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No doubt there's a good reason for a BTD worker to park in a bus stop

Just because I can't think of one doesn't mean there isn't one. So why would a Boston Transportation Department worker block a Brighton Center bus stop and force a guy with a cane into the street to board a 57 bus?

jerk

Oh, of course there's a good reason! As the person who took the photo explains:

The BTD truck driver was parking to buy scratch tickets and ignored the man with the cane that was waiting for the bus. He threw the ticket out the window into the back of his truck afterwards.

Here's his license plate, should anybody at BTD wish to inquire:

jerk
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Once again, I hope the individual who took the photo did so after first assisting the disabled person, or at least checking to see if they wanted assistance. As good citizens, helping others should be our first priority- making sure that surly or inconsiderate city workers get fired and their kids get fewer Christmas presents this year, etc., should be our second priority.
Crummy, unthinking behavior by the BTD guy, of course.

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Affirmative. Good answer.

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It will surely not get double deleted, rihgt?

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[email protected]

Four more years!

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The city will probably sue the photographer and Uhub for taking and publishing pictures of their property and personnel without written consent.

How DARE we peasants ask civil servants to OBEY THE LAWS THEY THEMSELVES ARE TASKED WITH ENFORCING.

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A few years ago I was coming down Washington street in Roslindale - a bus stopped in the middle of the street for no apparent reason. The car in front of me eventually went around the bus and so did I. We pulled up to the light on the other side of the bus and lo and behold there was a cop in a T stop (that we couldn't see from our angle). The cop pulled both of us over for crossing a double yellow line - I got off after a short delay - I think because I had a Boston license - the other guy was not so lucky. Must have been the end of the month with quotas coming due! (I know - cops don't have quotas...blah blah blah!)

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Bus stops will always, ALWAYS be victims to double parking as long as we expect buses to pull off the road and into the parking area to access them. The only solution is to extend the sidewalk out towards the road (like is done for pedestrians at intersections) so that the bus doesnt have to pull over anywhere, it just stops.

As a bonus, the bus doesnt lose time as happens when they do pull aside and cars wont let them back into the road.

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Well ridiculous capital investment in street design, not to mention generally impeding the flow of traffic, is one way to solve the problem.

The better way would be for the laws to change so that buses have the right of way when pulling back into traffic: all other traffic would be obliged to yield.

"Enforcement?", you say. "Never happen in Boston," you say.

Perhaps. But if we actually cared about mass transit, we could change civic behavior so that people would not park in bus stops and so that motorists would yield to transit buses.

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Cars are obliged to stop for the E line when it unloads on the street. Doesnt always happen. Cars are obliged to stop for a school bus, even if theyre coming from the opposite direction and its a 4 lane road. Doesnt happen. Instead of creating a law that will never be enforced, we need to change the way the buses operate. Are sidewalk extensions expensive? Yes, thats why changes should happen when the street is getting repaved anyway.

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J, yours is a defeatist attitude and just plain wrong. If what you say is true then the hope for wide-spread bicycle commuting is a fool's hope; and, motorists will continue to drive with feckless disregard for the safety of their two-wheeled companions on the road.

Civic behavior on the streets of Boston has changed. And, we can continue to change it. Enforcement helps. If police forces, especially the MBTA Transit police, made it a greater priority.

People now use their turn signals; they didn't used to use them—ever. It used to be that a car using turn signals was instantly seen to be a dangerous lunatic from out of town who urgently needed to be flipped off or cut off, probably both.

Stop signs are now respected at least with a rolling-stop. In years gone by they were merely advisory, rather like a yield sign where you didn't actually have to yield. My evidence for this is that Boston, amazingly, has four-way stops, now. In the '70s you would have been laughed out of town for suggesting they would ever work.

Motorists entering rotaries generally yield to the traffic in the rotary. Remember the rotaries on Route 2 coming into Cambridge? If you had velocity and the volume of the commute on your side, you could blow right into a rotary, never mind who was there first. Now, they pretty much work the way the law dictates, not like they used to.

Parking? Jeez Louise! Do you remember the old hydrant parking folk-rule? One could park on one side of a hydrant—right up to the hydrant—but not on both sides. The first car parked next to the hydrant wouldn't get a ticket, but they both might, if the second car completely blocked access. The other examples of changes in parking habits are legion.

My last example is a work in progress: Crosswalks. We didn't used to have crosswalks. The paint cost too much money, or something. Now, crosswalks are freaking every where. In Jamaica Plain, the Longwood Medical Area, they are actually being enforced. And, motorist behavior is changing.

When you say

The only solution is to extend the sidewalk out towards the road (like is done for pedestrians at intersections) so that the bus doesnt have to pull over anywhere, it just stops.

you propose completely cocking up automotive traffic to benefit bus riders.

As much as I loathe the way car traffic blights our city, your solution is no solution at all.

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You make a good point that behavior has changed, but the key has always been enforcement.

