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Citizen complaint of the day: If this were Beacon Hill ...

Sometimes people who file 311 complaints get frustrated when their complaints aren't handled quickly. So they'll complain again, but this time reference other neighborhoods they think is getting better treatment (in South Boston, people sometimes bring up other parts of South Boston). Some examples:

East Boston parking complaint: "Car with out-of-state plates has been parked here for over two days. This block is 2 hour parking. Please enforce parking rules and ticket. I bet if this was Beacon Hill you'd be here in 5 minutes."

Roxbury sidewalk complaint: "Sidewalks are not handicapped accessible. If someone was blind they would be able to distinguish the street from the side wall. Please come back and redo the streets. If this was a White neighborhood this would have been resolved a long time ago. We have been waiting 9 years!!!"

Dorchester playground complaint: "Broken park equipment missing pieces. Please repair. We all know this would be less likely if this were a wealthy white neighborhood."

Charlestown port-a-potty complaint: "Good Morning! I sent this same issue 9 days ago, the response was sent to DPW to remove the toilet. Guess what? It's still there AND continues to be serviced by United Rentals!! Obviously, you, the City are being charged for it, yet all the Liberals want to cut the police budget and Defund the Police, which is outrageous, while you pay for something not needed or used!! Comical!! Again, if this were on the sidewalk anywhere else, Especially on Butler St it would have been removed back in April. It's now September!"

Another East Boston parking complaint: "Two out-of-state cars have been sitting here for over a day. This block is 2 hour parking only. Please enforce parking rules. If this was Beacon Hill I'm sure someone with BTD would be here in 5 minutes. Thank you."

Charlestown trash complaint: "Trash all over the islands at Sullivan square this has been reported for At least the last 6 months it is falling on deaf ears I feel if this was any other part of the city it would have been done already unacceptable"

South Boston parking complaint: "This car has been here for over a month, no permit sticker, expired registration, but yet it still here. This is crazy .If this was parked anywhere else in Southie it would have been TOWED BY NOW. CALLED 311. 4 TIMES TO REPORT, 8 TIMES ON THIS APP. AND ITS STILL HERE. WHY????"

East Boston trash complaint: "The trash has been sitting here for almost a week. This is the second report I've seen. If this was Beacon Hill it would've been picked up in 5 minutes. Please pick-up. Thanks."

East Boston parking complaint: "There is a Ryder rental truck that's refrigerator unit has been running since 9am. Despite residents complaining to the business owner and police nothing has been done. Let's be clear...if this was Beacon Hill and NOT East Boston that this truck would have been fined and towed in 10 minutes. The fact that residents have to listen to this for 9 hours is a disgrace."

Dorchester noise complaint: "No answer on the "Party Line" and a Calling C-11 tells me this is a low priority. I guess you can rent out your "church" as a practice space now and the whole neighborhood can just go to hell with no help. I bet if this was on beacon hill hey would "find the next available car" quick right??? I guess when you live in Dot they don't give a fuckign shit."

South Boston pothole complaint: "It's unfortunate that broken streets are not repaired in this part of town. If this was on L St, it would be fixed. Can you please repair this pothole on Crowley Rogers way? It's been here for months and residents have placed bricks in it themselves."

East Boston bike-chain complaint: "This hazardous bike frame is still chained to the sign and causing a hazard for pedestrians trying to walk by it. Maybe if this was the North End -Charlestown or Southie the case would not only be closed but this hazard would be gone."

Free tagging: 



time I got out of my double-parked car to run some groceries into my apartment building, and there was a BTD officer writing me a ticket before I had made it from the driver's seat to the trunk.


Over the last four decades I've lived in the Back Bay, South End, Roxbury, JP, and Roslindale, and have spent plenty of time in the other parts of Boston. I can confidently say that bad sidewalks, arbitrary parking enforcement and missing-in-action road repair is nearly everywhere the rule, not the exception (tho tbh, the roads & sidewalks of WRox and the Back Bay are notably and annoyingly well-kept).

If anything, the worst sidewalks are in the 'tony' South End and Beacon Hill.

But like other commenters I find myself wondering if these 311 examples are in any way statistically significant. Is there a not-so-subtextual point being suggested and is it legit or just pot-stirring?

I'm pretty sure residents of every decent-sized city on the planet are inclined to trash other neighborhoods as having it better. I've certainly heard that sort of intra-urban sniping while in NYC, Philly, Chicago, SF - even Framingham and Portland ME.

To some degree, they may be right.

To another degree, it seems like a human trait to assume your struggles are the worst and everyone else has it better.

...that hate each other.

Another way of handling things is to reference "if this was happening at the corner of xxx and xxx, where the mayor lives, this would be fixed immediately.

When the street lights on my block were out for several days, and 311 kept telling me the problem had been handed over to Eversource, I said just that.

It worked. The lights were back on in less than 24 hours.

Is this an editorial?

I wonder what the people on Beacon Hill complain about and if they wonder if they are getting sub-par treatment?

(I do know a guy on Beacon Hill who was always hounding the city about a lack of street sweeping and complaining that where I live was swept more often.)

People on beacon hill have nothing to complain about because they get the services. The beacon hill complaints come from other neighborhoods. "My car was there for 10 minutes and it was towed.'

Two! correct uses of the subjunctive! Would that it were more common!

(Not really peeved. Like the merger of the nominative and accusative case pronouns "who" and "whom", the subjunctive is also changing in American English.)

Who was running who would have been a better choice to get better city services, Will?

In 2017. I would have asked the constituent who inquired about the out-of-state plates (which wasn't a thing until some guys three centuries ago said it was one) if this had immediately deprived them of reasonable parking, then I would have told them that I didn't enforce it, because I'm not in the business of harassing visitors who pay into our tax base while not using the services.

Now, if the car is there for more than three days, I'll send somebody. A day, GTFOOH. "Out of state plates" is not grounds to bitch, because the grievance would have been no more or less legitimate if the vehicle had MA plates while still lacking the relevant neighborhood parking sticker.

If this were Acorn Street it would have been fixed immediately!

This one , which looks from the photo to be a good sized length of 2x6 hanging loose off a fifth floor balcony and which represents an immediate hazard to pedestrian life safety, has been open 5 days and counting