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Old 03-04-2014, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Baja Virginia
2,798 posts, read 2,248,717 times
Reputation: 3960
Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
I always get a kick out of posts from people who are either surprised by the driving in Boston or say that Boston's a "bad place" because the driving is so tough. If a city is a bad place because driving is difficult, traffic is bad, and drivers are aggressive, then London, New York, Rome, Tokyo, San Francisco, Madrid, Milan, Paris, etc. are all just simply awful cities.
One big difference: In a lot of those cities, they actually put up signs to tell you where you are, and where you're going. So even if you're not from that city, you can find your way around. Boston doesn't do that. Boston doesn't tell you the name of the street you're on, ever, and in a lot of places, you're lucky to get a street sign with just a town name on it; no street name, no route number, no cardinal direction. Don't know whether to go towards Newton or Watertown to get to Brighton? Tough luck, buddy. Go back where you came from.

Quote:
If you come to Boston (or any of the cities I just listed) and expect to have little/no trouble driving, then you're the problem.
No, the horrible condition of the roads and the horrible signage are the problem. Paris is one of the worst-traffic cities in the world, but I've driven through it, without getting lost, and without speaking any more French than "Ouest" and "Est".

Quote:
Thankfully, Boston's a dense, walkable city with an extensive transit system to reduce/ eliminate the need to drive for most.
Yeah, as long as you don't expect to be able to walk anywhere in the winter, when half the sidewalks aren't shoveled and you have to climb over a three-foot snowdrift to cross the street. Or as long as you don't mind playing "chicken" with cars and MBTA buses who don't feel like yielding the right-of-way to you in a crosswalk. Or as long as your trolley or subway train doesn't break down and strand you for twenty minutes between stations. Or as long as you don't mind waiting twenty minutes for your bus or trolley or subway train to even arrive on weekends (especially outdoors in the cold). Or you don't want to get back to your home or hotel after the bars close. Etc., etc., etc.
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Old 03-04-2014, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Boston
7,336 posts, read 15,302,120 times
Reputation: 8622
You're right about Paris, and I would say the same thing applies to most planned cities (Paris is largely planned). Because they are laid out in a cohesive manner, they're easier to navigate even if the traffic is so bad you can't move. Other cities on that list (Rome, Milan, and especially London) are much worse than Boston. Most of Boston (with exceptions, Back Bay, much of South Boston, and the South End are planned) is a mess and we make it worse with terrible signage (though I've noticed some improvement downtown over the last 5 years).

I know the roads are bad here, but again, it's not a secret. It's not an excuse either, but Boston is reputed to have terrible roads. If you come to Boston and are surprised by how difficult it is to drive here, then yes... you are (at the very least, part of) the problem. Does that mean Boston can't improve on the condition and signage of the roads? Absolutely not. However, Boston is (and never has been) a good city for driving and there are plenty of alternatives (walking, public transit, taxi/Uber/lyft services, etch) to alleviate that problem. Many transplants to the city, seem to be unwilling to adapt to the conditions here. They get frustrated that they can't replicate the driving conditions (or many other aspects) of where they came from. That's where the attacks become unfair. Again, there are plenty of steps we could take to improve the condition of the roads, and the signage, but Boston will never be a great place to drive and those who move here should not expect it to.

As far as your complaints about walking in winter go, they could apply to any city where winter happens. I have nightmares about time I've spent in snowy, wintery Chicago (where it's colder, windier, and when it snows, more difficult to walk). New York may not be as cold or as snowy, but when it does snow, it's infinitely worse to walk as there are more people, more cars, and fewer places to move the snow. When I lived in Washington DC, the city became crippled when we had 4 inches on the ground. Literally crippled. Transit stopped, cars couldn't move and the sidewalks were a skating rink since very few people owned shovels and "treating" the roads/sidewalks is a foreign concept.

I'm with you on transit running late (although services like Uber/Lyft really eliminate the hassle of getting home late at night). Thankfully, the T is going to start running later on weekends which should make big strides in alleviating some of that trouble.
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Old 03-04-2014, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Baja Virginia
2,798 posts, read 2,248,717 times
Reputation: 3960
Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
You're right about Paris, and I would say the same thing applies to most planned cities (Paris is largely planned). Because they are laid out in a cohesive manner, they're easier to navigate even if the traffic is so bad you can't move. Other cities on that list (Rome, Milan, and especially London) are much worse than Boston. Most of Boston (with exceptions, Back Bay, much of South Boston, and the South End are planned) is a mess and we make it worse with terrible signage (though I've noticed some improvement downtown over the last 5 years).
Well, in addition to Paris, I drove through Amsterdam, some of the rest of Holland, much of France (south to Bordeaux, west to the German border) and much of Germany (French border to Berlin, back to Amsterdam). All of those cities -- and the smaller cities and towns I visited -- had much better street signage than Boston. Having a planned street system is not a requirement for marking it properly. These cities are hundreds of years older than Boston, so simply saying "Boston is known to have bad roads" isn't an excuse, it's a cop-out. There are dozens of things that Boston could do better to make itself more hospitable to visitors, like making sure all intersections are marked in both directions, making sure that informational signs follow long-established road engineering standards, etc., etc., but clearly nobody in city government, the state Highway Department or the DCR gives a flying ****.

