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Citizen complaint of the day: Feeling blue from the bright light atop the W

Blue glow from W

An annoyed citizen files a 311 complaint about the bright billboard atop the W hotel and condo building on Stuart Street:

There is an extremely bright billboard on the W that keeps the same brightness the entire day/night. It's blinding at night. All the light are off in my apartment, and I love 200 meters away. This is the light of the billboard. And it's blue. Still awaiting results of inspection requested by inspectional Dept 4 months ago.

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Comments

At least it's not a Kenny Rogers Chicken sign.

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Voting closed 62

Kenny?

Kenny?!?!

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some kind of curtain or blinds? a 302 foot fence?

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This person lives in the middle of a city and expects their apartment to be pitch black? Stuart st isnt the woods in Maine guy.

Have you heard of blinds, shades, curtains? Maybe a sleep mask?

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Voting closed 31

This person lives in the middle of a city and expects their apartment to be pitch black?

I didn't see anything in the complaint that suggested that anyone expected pitch blackness.

Is it your position that there should be absolutely no limit on the amount of light you can project into your neighbor's residence?

Let's start with an extreme case: Someone shines a light into your apartment that's bright enough to ignite loose paper on your coffee table. If you agree that that ought to be illegal, then you and the 311 complainant both agree that there ought to be limits on how much light you can shine into someone else's house, you just (possibly) disagree on what brightness level that limit ought to be.

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Voting closed 60

Future so bright, gotta buy spring roller shades.

Really. Have light darkening window treatments not occurred to them?

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Was the light there before? If not, she's got a beef.

A business in my neighborhood did this -- added a "security light" that shines extremely bright light in my bedroom. Not reasonable.

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I don't really agree with the "I was here first" argument.

There should be standards for light pollution. If the W billboard doesn't meet them, they need to fix the problem. It shouldn't matter how long the affected resident lived there.

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Exhibit A - first world problems.

Also, you live in a.......,wait for it....CITY - and in the theatre district no less. Suck it up, whiner.

Dear 311, I live 150 yards from the commuter rail and I can (gasp) hear trains passing by - how rude, I demand that you eliminate anything I don't like even though I choose to live in a densely populated CITY.

My gawd, people love to complain. Sad

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Thanks, but Rozzie is not a "city" in the sense rest of the world uses it.

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It's as much a city as any other neighborhood in a city. You ever been to Queens?

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I don't want to argue about definitions.

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Roslindale is part of Boston. Boston is a City. Are we missing something? Please enlighten us on your worldly city views.

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Maybe you shouldn't have started.

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Shit, some part of Queens look like Newton and Belmont - see Jamaica Estates and Forest Hills - not to mention other Cities like Austin - its all strip malls and cul de sacs. I guess they are not cities either - oh well.

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Why Manhattan is referred to as 'The City', and Queens is not.

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Right, because there aren't any rooftops, advertisements, or even electricity in developing countries. Oh how I yearn for the primitive calmness of Jakarta or Nairobi.

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the point is that people complaining about light coming into their $3500 per-month apartment from a posh hotel nearby is definitely a first world problem.

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Get curtains. Not trying to be rude, cities have lot of lights at all hours.

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On the one hand, cities have lots of lights. On the other hand, it would be illegal harassment to mount a WWII anti-aircraft type searchlight on the roof and point it directly into a neighbor's apartment. This sign is somewhere in between those two cases, and therefore it is entirely reasonable to ask that that it be resolved through some sort of policymaking / adjudication process.

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Voting closed 53

Is that photo showing that much light despite having opaque blinds, just from a few thin cracks at the edges? If so, I suppose they have a point.

If they don't have opaque blinds they don't really have a right to complain. Also, they're giving any neighbors constant free shows. Ultimately, windows are stupid and useless now that we have HVAC, and probably should just be eliminated.

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Have you ever spent time in a windowless room? It really sucks.

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Looks like that's the light from the sign spilling around the edges of their blinds/curtains.

If opaque curtains/vertical blinds/whatever cover past the window glass, say 3-6" in each direction, and they still get that much intrusive light from the sign - yes, it's a legit complaint.

A person shouldn't have to cover whatever wall their window is in with floor-to-ceiling blackout drapes like some hotel room to block out excessive light.

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What is the right place to complain to? ISD, 311, city council, zoning board, licensing board, small claims court?

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They are allegedly the experts in getting citizen complaints to the proper place.

My gut, though, is ISD. The question would be if the sign is code compliant.

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In my experience, 311 are the experts in saying "Case closed, noted" or "The car was gone when we got there".

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Why would you think that 311 would be able to handle anything other than an abandoned car? If a car is creating an impediment (say, blocking a hydrant or driveway) call 911. Putting something like a resident parking violation into 311 will log a problem, meaning perhaps BTD could patrol more.

Conversely, a 311 will get ISD out there. I had a issue that was in the jurisdiction of ISD a while back. A polite e-mail to the agency got nothing. A 311 ticket got an ISD guy out explaining the situation (which is odd, since an e-mail would have done the trick.)

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The fuck is there to "inspect" though?

BREAKING NEWS: Billboards are bright.

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There is very little light pollution in Nebraska

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Even the Citgo sign (love it or hate it) turns off late at night -- seems reasonable to expect a sign like this to be off or low-brightness during the middle of the night

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I recommend the Manta Sleep Mask. I got it for Christmas and it's a game changer (or at least I think so).

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I believe Boston is the 4th most densely populated city in the US. That is a lot of light coming in so I think the billboard should be scaled down a bit. But at the same time, if you live in the heart of NYC, you are dealing with similar issues. People should be prepared for lots of noise and light pollution if you live in the midst of such a densely populated city.

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My personal light pollution peeve is the new marquee on the Emerson Colonial Theater. When it's showing a white background, the LEDs blast that side of the Common with an otherworldly glare.

I'm all for lighted theater signs and stuff, but there are limits.

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