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Citizen complaint of the day: Charlestown flooded with urban assault strollers

Stroller taking up good part of sidewalk in Charlestown

An annoyed citizen files a 311 complaint about the parked and locked strollers that block the sidewalks in Charlestown these days, like on Bartlett Street:

This is an issue throughout the neighborhood, but this instance was particularly bad. Someone is blocking the public sidewalk with their private property (baby stroller). It is next to a utility pole so is completely blocking passage. I was forced to go into the street to get by, which could be a danger for others.

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Comments

…. be left blocking sidewalks either. They should be in the street.

The sidewalks need to be clear. Especially for those with mobility issues. Though I suppose babies also have mobility issues.

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Voting closed 64

but parking? but cars?

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Voting closed 60

Not a problem, then they become space savers.

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One more good reason to charge (or ban) street parking.

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Voting closed 71

Trash and recycling bins in the STREET? That's a new one on me. Only if they're space savers. :-) But seriously, trash and recycling certainly do not belong on the street. If they are placed properly at the curb where they belong, and people would put their urban assault strollers where they belong, there would be plenty of room for all.

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Voting closed 60

DPW tells you to put trash / recycling bins in the street. If a car parks in front of a bin, the big robot claw can't pick them up. (I called and asked why my trash wasn't picked up one week. This was what they told me.)

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Voting closed 55

Methinks that someone either has never seen trash pickup in Boston or doesn't live in Boston. No claws on the trucks they use.

That said, if anyone is curious about what the City of Boston actually says about putting one's trash out, it's here. Curbside, which is neither sidewalk nor street.

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The recycle bins are picked up by the "big robot claw."

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Voting closed 59

Charlestown. There are no robot claws on the trucks that come through this neighborhood.

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In Charlestown at least, the recycling has been going into a trash truck lately.

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Voting closed 73

Down in Roslindale, and I've also seen this in Hyde Park, the bin men have to wheel the recycling bins out to the trucks, where they are lifted up and emptied into the back. That's very different from a robot claw. The guys don't even get out of the trucks when those are used.

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Voting closed 73

My trash can has a metal bar that works with the trash trucks and they definitely just attach it to the truck and flip it over. Similar to how the provided recycling bins work. But the sanitation people pull it to the truck and attach it.

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but the trucks in my neighborhood do have claws. If you buy a claw compliant trash can, they will use it. However, what I have witnessed in front of my own house, is the sanitation workers rolling the can to the claw, which then grabs it. Contrast that with where my parents live in California, where the claw is operated from within the truck cab, and nobody touches the cans at all, which means they need to be placed in front of the curb, and facing the correct direction. That would be difficult in most Boston neighborhoods.

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Voting closed 58

You think pedestrians have "plenty of room" in this city? Thats a laugh. Car drivers take up 90% of the space so it makes sense to put trash bins in parking spots on narrow sidewalks. People are more important than parking. And they were here first.

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Voting closed 55

…. walked down many Boston sidewalks. Some are barely 4 feet wide. Some less.

Dream on with plenty of room for all.

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Regarding mobility issues - moving things from the sidewalk into the street creates unintended consequences. In this area of Charlestown, there are multiple handicap parking spaces on each block. It’s surprising how many there are relative to other parts of the city. Since that’s the case, odds are higher that if people put trash cans or strollers in the street instead, they’d likely cause bigger problems for people with mobility issues. Also, if someone leaves a stroller in an otherwise empty parking space, he or she is practically inviting someone to vandalize their $1,000+ designer baby chariot. Unfortunately, there’s not a great solution other than individuals doing the best they can.

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Voting closed 66

there are multiple handicap parking spaces on each block. It’s surprising how many there are relative to other parts of the city.

One of the biggest scams in our state. HC Placards. Not saying there are people who need them should not have them, but several news reporters over the years have reported about this and its a problem. People just getting doctors notes or borrows one from a family member that is actually handicapped and use it for their own use.

So its not surprise that Charlestown has many many of these. (probably a hold over from the pre-gentrification days)

but what's even more surprising is the state does very little about it. If you try to call the RMV, good luck, you get sent in circles and finally get told to send in a letter (to a circular file).

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Voting closed 63

I was so impressed when I walked by that construction project every day and saw a line of pickups with HC tags parked on a residential street - I thought it was so cool that there was a contractor so willing to hire the disabled, and now I find out they might have been frauds? what next

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Voting closed 51

Thanks for the info. Not surprised that it’s a real issue. On one of those Charlestown streets I mentioned, a third of the block is already taken up by handicap spots. The blocks before and after have them, too, but not as high a concentration. A former judge has one of the spots right in front of his house and he practically skips from his front door to his car. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt in that respect, but it’s easy to see how people could use friends in high places to get the designation.

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Voting closed 57

So its not surprise that Charlestown has many many of these. (probably a hold over from the pre-gentrification days)

So...you think that people in Charlestown have a lot of HC placards...and someone (city, state, whatever) said "hey, lotta placards in this area, we should rip up all the curbs and add more handicap ramps"?

That is not how it works.

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Voting closed 61

Um, I have a disabled tag and was given a warning because i had it beyond the expiration date. However..

- original tag had been misplaced the day before and I had filed for a replacement.
- incident happened in the parking lot at Wegmans in Westwood. The cop was obviously bored.

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Voting closed 72

No, bins go street adjacent, on the curb.

In the photo, the bin next to the utility pole slightly blocks the path, but it wouldn't if it were placed RIGHT on the curb.

