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City overhaul of Blue Hill Avenue could mean end of street parking in front of churches

The Dorchester Reporter reports on one of the potential effects of the proposal to add bus and bike lanes in the center of the road, says a September meeting has been scheduled to try to figure out a solution.


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I'd love to believe that more efficient bus routing means that more people would take the bus to church. Barring that, the churches could very likely run shuttles from other lots for lower-mobility parishioners as many of them have small busses or vans for youth or outreach programs.

I am very glad to read that most people in the linked article are for the bus lanes and already committed to finding a way to make this work. That's much more positive than the last time a new bus lane plan was floated.

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Shuttle bus to a church on blue hill ave?U don’t go to church on blue hill ave. Obvi
Whose idea were these bus lanes anyway?
How many residents of blue hill ave will get paid to participate in the planning.
How many will work on this project????

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I am a fan of the bus lane; I think it’s the right answer. Let’s solve these real problems that exist and not let them be something to stop the project.

Far too often thats the real goal of the NIMBY playbook, they don't want to solve real issues, they just want to stop the projects.

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“We’re talking about two hours on Sunday, really,” said state Rep. Russell Holmes. “That’s 2 hours out of 168 hours in a week. … They are an important 2 hours, but we can’t set public policy based on those 2 hours.”

The same guy that you quoted, but the point is that he is both responding to a constituent concern while also saying that the identified problem should not cause us to loose focus on the bigger picture. Personally, I think parking in the bus lane should be allowed during the two hour window. How many buses run on a Sunday schedule? For them to have a two hour window in which they have to leave the bus lane for two blocks doesn't seem overly problematic to the overall transit win.

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Would be to let people double park in front of churches on Sundays but make it a bit more official, and let traffic bypass those parked cars in the bus lane at that time. Basically have the churches put out some cones, with the explicit blessing of the city, which would actually make it safer than today when all of the sudden there are just stopped cars in the right lane of BHA. The city could even put marks in the pavement where the cones go and put up signage which says “through traffic use bus lane 8-12 Sunday, with lane markings where there is a transition back to there travel lane. Way better than having to build a big parking lot to be used once per week or not having good bus infrastructure.

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He's responding to the real problems of constituents to find a workable solution and not just catering to the vocal opposition that far too often dominate these public discussions.

Apologies for not quoting more of the article, I read that and am actually onboard with the proposal! (even though its not my neighborhood to speak on, its more speaking on the public process)

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I think that people forget that an entire universe exists between "we're doing this regardless of what those affected by it (whatever the "it" is) think" and "we can't do this because of this one, slight, sometimes thing."

The T, City, elected officials, and abutters can find a solution to this. Holmes is taking the right approach. Sunday mornings are probably not the prime period for needing the bus lanes. 4PM on a Tuesday, on the other hand, would be a key time.

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They should get to break the law, hog public property and slow down buses because...they read from an old book and sing silly songs? Come on. Churches don't even pay taxes so who cares what they think.

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They are also important cultural and social centers. Much of the greatest art and architecture in European (and for what it's worth, global) civilization was created for a religious purpose.

And in particular, in the Black community, churches are a key part of the social fabric. Don't forget that MLK was a member of the clergy.

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Why do churches feel that they have a right to free parking provided by the city? Street parking costs tax payer money and utilizes public space, I see no good reason why churches should get special privileges especially at the expense of street safety and public transit improvements.

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Churches, businesses, private citizens all love socialism for their cars!

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Won't folks just double-park wherever they want? Isn't that how Bostonians manage inconveniences like this?

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I saw the 15% proposal for this, they are planning on angled parking, wont be as bad as this hype article makes it seem

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Look at the current low-altitude images of Morning Star on Google Maps right now anyways. It must have been taken on a Sunday afternoon.

https://goo.gl/maps/WTEhaQs5xfkZAT517

There's cars double-parked for 2 blocks in both directions completely blocking the bike lane that's already there. WTF makes anyone think any other "plan" they come up with is going to prevent these assholes from doing the same thing once the parking lane is gone...they'll just park 2-deep on the bike lane and the traffic lane until the paint is gone.

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If only a hero with a can of spray paint went by on a sunday and sent a message to these bums.

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Why can't they just do the old "except Sundays" routine they do for lots of other parking restrictions? That would take care of the Sunday issue at least. They have people parking on Storrow Drive all the time it seems and that's a major major roadway. It seems like the times the church needs more parking happens to correspond with the times you don't need a bus lane to have the expedited trip.

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Because the bus lanes will be in the center, and there will be just a single general lane in some places. No way to allow parking one day a week with such a configuration.

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Over common folks and life long residents.

This is the Wu administration.

If people actually vote next election, no chance she get reelected.

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Wu won more votes than any candidate in a generation.

But don’t let facts get in the way of The Narrative.

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Cycling is becoming more and more popular. Religion is quickly dying off. Churches are closing all over the place. Mayor Wu is on the right side of history.

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In doing that you're becoming a person who is ignoring the will of the common folks and life long residents of that community.

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“What is this plan going to do to the members of the churches that park on Blue Hill Avenue every Sunday?”

They could bike or take the bus?

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What is your primary mode of transportation? Do you travel to Blue Hill Ave a lot?

The bus works for some trips, but it's a really bad idea for a lot of others. Even with the marginal improvements the bus lane would provide.

Biking is great if you're physically up for it, the distance isn't too large, and the streets aren't too dangerous. The first issue is a deal-breaker for most elderly people.

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In their Sunday's best? I highly doubt it, churches would be better off subsidizing taxi/ride-shares those mornings. Those church hats would be an issue packed onto the buses, not happening.

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If you can sit in a car/taxi/rideshare, you can sit in a bus.

If your hat is that extravagant, maybe it's time for hat boxes to come back in style.

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There was plenty of room for parking when Blue Hill Ave had a trolley line. Why can't they rebuild it like this, except with bus lanes instead of tracks?

https://www.universalhub.com/2020/city-proposes-something-trolley-line-d...
http://www.bostonstreetcars.com/dorchesters-blue-hill-avenue.html
https://www.flickr.com/photos/54483996@N08/5200390887

Today they couldn't have passengers wait to board by standing in the street. So they could build boarding areas at bus stops that displace parking in the immediate area, while leaving the majority of the parking intact.

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I thought double parking from Columbia Road and then down Blue Hill Ave was actually mandatory?

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Time to do that at Holy Name. I love that cars can't see anyone trying to cross while church is happening. Not dangerous for pedestrians at all.

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I wish the neighbors and community members in the South End would be as willing to work to find creative solutions to the church parking problem. There's already a group opposing any kind of protected bike lanes on Columbus Ave because they are dead-set on preserving the cobbled median that is used for church parking in some locations. This is also why the protected bike lanes west of Mass Ave transition to striped lanes at Camden St rather than continuing.

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