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Might be cheaper to relocate a yacht club than rebuilding the Morrissey Boulevard drawbridge that serves it
By adamg on Wed, 02/22/2023 - 11:37am
Bill Walczak makes the case that the state should pay to relocate the Dorchester Yacht Club to move to the Dorchester Bay side of the venerable Bedes Bridge rather than spend all the money it will take to put in a new drawbridge just so people with enough disposable income to buy and maintain a boat can continue to inconvenience motorists.
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People here will know more
People here will know more about the law but suffice to say in most cases the boats were there first, albeit a long time ago. We can't just, fairly, cut off their access.
It's a clever idea to move them.
Makes perfect sense unless there is some deep seated historic reason not to move it.
Sure you can
You just have to buy out the marina.
If the state buys out the marina, then when the state (and or the Army Corps or Coast Guard) asks if any users object to getting rid of the draw span, the state can not object.
(I think this is how it would actually work if the state had the cojones to buy out the marina, but that probably won't happen because people with boats are Important People.)
It’s a yacht club
not a Marina.
The article doesn't provide
The article doesn't provide an estimate for the cost of moving the yacht club, nor how much money would be saved by building a fixed span rather than a drawbridge.
While we're proposing radical ideas, how about this: Morrissey Boulevard has been redundant since the Expressway was built. How about we remove the bridge and don't replace it? Or replace it with a bike/pedestrian bridge? Demolishing the boulevard from the Neponset to Columbia Road would remove the massive highway wall cutting off the waterfront. Small connector roads can provide access to neighboring properties.
I like the idea, but where could you move it to?
There's pretty much no land on the east side of Morrissey Boulevard. Would you have to dump fill there to make room for a new yacht club? Maybe the state should just condemn the existing yacht club and buy everyone there a membership in the Savin Hill club which is already on the east side of Morrissey.
The Dorchester Yacht Club is
The Dorchester Yacht Club is in a protected bay with slips (docks you can walk to) for the boats. The Savin Hill YC is located on more open water without slips. You have to take a launch ride out to the mooring at SHYC. It is a big upgrade to have your boat on a slip vs on a mooring.
What about Victory Park?
DCR could absorb the DYC property into Malibu Beach and "give" Victory Park to the Yacht Club.
That most yacht clubs are blue collar places that make boat ownership affordable. Most clubs are dirt cheap and rely on their members to volunteer to keep things affordable. The disposable income needed is actually not that high. I used to belong to one of the ones in that area and it was $400/year plus ~ 40 hours of helping out on days off. That allowed me to afford a boat making $17/hour.
Source for your claim
Do you have a source for the claim that most yacht clubs are blue collar because frankly the source of that number appears to be anal.
Buying a boat is basically throwing money away. On top of an even faster rate of depreciation than cars, you have to pay to store them at a marina in good weather, pay to store them out of water and winterize them in the winter, pay for maintenance, etc etc. being able to spend all that money for something you can only use for a few months a year isn’t really the domain of blue collar workers.
This is also a yacht club not a working marina it’s not like there are blue collar fisherman using this dock. This is also not serving as a viable transportation mode for anyone or a spot to save money on housing by getting a house boat either.
The way you are talking about class reminds me of Trump and his boat parades, where actual class position is replaced by a vague sense of being “hard working” in a masculine industry (no matter how many people you have below you to actually do the hard work). The simple fact is boat owners are richer and have more disposable income than non-boat owners.
No No No
Stop ruining the UHub narrative that all these old guys have money and are just laughing while they throw dollar bills out the while window smoking big cigars.
If I’m thinking of the right bridge…
…. not only does the raising of it inconvenience motorist, it inconveniences pedestrians and cyclists too.
Not to mention impedes ambulances, police and firemen.
How could any drawbridge
How could any drawbridge allow bikes and pedestrians to cross while it's raised?
I have a counterproposal: let
I have a counterproposal: let's have the state pay for neither moving the yacht club, nor building a new bridge. If they can afford yachts, they can afford to pay their own way. Hands off my tax money.
someone needs to explain why
someone needs to explain why the club is entitled to the easement
It could be that...
...the Public Trust Doctrine, around since Roman times, is meant to preserve access to the ocean for ordinary people and is enshrined in Massachusetts' law, the yacht club has been there since 1870 and the bridge was built in 1927, cutting them off from the ocean. The Google Earth view shows a lot of smaller boats, the kind working class families might have, not so many actual "yachts", those small boats need the protection from the open ocean. The bridge needs to be replaced and a fixed span would be cheaper for sure. If there was a way to replace the existing drawbridge with a drawbridge that would also help provide a barrier from rising sea-levels and more violent storms, maybe not such a bad investment. Surely The Netherlands, Venice or someone else has a good solution here that allows DYC to stay put, traffic to flow and helps keep the ocean out.
This is great.
Thank you for bringing reason and intelligence to the discussion.
This isn't Vietnam or the
This isn't Vietnam or the Netherlands. A boat here, large or small, isn't a practical means of transport. It's a luxury item. Unless you're a commercial fisher or such, but how many commercial fishing boats did you see on Google Earth?
Like it or not, the law
Like it or not, the law guarantees access to navigable waterways. It didn't change one day to exclude waterways that were only used for luxury purposes.
but shouldn't the yacht club
but shouldn't the yacht club pay an assessment? It seems that the bridge would be solely for the use of the club and they charge rent for the slips.
I do think that we need to invest in infrastructure that prevents harm from sea level rise, but I am not sure how a drawbridge would help that.
In a word, no
The boaters have a right to access.
It would be like asking a private railroad built in the 1860s to build a crossing for a road that was laid in the 1890s. Whoever came second has the requirement to pay for the passage.
Private railroads (freight)
Private railroads (freight) pay for their infrastructure. That's my point. Shouldn't the yacht club pay for its infrastructure?
Who owns old railway bridges?
Section 116(1) of the Transport Act 1968 (TrA 1968) says that the highway carried by the bridge is transferred, not the bridge itself. Note however, that TrA 1968, s 116(6) says that the bridge itself remains the property of the owner (ie the railway company).Nov 15, 2022
And government pays for its infrastructure
Which is why Metropolitan Avenue abruptly stops at the Boston and Providence Railroad tracks (the Northeast Corridor) then restarts on the other side, because the government didn’t want to pay for a bridge over the tracks (which was part of the original plan.)
My point is that common laws dictates that whoever crosses a preexisting way has the onus to maintain free access for whoever was there first, which is why there is a drawbridge on Morrissey Blvd. If the state wants a drawbridge free rebuild, the yacht club will need to be taken care of.
The irony of ...
A bridge issue impacting a yacht club vs a bridge impacting a sizable homeless population a few miles south.... is remarkable
A commenter in a previous
A commenter in a previous UHub story already had this idea.
Lessons from the late Mike Davis
We should take a lesson from Mike Davis here. Public resources should not be wasted to protect luxury goods that rich people decided to place in vulnerable areas. He proposed letting Malibu burn, maybe we should let the Yacht club sink.