Good idea/Bad location
Written by Peter Gailunas
I understand the need for alternative modes of transportation in the city. We are in an era of the green movement. People are trading in their cars and walking, biking or hoping on the T. Personally, my family went from being a two-car family to just one car. It’s takes some juggling and slight shift in priorities but my family of 5 (three of which drive) manage it perfectly fine. It was a combination decision a little bit green – but mostly out of necessity. You see, Southie is in a parking crisis. There is nowhere to park – so when a new Hubway station appeared in Southie this week it caused me to stop and say – why the hell did they put it there?
I actually think the Hubway – bike share concept is innovative and much needed service. I even appreciate the need for bike lanes in Southie (in the right areas) – for safety and for the possibility that it might just get one more car off the road. So for the record, I am not anti-bike at all.
This week a Hubway Station appeared in Perkins Square and not at all in the spot I envisioned it going. Why did they pick this spot? First and foremost this is a shit-show of an intersection (I named it in my blog the 5 Worst Intersection in Southie https://caughtinsouthie.com/feature/5-worst-intersections-southie) and potentially dangerous. I can already picture someone backing a bike off the rack onto West Broadway when a car whips around the corner. Second, it’s taking up valuable parking spots. That’s right, in Southie it always comes back to parking. It seems counterproductive to have the Hubway Station on the street when it could have just as easily been put on the sidewalk or even near the municipal parking lot on West Broadway. Businesses like the banks, and especially Shubert’s and Dunkin’ Donuts will be affected if there is nowhere to pull over to make a quick ATM stop or run in for a cup of coffee and your daily scratch ticket. We also heard through the grapevine that legendary local barber Ottavio is not the least bit happy about the Hubway station in that location. So do your best to support those businesses even if it means parking and walking a block.
Another point about this Hubway location is that now it’s going to be even more incentive for bandits to rob the banks on West Broadway when they have a perfect get-away vehicle waiting out front them out front. Who would ever suspect a guy on a Hubway bike to be a bank robber? Tip to the BPD – be on the lookout for Hubway riders wearing ski masks with a bag of loot in their hands.
Anyway, as always, stay tough and happy parking!
Photo: Hubway station near Broadway station on Dot Ave – on the sidewalk across from P&G Gillette.
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I don’t mean to be a jerk but, I am cracking up at the idea of someone trying to use a Hubway bike as a getaway vehicle after a bank robbery. I am having a really hard time invisioning a way that could possibly be a serious idea, created in the mind of a sober adult.
Well said and I couldn’t agree more! Does anyone ask the people most affected by the location of these things what their opinions or concerns are?
Parking spaces are for parking. Sidewalks are for walking. Why would it be more fair to block off half the sidewalk and inconvenience a hundred or so people throughout the day (more and more as fewer people choose to drive in the first place), and not to mention block the path for wheelchairs, rather than removing one parking space which may, at best, benefit a dozen people a day? Also, what about those bank customers who choose to arrive by bicycle? Business owners tend to significantly overestimate the number of people who arrive by car. Parking spaces are never as valuable to urban vitality as people imagine. You could get rid of half the remaining parking spaces in Southie tomorrow and property values would still keep going up. This is really just about preserving the status quo for the people who already live there (at the expense of everyone else).
Hey all, I’m the founder of Southie Bikes and I’ve already been in talks with the folks over at Hubway & Mayor Menino’s Boston Bikes about the feedback we’ve heard about the current Hubway dock location and possible alternate locations. As it stands, there are no sidewalks in the immediate Perkins Square area that are wide enough for the dock, and the space in front of the municipal parking lot is used all summer long for the Farmer’s market, so that is not an option.
Here is our proposal for relocating the dock: http://tinyurl.com/mva2pl9
In our proposal, we’d need to widen part of the sidewalk near the entry location of the public parking lot. There would be some construction costs associated with this, so to pull it off, we’d need some community support to help make the change happen. If anyone is willing to work with Southie Bikes to help improve the dock’s location please send us a message on our Facebook Page. www.facebook.com/SouthieBikes
My mother is in her 70’s. She can’t drive her bike to the doctor. I can’t lug hockey equipment or grocery shop for my family with a bike. Menino has made this city unlivable for families with children and for seniors. He can’t get out of city hall fast enough for me. If you are a young “newcomer” its great. You can drink in the bars on Broadway then just stumble home to the condo mommy and daddy purchased for you. But for anyone who actually wants to raise a family here, he is making it unlivable. And the person who posted above “Parking spaces are for…” you are an idiot. “Parking spaces are never as valable to urban vitality as people imagine”?? Are you kidding me? I don’t give a crap about your “urban vitality”. I don’t want to have to do combat every night when I come home from the grocery store, or the hockey rink, or a school meeting. Sounds to me like you are making a buck off the neighborhood. I am worried about my quality of life, not the property values. Property values are just fine in the neighborhood.The bike rack could have been put down in the municipal parking lot where it would not have impeded the flow of pedestrian or car traffic and would not have effected our local small businesses. That would have made sense – something city hall seems to be tremendously short of these days.