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Citizen complaint of the day: Out of control pickleballers in Jamaica Plain

A fed-up citizen files a 311 complaint about the city courts on South Street in Jamaica Plain:

The playground at 52 South Street in Jamaica Plain is supposed to be a shared tennis/pickle ball and basketball space. Instead, pickle ballers have completely taken over the area, including bringing their own nets and putting them in spaces that are designated for basketball players. The two basketball courts are frequently unusable because of this. Prior to this the basketball courts were often used by young people from the nearby South Street housing development. A sign is needed!

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Comments

And where do I let my dog poop now?

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Voting closed 35

What about bicyclists? Why are there no bike lanes? And where is the cyclorama? Hmmm puhlease explain! I thought you were more progressive than this Jamaica Plain.

How are we going to combat these evil four wheel monsters if we haven’t the opportunity to compete or practice bicycling?

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Voting closed 16

I've only used it a few times for stuff like potholes or missing signs, seems to be a good system. In this case, the complaint (which seem valid) was marked closed but also says this complainant should call the parks dept.

Shouldn't the 311 staffer call the Parks Dept, saving a step and increasing the likelihood that the issue will be resolved? (I am assuming this to be a valid complaint, that the pickleballers can't just take over a multi-use court with equipment when they are not using it.)

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Voting closed 68

The app is supposed to be a way to contact city departments, right? But most of the complaints are closed, saying to call the city department via phone. If people wished to contact the city via phone, they would do that. People are using the app because they've reasonably assumed that an app for contacting city departments via text any time day or night would, you know, accomplish that.

And doesn't it save the city time and money if the constituent types out the issue and includes a photo, so the city staffer doesn't have to enter a complaint dictated via phone call? Do the city department staffers want people calling them? And do they want 311 deleting requests that come in complete with photos and details?

I have screenshots of ones where they close it and say to "contact 311." It's such a ridiculous piece of shit.

Adam, I think it would be an interesting piece of journalism for you to speak with various city departments regarding the intended purpose, perceived purpose, policies, actual practice, etc. regarding 311.

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Voting closed 76

It used to seem more useful but now has that unfortunate vibe of a department where people get mad that you are creating work for them by, you know, asking for them to do their job.

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Voting closed 32

The 311 app is good for things that are easily categorized and have a fairly straightforward solution: i.e there's a pothole on my street, my trash didn't get picked up, the swings at the park are broken, etc. It's not necessarily great for things that need an urgent response because staffers from the various departments aren't looking at the cases in their queues at off hours. The call center does have the ability to contact department staffers who might be on call outside of normal business hours. The app also isn't great for weird requests like this one.

This case was almost certainly closed by a Parks Department worker, not a 311 call center employee. And it's not really something that's easily resolved via app, since it's a thorny question about policies regarding shared spaces at parks. It got classified as a broken park equipment case and that's not what this is, so the person processing the queue can't really do much about it.

And if there aren't any contact details for the person submitting the case (you can submit cases without providing your info) then there really isn't a way to follow up without saying "call us."

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Voting closed 20

311 (and the city responsiveness behind it) went downhill with Mayor Walsh, and is much worse yet under Mayor Wu. I wasn't a huge Menino fan, but damn, his focus on the urban mechanic stuff was much better than his successors.

Last week, one of my neighbors reported their brand new city-issued compost bin wasn't being emptied, and the 311 reply was to call the compost vendor. Like.... shouldn't the 311 team do that? And the sheer number of old complaints that nobody bothers to address or close. The current admin doesn't seem to care much. It's sad because the system itself is pretty good.

I've only used it a few times for stuff like potholes or missing signs, seems to be a good system. In this case, the complaint (which seem valid) was marked closed but also says this complainant should call the parks dept.

Shouldn't the 311 staffer call the Parks Dept, saving a step and increasing the likelihood that the issue will be resolved? (I am assuming this to be a valid complaint, that the pickleballers can't just take over a multi-use court with equipment when they are not using it.)

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Voting closed 33

...and it was purposefully designed to not allow for any form of messaging back, providing additional info, updating a case status, nothing.

From the very first day, workers would just close things whenever they pleased, often with outright lies. The whole thing felt like something the soviets would come up with.

It took me something like four requests to get the Cassidy Park water fountain turned on one summer. DPW workers kept closing the ticket with "fountain turned on."

Four times.

On the fourth I finally got some action by immediately calling the hotline and telling them that if they closed it again for bullshit reasons I was going to the papers with a story about how the city was so incompetent it couldn't even handle turning a fucking water valve and were lying.

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Voting closed 24

Yes, the issue is forwarded to the appropriate department. I’ve put tickets in during both the Menino and Walsh administrations, and it usually works unless it doesn’t (an abandoned car in Walsh’s time and one of Menino’s minions responding to an unshoveled sidewalk over a commuter rail bridge telling me to cross on the other, shoveled side)

Parks Department tends to be responsive when they can. How to handle renegade pickleball players, a legitimate gripe, might be harder.