Quote:
New York may not be as cold or as snowy, but when it does snow, it's infinitely worse to walk as there are more people, more cars, and fewer places to move the snow.
This is simply not true, even allowing for hyperbole. I've walked all over Midtown and lower Manhattan after it snows and the sidewalks and crosswalks are shoveled. End of story. There's far too much pedestrian traffic for it to be otherwise. That doesn't happen in Boston.

Quote:
When I lived in Washington DC, the city became crippled when we had 4 inches on the ground.
Apples & Oranges. Same thing happens here in Raleigh but they don't get as much snow down here, either. There are huge swathes of Boston (usually state or city-controlled land like the bridges over the Pike in Allston) that are completely unwalkable for weeks or months at a time during a heavy-snow winter.
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Old 03-04-2014, 01:37 PM
 
Location: New London
1,671 posts, read 1,737,714 times
Reputation: 1399
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldCountry80 View Post
Oh wonderful.. let me guess you're form MA but want to push your immigration agenda down the Southern peoples throats too with you living in NC, escaping the North but coming there to live for warmer weather but not willing to conform to that areas norms.. just like back in the old days when you fools wanted integration. I side with the real south.. Just remember that. All people like you do is stir up the pot. I have nothing else to say to you and someday you will get yours for that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by scratchie View Post
OK, I guess I see where you're coming from. Ooh! Scary!!

Just FYI, the part of the south where I live now is a lot more tolerant and diverse than much of Eastern Massachusetts, as you exemplify so perfectly. Keep on fighting that battle!
3 (kind of obvious) things that show that the poster is not from Eastern MA:

1) No northerner would say something like "I side with the true south".

2) No part of MA (to my knowledge) is referred to as "gold country".

3) The poster him/herself said that they do not live in MA. (lucky for those of us who do)

Also, I have family in Charlotte, and have a hard time believing that any part of NC is more diverse than eastern MA. (Tolerance is harder to quantify, though).

Quote:
Originally Posted by scratchie View Post
One big difference: In a lot of those cities, they actually put up signs to tell you where you are, and where you're going. So even if you're not from that city, you can find your way around. Boston doesn't do that. Boston doesn't tell you the name of the street you're on, ever, and in a lot of places, you're lucky to get a street sign with just a town name on it; no street name, no route number, no cardinal direction. Don't know whether to go towards Newton or Watertown to get to Brighton? Tough luck, buddy. Go back where you came from.
What part of Boston doesn't have street signs??

Last edited by iAMtheVVALRUS; 03-04-2014 at 01:45 PM..
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Old 03-04-2014, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Boston
1,106 posts, read 852,777 times
Reputation: 1171
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldCountry80 View Post
The scary part is that when Boston completes its gentrification, then all the mostly white middle class towns will be over run. Billerica will start to face nonwhite immigration and they are starting now even with that prison they plan to build that George Simolaris protested. Towns like Billerica and Tewksbury are going to take the brunt of it I feel and along with the Casinos will come a whole new crowd with it. I see where things are going now.. well and clear. Boston runs the state so how Boston goes, will dictate outer areas but seems when people get pushed out of Boston, they go north, not so much to places like Randolph, Stoughton or Holliston. More Billerica/Tewk.. I wonder why that's been but its weird how everyone goes north. The poor white inner city people in the past, now the nonwhites are headed north too.
African Americans (and to a lesser extent Asians) are in very large numbers to the south, Randolph and Stoughton in particular. Also southie gentrified because it is connected via bridge and grid to downtown, doesnt really need the T. I dont think Ill ever understand how Charlestown gentrified epecially because Eastie didnt.
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Old 03-04-2014, 02:20 PM
 
Location: Baja Virginia
2,798 posts, read 2,248,717 times
Reputation: 3960
Quote:
Originally Posted by iAMtheVVALRUS View Post




3 (kind of obvious) things that show that the poster is not from Eastern MA:
I thought he said something about "moving back to Boston" at one point. "I went back to MA not long ago and I got repulsed going near Boston." The other town names he drops make it sound like he's certainly familiar with the area.