NYC recently started installing curb extensions for the reasons I listed. And while it may inconvenience a car for the 8 seconds the bus is stopped, thats not a problem. 50 people in the bus, 1 person in the car. Why should the bus have to pull aside when it's transporting more people?

The new silver line bus lanes on essex streets should be active by the end of this month. Will they be respected? I hope so.

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J, I can get down with curb extension and the like on Washington, South End/Roxbury, Blue Hill Avenue, south of Warren, Commonwealth Avenue, etc. These thoroughfares have got the lanes necessary for necking out the sidewalk to make it easier for buses to collect their passengers.

But, the hesitancy to eliminate enough parking to make it possible for a bus to swiftly and surely swing into to the curb—matching curb height to boarding height—and then back out into traffic, is to bow to the automobile lobby.

Let's restrict automobile traffic by reducing destinations (parking places) and by enhancing the ability of buses to serve those destinations, not by reducing overall throughput by blocking lanes on already narrow roads.

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"reduce destinations for automobile traffic" is to bow to the transit lobby and will only serve to encourage violations such as short-term parking in bus stops and bike lanes, and further handicap placard abuse.

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I went farther than I needed to argue against J's expressed desire to facilitate bus transit by completely blocking a travel lane every time a bus stops to pick up or discharge passengers. In Boston streets are generally comprised, at most, of one travel lane in each direction and one parking lane on each side.

Rather than plug the street with a bus's loading and unloading, even the most vociferous automobile hound should join with this transit hound in wanting to enable bus transit to get out of the travel lane while dwelling at a bus stop.

The sensible solution is to design bus stops so that 40-foot buses can enter and leave them without the tail-end of the bus fully or half blocking the travel lane. If the MBTA wants bus rapid transit, then they need to go further so that the bus stops accommodate 60-foot buses. (I consider the appalling 39 bus to be failed bus rapid transit, even thought it ain't silver in color.)

Three things are necessary for this.

1. Parking spaces need to be eliminated so the bus stops are big enough.
2. MBTA and municipal police need to vigorously ticket illegal parkers. (The current campaign is a media campaign and a laughable joke.)
3. Bus drivers need to be trained to actually work the steering wheel to fully enter and exit the bus stop.

Finally, it would be icing on the cake if the law was changed to give transit vehicles the right-of-way over other traffic when moving from a transit stop into the traffic lane.

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Tow -- promptly.

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Earlier today, I mentioned the new essex street bus lanes. I saw them today (Ill post pictures on archboston soon) and I was very impressed that not a single car was in it. I guess most drivers do respect bus areas.

As for your point that extended the curb will block the travel lane for cars.... whats the difference from the current situation? Many times bus drivers will not pull over, either because they cant or because they dont want to. Bringing the curb out to them means the wheelchair ramp would work.

But yes, the MBTA needs to make sure bus stops are big enough, as they almost always are not.

Take the brand new comm ave by BU. While the striping on the pavement by Granby street provides plenty of room for a bus... someone went ahead and installed a parking meter reducing the space in half! Down by the shaws at packards corner, theres actually a parking meter directly in front of a bus stop.

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traffic lanes in order to board passengers, and that bus stops should be designed to properly accommodate the vehicles (i.e. to let them pull completely off the street).

I intereperted your earlier statement to be a general commentary on parking issues, and not specifically related to removing parking spaces to provide adequate bus stops.

For the record, I am a transit user and advocate. I am also a traffic engineer by profession. And yes, there are no simple solutions here.

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Yes, you are absolutely correct. A couple of months of vigorous ticketing, followed by vigorous towing.

We apparently love the revenue produced by towing entire neighborhoods of cars (one side at a time, of course), but we can't be arsed to tow vehicles parked in No Stopping zones.

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I just couldn't help it.. I had to report this one...

<*****@gmail.com>
to [email protected]
cc [email protected]
date Sun, Oct 4, 2009 at 6:52 PM
subject BTD abuse of parking space assigned to bus... photographed
mailed-by *****

Hi,

Can someone please look into this?

A BTD worker parks in a bus stop to buy scratch tickets while a disabled person struggles to board the bus?

http://www.universalhub.com/node/28060

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this problem is easily solvable. bring back the A line!!

http://world.nycsubway.org/perl/show?13685

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The date on this photo says 11/1976. That's 7 years after the Watertown trolley service ended. This is most likely a fantrip for trolley buffs, though bringing back the line would be great.

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FIRST OF ALL THAT TRUCK IS NOT A OFFICERS TRUCK....THATS THE TRUCK THAT FIXES THE STREETLIGHT AND OTHER ELECTRICAL WORK....AND WHY DIDN'T YOU TAKE A PICTURE OF HIM DOING WHAT YOU SAY HE WAS DOING....OOOOO LET ME GUESS "YOU MADE THAT S*** UP"..CAUSE YOU KNOW HE WAS WORKING YOUR JUST MAD CAUSE I GAVE YOU A TICKET....LOl..

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