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Voting closed 8

It's not like they're out there playing pickleball 24/7 -- if anything before pickleball took off the courts were underused. Probably need more courts in the area, but there's nothing egregious about letting the pickleballers take over the courts for a few hours on the weekends.

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Voting closed 12

That's a decision for the Parks Department. It's up to them to create rules for the space and how people are supposed to reserve and share it.

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Voting closed 28

On public tennis courts, matches should be limited to one hour to give others a chance to play, these pickle ballers need to learn manners

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Voting closed 49

It's not like they're out there playing pickleball 24/7

Obviously they're not. They're probably playing in the hours when working people can play (daylight hours outside of work), which are also when people want to play basketball.

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Voting closed 22

Pickleball sucks. As a regular JP tennis player, I can confirm that I put up with a lot of bull(DOG)shit and pickeballers. Yesterday, I was hitting my rally shots at a completely wrong line that was taped for pickleball. The horror! While I'm pleased that pickleball can get seniors and youngins off the couch and screens, and onto a fun competitive court, it has gotten seriously ridiculous. Signs of proper etiquette should be posted. It is a known fact that you have ONE hour of play time when others are waiting. If no one is waiting, play till your heart's content. When I see folks stalking my court, I always let them know how long I've been there and who has clearly overstayed their time.

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Voting closed 45

those courts by English need to be resurfaced ASAP. Or at least weed-whacked.

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Yes, it's well-known that you get an hour, and you don't leave other shit on the courts.

But what is with this city and not posting signs about etiquette stuff? I've been doing some bike traveling this summer and noticing that other cities have ample signage on parks and playgrounds about what can be used how and by whom, as well as clear signage on bike paths and mixed-use paths indicating to stay right, pass on left, and indicating if bike/ped are separated paths.

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Voting closed 26

To the detriment of other sports. Your complaint is that you want to use pickle ball courts for another sport, because that's what you want. Compare. Contrast.

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Pickleball courts are usually created by painting lines onto existing basketball and tennis courts, sort of like how soccer and football use the same fields with different lines often.

It's good to get more use out of the space, but needs to be done equitably with the same rules for all (1 hr.), etc...

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Voting closed 12

Pickleball allows for up to 8 players per tennis court. (Since the tennis court is split in half.) Tennis is up to 4 players. If players are from both sets then it seems to be me that pickle ball players are making better use of these services.

If the tennis player is so distraught they can join the private club that uses the private tennis courts at the Loring-Greenough House. While this is a non-profit organization they do have a tennis court that they exclusively rent to a private organization. But that means that being accepted.

What about the activities that actually shorten the life of the courts? Skaters? The pounding on the courts from skating both shortens the courts' lifespan, generate unnecessary noise and ironically are actually prohibited.

The complaint about pickle ball players bringing their own nets is absurd because there are not pickle ball nets already on the court (paid for by tax dollars). So how else would they play? As for playing on the basketball courts that is an equally absurd complaint because the basketball courts are designed to also be used as tennis courts. If the complainer is unhappy with pickle ball on these tennis/basketball courts then they must be unhappy about tennis players on these tennis/basketball courts.

Add the noise. Pickle ball players do not add boomboxes to the overall noise Basketball players (skin colors of all) often play boomboxes. So how about giving consideration to neighbors who do not like the music?

The fact that these courts are used as so frequently is a reason for celebration, not complaint.

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Voting closed 14

Can I buy you some edibles to chill da fuck out?

Boomboxes? The horror! How can you and Tipper Gore enjoy a proper cocktail with a boom box in the neighborhood?

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Voting closed 45

So to be clear, the court is neighborhood resource for anyone in the city but mostly for people in JP but the people who live in ear shot of the park should have special privilege about how it's used?

Is anyone at all from JP not an howling elitist? (not the Forest Hills people, they seem fine)

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Pickle ball players do not add boomboxes to the overall noise

Uh, well, no.

The courts near my house must have a different tradition. Its like listening to radio in high school - 80s favorites, baybee!

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Voting closed 14

If the tennis player is so distraught they can join the private club that uses the private tennis courts at the Loring-Greenough House.

If it weren't for public courts, there would be no Williams sisters.

You really need to get down off your high horse.

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Voting closed 13

pickleball can have up to 16 players per court with doubles games which is not uncommon.

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Two p-ball courts per tennis court.

And they usually play doubles, not much singles, like platform tennis (paddle tennis)

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on Leslie Knope's watch.

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Voting closed 35

Well then, I guess there's a high demand for pickleball facilities!

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Voting closed 6

Man, I've seen a lot of articles lately about pickleball just taking over - Globe, NYTimes, etc.

It's a tough call. You hate to see a tennis court sitting there unused while there's a large queue of p-ballers waiting. Then again, people tend to take over a resource and not give it up. Even if the Parks dept posts rules, that doesn't mean squat - people will just ignore them.

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Voting closed 15

I suppose I could Google it but it seems like everywhere people are talking about pickleball and I figured I'd show my ignorance among the people who are already aware of my ignorance.

I'm tired of hearing about pickleball.

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Voting closed 14

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Voting closed 10

Watching seniors at The Villages in FL fawn over Trump, knee braces and headbands included.

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