Quote:
Also, I have family in Charlotte, and have a hard time believing that any part of NC is more diverse than eastern MA. (Tolerance is harder to quantify, though).
I didn't say all of eastern MA, but there are plenty of towns that are almost as white as they were when I was a kid:

http://www.city-data.com/city/Ipswic...achusetts.html
Ipswich: 94% white.

http://www.city-data.com/city/George...achusetts.html
Georgetown: 98% white

http://www.city-data.com/city/Rowley-Massachusetts.html
Rowley: 97% white

http://www.city-data.com/city/Newbur...achusetts.html
Newburyport: 94% white

http://www.city-data.com/city/Swamps...achusetts.html
Swampscott: 93% white


Some of the towns much closer to Boston have started to "let" Asians in, but they sure don't seem too hospitable to black people:

http://www.city-data.com/city/Arling...achusetts.html
Arlington: 84% white. 2% black.

http://www.city-data.com/city/Lexing...achusetts.html
Lexington: 74% white, 1.1% black

Quote:
What part of Boston doesn't have street signs??
Pretty much all of it? Is this a trick question? Not that there aren't any street signs whatsoever, but very few that would help someone from out-of-town find their way around. They don't even put up "merging traffic" or "keep right" signs at complex intersections like the ones near Alewife T station (Alewife Brook Parkway & Rt 2) or near BBN (Fresh Pond Parkway, Eliot Bridge and Greenough Parkway). And you can drive for miles on many main streets without seeing a single sign to tell you the name of the street you're on.
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Old 03-04-2014, 04:19 PM
 
3,785 posts, read 2,794,286 times
Reputation: 5066
Quote:
Originally Posted by scratchie View Post
I thought he said something about "moving back to Boston" at one point. "I went back to MA not long ago and I got repulsed going near Boston." The other town names he drops make it sound like he's certainly familiar with the area.
Good catch! I too noticed that said poster mentioned some towns that people outside New England would not know about. I thought I saw Tewksbury, Randolph, Holliston and Billerica mentioned by him. People who never lived in or near MA would not know of those places.
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Old 03-04-2014, 04:26 PM
 
Location: London, UK
3,384 posts, read 3,773,189 times
Reputation: 2521
Quote:
Originally Posted by scratchie View Post
Some of the towns much closer to Boston have started to "let" Asians in, but they sure don't seem too hospitable to black people:

http://www.city-data.com/city/Arling...achusetts.html
Arlington: 84% white. 2% black.

http://www.city-data.com/city/Lexing...achusetts.html
Lexington: 74% white, 1.1% black
Just because the black population is small, does not mean that there is some huge resistance to letting black folks in. When my wife and I were house hunting, we extensively searched in Arlington and Lexington along with Winchester. We actually put in an offer on a home in Lexington and lost out on a bidding war. Before we did, I made sure to spend some time on the street and speak to whomever I could about the area. No one went out of their way to keep us out, I actually felt the opposite as people were downright encouraging. We ended up buying in Cambridge and I am happy for it, but the notion that they are not open to us that can afford them (Towns) is ridiculous.

Believe it or not, alot of us black folks make a choice to live where we do. I am not saying spacial racism does not exist, but it is not in anyway unique or excessive in Boston.
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Old 03-04-2014, 04:34 PM
 
3,785 posts, read 2,794,286 times
Reputation: 5066
Quote:
Originally Posted by scratchie View Post
Well, in addition to Paris, I drove through Amsterdam, some of the rest of Holland, much of France (south to Bordeaux, west to the German border) and much of Germany (French border to Berlin, back to Amsterdam). All of those cities -- and the smaller cities and towns I visited -- had much better street signage than Boston. Having a planned street system is not a requirement for marking it properly. These cities are hundreds of years older than Boston, so simply saying "Boston is known to have bad roads" isn't an excuse, it's a cop-out. There are dozens of things that Boston could do better to make itself more hospitable to visitors, like making sure all intersections are marked in both directions, making sure that informational signs follow long-established road engineering standards, etc., etc., but clearly nobody in city government, the state Highway Department or the DCR gives a flying ****.
Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a WINNAH!

When I lived in Massachusetts I constantly heard other people claim that MA has better services than everywhere else. My experience says that is just not true. Massachusetts definitely provides more services that the average state but it really does not provide BETTER services.

For what I use, NH is a much better deal. Most of the services provided by government in MA were either not applicable to me or they were executed horrendously. Now providing the signage you allude to above is the first step to becoming a (buzzword alert) "world class city" as Tom Menino would often boast. In order to be a player on the global stage, you need to make it easier for visitors to take part in what the city has to offer. Boston is a long way from that level.
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Old 03-04-2014, 04:39 PM
 
3,785 posts, read 2,794,286 times
Reputation: 5066
Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardsyzzurphands View Post
Just because the black population is small, does not mean that there is some huge resistance to letting black folks in. When my wife and I were house hunting, we extensively searched in Arlington and Lexington along with Winchester. We actually put in an offer on a home in Lexington and lost out on a bidding war. Before we did, I made sure to spend some time on the street and speak to whomever I could about the area. No one went out of their way to keep us out, I actually felt the opposite as people were downright encouraging. We ended up buying in Cambridge and I am happy for it, but the notion that they are not open to us that can afford them (Towns) is ridiculous.

Believe it or not, alot of us black folks make a choice to live where we do. I am not saying spacial racism does not exist, but it is not in anyway unique or excessive in Boston.
I am glad you had a positive experience in your interaction with people in the Arlington and Lexington area. I wholeheartedly believe what you describe to be true. However, I also believe that there is still racism in parts of Massachusetts. I think you would still find racist tendencies in some of the lower socioeconomic towns of the Merrimack Valley, especially the Lowell suburbs.
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