that they don't have control over is ludicrous and unfair.

up
Voting closed 13

Are you out of your mind? It is the most over regulated part of the city. Did you miss the part where they didn't want yellow markers put down back in 2013 to warn disabled people that they were at a street corner?

They fought to keep a mailbox on Mount Vernon Street because it looked cute and old.

Try putting in a non-sanctioned replacement window anywhere on Beacon Hill. Go ahead. Try it.

Students and faculties fought for divestment from South Africa. They have fought for divestment from carbon companies.

People can change things.

You are just saying these lunatic things because you are either dumb or just stubborn. I think a bit of both.

up
Voting closed 9

I love that mailbox! I'm glad people are looking out for it.

I've made trips to Beacon Hill just to use it. It's the last of its kind in the entire Boston area as far as I know -- the tiny kind for letters mounted on a pole. https://goo.gl/maps/45n81ijQxTsESps68

As far as the yellow pads, plenty of neighborhoods use other colors and materials besides yellow plastic, such as grey concrete or granite. And the plastic ones often end up cracked with missing pieces. So I see no reason why something so visually inappropriate needed to be installed in Beacon Hill, when there are good alternatives.

up
Voting closed 5

The neighborhood wanted ADA-compliant ramps with tactile markers.

The neighborhood didn't want the shitty plastic ones that break within a year or so, that the City was installing, and instead argued for durable metal, such as those used in historic districts in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and elsewhere.

The neighborhood offered to pay for the difference in cost.

Somebody didn't want that, for reasons nobody every understood. Best guess was that somebody's cousin's buddy already had the contract to put in the ramps.

And somebody's PR advisors decided that the way to fight was to falsely portray the neighborhood as hating the handicapped.

Which, it appears from your post, you fell for, hook, line, and sinker.

It's the same shitty PR tactic that the T used at Copley Square. When the T was planning a new accessible Green Line entrance, neighbors pointed out that the work was likely to crack the foundation of a historic church and interfere with a tangle of steam pipes, and that the entrance could just as easily be situated about 50 feet further down the street. The T's PR apparatus went wild with the "neighborhood snobs hate the handicapped" messaging, and went ahead with the original location ... and ended up paying a fortune to repair the church foundation and to deal with the steam pipes.

up
Voting closed 7

I'm a big fan of more efficient and green lighting and appliances. However, I also love seeing living history, and while I see your point, it'd make me feel sad if ever all the gas street lamps in Beacon Hill, and the few I know of in Dorchester (Wellesley Park, Rundel Park) were completely replaced by comparable LEDs.

It is certainly possible that to prevent catastrophic climate change, we will need to eliminate all cosmetic gas usage like this. But I hope there is a little room for historic preservation usages like these.

up
Voting closed 12

Does that include the WWII-era PCC streetcars running on the Mattapan Line? Those are certainly living history -- and in fact, they're actually more energy-efficient than modern trolleys (at the expense of rider experience, e.g. wheelchair lifts, air conditioning, etc).

up
Voting closed 13

The Mattapan trolleys have air conditioning.

Adding wheelchair lifts or mini-high platforms would not make them less energy efficient.

up
Voting closed 4

Even incandescent lighting is more efficient than gas, but that's not why cities around the world maintain gas lighting on a small scale.

up
Voting closed 9

Gas lamps are part of the charm of old Boston , you take away the gas light from these lamps, you will have not so happy tourist.

up
Voting closed 8

So are horse drawn buggies instead of taxis and Ubers.

So are free market hotels and restaurants unencumbered by the Board of Health, and cooking with only (or nearly!) local, seasonal ingredients.

So too is burning coal for heat.

So too is legal and blatant racism, sexism, ableism, xenophobia, and religious discrimination.

So too are doors that open the wrong way, single exits to spaces, and fire-unsafe construction with a single bucket for the brigade rather than a sprinkler system.

.....

While the total emissions of gas lamps on Beacon Hill is small in comparison to lighting state-wide, so too would the number of people sickened in restaurants, people injured in fires, etc. Nevertheless, we must insist that Beacon Hill meet modern health, safety, and equity standards, including those associated with combating climate change.

up
Voting closed 5

After all...

up
Voting closed 5

Shouldn't it be "fewer" than?

up
Voting closed 7

Those lamps are a very cool Boston thing. Yes the city has plenty of things to spend their money maintaining, but if we let these lamps deteriorate, it diminishes our heritage.

(And no I don't live on Beacon Hill.)

up
Voting closed 15

Keep the old fashion lamps and put yellowish LED lightbulbs in them.

up
Voting closed 4

Over. My. Dead. Body.

up
Voting closed 6

Yeah they look cool, but they aren’t actually all that historic... most of them were put on in the 1960s. And it’s not just that they burn a lot of gas, it’s also that distribution network of a zillion little pipes leading to each lamp, leaks a lot of gas, and leaked gas is a much worse environmental actor than the carbon emissions from burned gas.

up
Voting closed 31

If the lamps were removed or refitted with bulbs, we'd still be stuck with all the leaky, unhealthy, tree-killing infrastructure, since it is everywhere under the historic neighborhoods. It would cost a fortune to remove it all, and repairing leaks is essentially playing whack-a-mole. We need a solution for that, but until we have it, let's keep the lamps; they add so much historic character and charm to the streets.

up
Voting closed 13

Can't they shut off the gas pipes specific to the lamps, but leave them in place? There's no reason to dig up a shut-off pipe.

up
Voting closed 5

There's a gas pipe that runs down the street, with lateral pipes running from it to each gas lamp and to each house that has gas service. There isn't necessarily a valve that can be turned off for each gas lamp, other than at the base of the lamp itself. Which means the lateral pipe in the street still carries gas.

up
Voting closed 3

"We need a solution for that"

Lol, no we do not. Just turn off the gas.

up
Voting closed 2

You want to turn off ALL the gas in the city?

up
Voting closed 3

and update them to LED lighting as they break.

up
Voting closed 5

This has been looked into, and is probably the long term solution. There is no wiring in place, which means that you need to dig up the street and lay wires to each lamp post. Might be feasible to do whenever a street is due for complete repaving, but that isn’t very often.

up
Voting closed 7

Can we register complaints here?

up
Voting closed 4

It is symbolic of how so much of our population has been ensnared by gaslighting.

Perhaps we should make this an official art installation?

up
Voting closed 8

So whats happening to the gas?

I recall a while back when we had a city wide power outage, I read somewhere (probably here) that the gas light system has no 'starters' and each light has to be lit. Thus, if its not lit, the gas is just spewing into the air.

Or are these fixtures just do not work and public works has capped it off.. or are these little gas wells dotting along our city with no purpose but to spew it into the atmosphere.

(Those lights are high enough, it would be so faint if you smelled it)

And if they are capped off, why haven't they been fixed or replaced with new lighting. I also recall the only reason why the lights work at all is for nostalgia and charm, as in many areas, such as my old office in Fort Point where one single gas light is the only one for blocks.. serves no purpose and has/have new LED lights nearby.

up
Voting closed 3

I'm all for historic preservation. But in this case, I say bring on the solar-powered LEDs.

It's not like there's a flickering gas flame. It's a glowing mantle, which is easy to replicate with LEDs. A good retrofit would be indistinguishable from having actual gas, assuming they can hide the solar panel, maybe by making it integral to the top of the housing.

The auto igniter devices on a few hundred lights, which allow the gas to be shut off during the day, have a nest of visible wires and a solar panel inside the glass. If people are ok with that, I'm sure they wouldn't mind an LED retrofit that you can't see.

up
Voting closed 6