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Voting closed 70

As someone who walks down this stretch of Bartlett Street every day, dodging dog crap on the sidewalk is a much bigger deal than walking around a stroller. That one is parked there every day. There are others around the corner on Sullivan Street. Better, more effective options than submitting a 311 complaint that will undoubtedly go unanswered include: walking on the other side of the street or knocking on the door and asking the person not to leave the stroller there.

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Voting closed 64

What are people in wheelchairs supposed to do?

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When I was in one, I just went around. Charlestown is a pretty treacherous place for people with mobility issues - narrow sidewalks, stuff sometimes left out, etc. Even if you successfully navigate Bartlett Street, you still have to contend with every other street in the neighborhood. It would be great if people didn’t block the sidewalks at all, but that’s just not reality, so unfortunately, if your mobility is compromised, you have to be a bit more creative in navigating Charlestown. Same as any urban area. The one thing that won’t happen is someone actually doing anything about that 311 report other than closing it.

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Voting closed 52

I have always heard that a bear encountered in the woods is unlikely to be dangerous unless it has cubs, in which case it is transformed into a savage monster. These urban ursines are clearly with young, and approaching them could be extremely hazardous. I would leave it to the bear-catchers.

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Voting closed 64

Walking into the street to get around a stroller may not be a big deal to you but to people with mobility issues or other people pushing strollers it’s not as simple as hopping the curb. Dog poop is also an issue but the sidewalks are treacherous enough for people who use assistive devices (walkers, canes, wheelchairs etc) without people leaving strollers on the sidewalk.

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Voting closed 55

knocking on the door and asking the person not to leave the stroller there.
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In the real world, I invite the commenter or anyone else to try this and see what happens. Lol

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Voting closed 70

I saw her today. She looks like a nice and reasonable person. If I see her tomorrow, I’ll mention that at least one person in Charlestown thinks it’s a big enough issue to warrant a 311 report.

Being neighborly usually works a lot better than just complaining about things on the internet. Maybe you can’t do that in all parts of Charlestown or Boston, but it’s not a problem in this area. I’ve knocked on neighbors’ doors and they’ve knocked on mine. Never an issue, particularly if you know how to deal with people the right way.

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Voting closed 58

knocking on the door and asking the person not to leave the stroller there.

What could you possibly tell the person that they don't already know? That their stroller is blocking the sidewalk? That blocking the sidewalk inconveniences their neighbors? That blocking the sidewalk particularly inconveniences their neighbors who use wheelchairs? That ignoring the needs of others and thinking only of yourself isn't nice? They already know all of these things.

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Voting closed 70

I have no problem dodging the occasional
Stroller. It means people are having families which is a good thing.

I’ll take strollers over dog poop and nip bottles

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I’ll take strollers over dog poop and nip bottles

Dumb choice, believing that these are the only choices.

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A funny revenge idea popped in my devious mind on reading about this self-centered parents; stroller tire slashing.

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This looks like a double stroller so I guess the family felt a little overwhelmed. But it looks like a single family so it is hard to believe they don't have room inside. Or in their car. When I had a 5th floor walk up studio, I left a lot of stuff in my car when I was too tired to get it up the stairs.

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I actually saw the woman who owns that stroller this morning and thought she might be amused to hear that she’s a 311 / UHub celebrity. A lot of those houses are multi-unit, so there’s less space than you might think, but still enough to stow a stroller, especially such an expensive one. This particular stroller isn’t usually left outside, so if the person who submitted the 311 report wanted to cite a better example, he or she should have picked one of several others on that block that treat the sidewalk as permanent parking spots for their strollers. Still, having a bit of empathy would be a better solution, even if that means some inconvenience once a week on trash day.

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Voting closed 67

Start using trash/recycling containers and these strollers interchangeably. Do you really think mommy will continue to park a stroller on the sidewalk when it routinely gets filled with trash and 1/2 empty unwashed take out containers.

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Voting closed 69

There's roughly 40 feet between the buildings on Bartlett Street. But, yeah, it's that three-foot-wide stroller that's the problem.

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Voting closed 61

There are no driveways on the even side of the street.

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Why do people leave strollers out on the sidewalk at all? Outside of the pedestrian risks, aren't people worried that they will be taken. Its been a hot minute since I bought a stroller, but I do recall them being pretty expensive for a nice one like the one as in the picture.

Also, rats N bugs N things crawl all over that night. Do you want your baby to be droolin on something dirty rats have been walking all over all night?

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Charlestown is now heavily gentrified and this 311 complaint is rich peoples problems!

I wonder which Boston neighborhood will complete gentrification next ?

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All neighborhoods in Boston are getting gentrified

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Step 2: Take video of rats climbing all over the stroller (but don't show the bread crumbs).

Step 3: Upload video, causing a panic about rats and strollers, so that people are less likely to leave their stroller outdoors.

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Voting closed 58

Most strollers contain a delicious rat breakfast of spilled cheerios, goldfish, and various beverages spilled on the fabric. We never left ours out because it would end up like the one our neighbors had - ravaged by ravening raccoons!

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Voting closed 63

And I saw a head pop up in the darkness.

I thought, "My God, someone left their baby in the stroller!"

Nope. Not a baby's head. Just a rat settling into it's new digs.

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Voting closed 72

I've always wondered about the people who do this -- what happens when it rains? I am many years removed from my stroller toting days, but there is no way I would have ever left one outside for an extended period of time. I was also a fan of compact, folding strollers, both for the sake of storage, but also because they were much easier to deal with on the bus or at airports. I don't really understand the need for these monstrosities.

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Voting closed 67

Have them towed.

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Voting closed 64

And you thought the basketball hoops in West Roxbury were a problem.

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Voting closed 69