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Citizen complaint of the day: EV tripping hazard in Jamaica Plain

Volvo getting charged via extension cord

How do you charge a Volvo XC-90? Very slowly with an extension cord.

An upset citizen files a 311 complaint about the way one Jamaica Plain resident has taken to recharging a Volvo by way of an extension cord out from the house and across the sidewalk:

Electric car charging cord strung over sidewalk.I almost tripped on it while out for my walk. Corner of Florian st and wachusett st in Jamaica Plain Very dangerous for walkers and children.

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Comments

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Year-round space savers in front of EV owners' houses will be the next step.

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You get a curb cut! And YOU get a curb cut! AND YOU get a curb cut!

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Simply step over it like every other tiny obstacle you probably encountered on your daily looking for 311 violations walk. We all know you didn't "almost trip" over it.

What does that even mean?? Isn't almost tripping not tripping at all?

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For people who use crutches or walkers, have trouble walking, are elderly or fragile, these cords are a serious hazard. It's easy to miss seeing the cord when it's dark out or rainy or the streets are covered with autumn leaves. They are also difficult for people pushing strollers or in wheelchairs. I have disabilities that sometimes cause me to have a shuffling gait - it would be very easy for me to trip over an unexpected wire across the sidewalk.

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Their overhanging hedge takes up almost half the sidewalk for about 50 feet; I would think this is a more serious infraction when it comes to accessibility, not to mention taking public property for private use.

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There should be no obstructions across sidewalks. Period. There is already enough shit made for drivers on sidewalks. Stop signs, no parking signs, meters, etc. Drivers take up way too much space. I'm glad pedestrians are protecting what little space we have.

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This is a new wrinkle in the EV process in cities, not exactly sure how we will solve it but this doesn't seem "sustainable" at scale either, particularly factoring in the safety or liability issue over the long term.

However, Cambridge seems to be going through similar issues and may offer some stopgap options.

None of these are long term solutions, but it's worth considering and debating better alternatives.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2023/08/21/business/cambridge-legalizes-ev-c...

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The solution is thinking up rules to allow homeowners to either 1) safely run wires across sidewalks or 2) allowing residents to bury wires under the sidewalk and permanently install their own public charger at the curb.

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Pedestrians walk under, power cord routed overhead. We can even sell extension cords with fake leaves on them to resemble ivy and vines. Since the power is already there, we can put fancy lights on them for nighttime bling.

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You could cut a narrow groove in the sidewalk that would allow a charging cord to fit entirely below the surface. No tripping hazard, at least if the cord is laid down correctly. The resident who wants to use it would be responsible for keeping the groove free of debris if they want to use it.

buuut we'd see more of this nonsense about "that's *my* parking spot on the public road!" so maybe not.

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Nah. Once the cord is gone now you have a hole in the sidewalk.

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It doesn't matter how deep it is as long as it isn't wide enough to be a tripping hazard.

I may be underestimating the width of a charging cord, though!

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They run the chord along one of those sidewalk grooves and cover it with electrical tape. Not a good permanent hack, but works for a month or so.

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They help in alleviating the tripping hazard. The good ones have "ramping" on either side of where the cord goes. Really good ones have longer "ramps".

https://www.amazon.com/Floor-Cord-Covers/b/ref=dp_bc_aui_C_4?ie=UTF8&nod...

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That's thinking outside the box @Plen-T-Pak

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"Resolved | No code enforcement violation found at this time" :(

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The first two were by the 311 complainer and showed a cord going to the car. In between that time and the time a city inspector/wire looker/whoever they sender, the owner obviously took the cord back inside.

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I have a plug-in hybrid and wouldn't think of putting my charger cable along the sidewalk.
Firstly, for safety concerns and secondly, for fear that some jerk would come along and cut the cable out of spite. Call it the civil war between drivers of big ol' manly pickup trucks and the do-gooder drivers of EVs.
I have a garage at my home, so have no problem. If I didn't have a garage, I would insist on at least having a driveway to run the cable out a window to my car. If some jerk finds it so appalling to come onto my property to cut my cable, that sucks, but at least I'm not causing a tripping hazard.

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Just hit your local hardware store and get an indoor/outdoor cord cover that's made for this situation. They have them that are appropriate for accessible needs, high viz, sloped appropriately, gives pedestrians adequate time to see (or feel if with a cane) and adjust to go over. The cord goes through, so it's not easily stolen.

We all have to live in this world together, it doesn't take much to do one's best to accommodate.

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That goes against a lot of gospel preached on this board.

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Those things are not meant to be permanent.

That said, the conduits are meant for thick cables. This looks like the extension cord I use with the electric snow thrower. Hardly a threat to anyone.

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This looks like the extension cord I use with the electric snow thrower. Hardly a threat to anyone.

Meaning no one can trip over it?

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n/t

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The owner either moved in there before they got the car and thus bought the car knowing they'd have a issue with charging at home. Or, bought the car before they moved in and still knew they'd have an issue with charging at home.

They could leave it charging at a public charging location. There are a couple a mile from there. Plus many more at other locations including super markets and shopping centers so they could charge while they shop.

But they want to charge at home and expect everyone else to accommodate them.

Reminds me of a few of my neighbors that let their shrubs overgrow the sidewalk (a lot), park on the sidewalk, park overhanging the sidewalk ("but my driveway is too short!" You knew that before you bought the house!), and any etcs that are out there.

And yes, I am careful not to block the sidewalk myself. And I mean that literally. When I'm doing yard work and someone walks up, I move myself aside and bring my tools with me.

/rant

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Sold vehicles be EV by 2035, right? Situations like this are not going to go away by 2035 and owners won’t have a choice

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But will have a choice in running a cord across a public sidewalk or using a charging station

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...or maybe they could sell practical electrical cars with removable charger packs that you can take into your house and charge at night.

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