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Citizen complaint of the day: Barry the Barrier wishes to have a word

Guardrail along Fort Avenue

As sharp-tongued as he is sharp-edged?

A guardrail along Fort Avenue in Roxbury that has achieved sentience files a 311 complaint about the shape he's in:

This is Barry. I should be covered on both sides to post on the sidewalk side of the street are very sharp

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Comments

Intern: There's a sharp curve and idiot drivers are going to take it too fast. They could go off the road and hurt someone.

Boss: Good point. Write up a work order to put a guard rail on the sidewalk.

Intern: But won't that make the sidewalk too narrow? And it's going to be a pain to walk around the guard rail posts.

Boss: Look, Kid, I gave you a solution to the car problem. Go argue with someone else.

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DECADES of a similar situation near the Dr. Paul Dudley White Bike Path near River street with hundreds of times the number of pedestrians.

However, that was M.D.C and DCR.

MOUNT SOME PRESSURE TREATED PLANKING?

IT WOULD NARROW THE SIDEWALK.

AND COST A LOT.

DON'T WALK INTO SHARP EDGES!

CLOSED.

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Don't worry. Pro Soccer coming to White Stadium and it's bringing the gentry. It will get fixed. Just not now. We're union.

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The point of the guardrail is to protect the sidewalk side. Adding a guardrail on the sidewalk will only narrow the sidewalk.

There’s a guardrail en route to my son’s school. Somehow we’ve been walking to and from daily without any issue,

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Better to have the guard rail the not. But it's still annoying to have these knee high, sharp rigid posts, particularly in the dark or if mobility is not trivial.

The quick fix is to put a 3/4” thick board on the posts on the sidewalk so you have something smooth to brush against that doesn't take up much room. The more expensive fix is to redesign the road, widen the sidewalk, etc.

The best fix is to make people stop hitting things with their cars, period.

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Take pool noodles slit lengthwise or that foam pipe insulation for waterline in your basement (Lowes/HD) and put on the sharp edges. Colorful pool noodles would be great! Cheap AND effective. FWIW, I'm guessing the guardrail is a standard design specified by some regs (MUTCD?) and BTD doesn't have discretion.

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The foam used in pool noodles and pipe insulation is not very UV or weather resistant. It lasts maybe a year, at best. Then it disintegrates. Wood does a lot better.

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You can buy stuff that covers sharp edges but of course it seems to be marketed towards protecting cars from awkward small parking designs.

https://www.globalindustrial.com/p/magnetic-corner-bumper-guard-b-plus-e...

https://www.amazon.com/Edge-Trim-Black-large-Fits-Length/dp/B00KGAKG2G/r...

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I have to admit I erred earlier. The post are there to prevent vehicles from going onto the sidewalk, through the fence, and down 20 feet to Centre Street below.

And again, I’ve gone by similar guardrails constantly for decade yet never has an issue with the posts.

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and you don't use a wheel chair.

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If someone is walking next to them on the sidewalk side and trips, they are going to land on the pointy end and get bady hurt.

10,000 people can walk by and not trip but it's a lousy day for that one unlucky person. That's why even construction sites are required to cover sharp protrusions where people can accidentally fall on them.

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What the citizen posted is basically what guardrail posts are like. They aren't closed on both sides.

Again I will say, this is a silly complaint. The only possible issue is that the second post could probably be grinded (ground?) down a bit.

If someone is worried about the "hazard" they can walk along the fence side of the sidewalk. Of course, I've wrecked a few pairs of shoes doing exactly that. Conversely, the city could just close the sidewalk off and have people walk on the other side of the street. You see where this is headed.

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Yes, that's a normal guard rail but guard rails aren't normally on sidewalks where people are going to be walking next to the back of them.

The city puts a board against the pedestrian side of guard rails in other places. It's a simple fix. Why is that an unreasonable ask?

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Again I will say, this is a silly complaint.

No it's not. Guardrails don't belong on sidewalks.

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Here is what I walk by on a daily basis. If it's good enough for Roslindale, it's good enough for Roxbury.

A few years back, I commented about how I don't like the "new" playground at Fallon Field in my neighborhood. Namely, I criticized the decision to have concrete blocks, which, if a running child slipped by them, could result in a nasty wound. I was roundly criticized for my viewpoint, as kids need to learn to deal with risk and should not be coddled. Guardrails are much safer for people than concrete blocks are for 2 year olds.

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You can even see helpful holes in the steel that would allow them to be bolted into place.

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Until someone gets hurt and files a lawsuit against the city. I get what you mean but even MrZip's pool noodle idea is the right spirit of the remedy here. I don't think you need an elaborate gaurd rail to cover the I-beams but some sort of suitably thick rubber coating or something similar would probably do the trick. I view it similarly to rebar caps in terms of function and protection.

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Somehow we’ve been walking to and from daily without any issue,

The plural of "anecdote" is not "data."

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It doesn't take a hard hit against these sharp metal edges to put you in a world of pain -learned from experience. Most of these railings are reasonably well protected by some planking on the path/sidewalk side -like along Storrow Drive- but in some locations they are a not. One that comes to mind is on Quincy St in Dorchester where there is some unprotected railing (sidewalk side) at the bottom of a hill. Quite dangerous for someone on a wheelchair, visually impaired or a kid on a scooter.

This is what happen when you leave street design to people who only drive and never use their legs to get anywhere.

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