Open discussion thread: Ask questions, share opinions

by beth on October 31, 2019

Post image for Open discussion thread: Ask questions, share opinions

Above: This photo from the Pumpkin Stroll earlier this month seems perfect for sharing on Halloween afternoon. (contributed by Christine Narcisse)

It’s a good time for another open thread.

What’s on your mind this week, Southborough?

For those of you new to the blog, the open discussion thread is your place to ask questions, sound off on town issues, or share information with other readers. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • Ask questions about programs in town or the town itself
  • Post a note about things that you’re selling or giving away, or things that you want
  • Share notices about upcoming events (Southborough or otherwise)
  • Register your thoughts on town issues or news stories
  • Point out interesting or helpful resources

You can add comments to the thread throughout the week. Check back often to see new comments. (If you read the blog via email or RSS, you might want to check the site from time to time for new comments.)

To view past open discussion threads, click here.

1 What the? November 8, 2019 at 6:58 AM

What is up with the 30 MPH speed limit going over the reservoir on Rt. 30? Didn’t that used to be 40 MPH? I think the stretch of 85 over the reservoir is 40 – why is this different?

2 beth November 8, 2019 at 7:11 AM

When you say “used to be”, when?

3 What the? November 12, 2019 at 7:07 AM

Beth, it’s been a while and I can’t remember specifically when it was changed.

If you use Waze or some (older) car navigation, it also shows that speed to be 40 MPH.(my car navigation info is four plus years old). After conducting research, I found navigation companies get their speed information from “boots on the ground” and/or photos from the google maps car surveys for example.

I noticed the same while driving on Fisher Road – it is currently posted 35 the entire length. Before the new signs were installed, the west half was posted 40 MPH from Jericho hill to to half-way toward Marlboro. Again both my car nav and Waze both indicate 40 MPH on this stretch.

And no interested, I did not receive a ticket, but I do have an issue with speed signs being arbitrarily changed without proper procedures being followed in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 18. And it is no more dangerous crossing the causeway than it is driving on any other roadway that has guardrails on it that prevents one from driving off into a gully or ravine.

4 Interested November 8, 2019 at 8:29 AM

It has always been 30 mph on the causeway. Doesn’t that make sense to you, as it is rather dangerous to speed across a bridge? That guard rail would not stop you from ending up in the reservoir. Did you get ticketed?

5 n November 8, 2019 at 9:22 AM

Seriously? 40 mph and there is that much additional risk of losing control and going through a guard rail?

85 N over the causeway is 40 mph.

Any evidence to support the assertion that the accident rate there with cars ending up in the water is greater?

the 45 mph zone from the Willow Street, Pleasant Connector Valley Rd intersection to Kallander Drive needs to be reduced if the 30 mph from there through the Central Street light to the Boston Rd light is really required.

Many drivers naturally drive well below the 45 mph on that stretch. And over the causeway, low risk of animals, entering traffic, etc entering the travel lane. and with visibility to the Boston Rd light where the PD sets up in the evening getting commuters heading E speaks for itself.

A 30 mph sign on the causeway would be appropriate to remind drivers given that the last sign is much closer to Kallander Drive and once you clear the light a reasonable person would assume lower risk and assume the speed limit would increase.

6 what? November 8, 2019 at 10:39 AM

The posted limit is 25 MPH on Middle Road and there’s a causeway there too!

Of course 1 car in 100 actually travels that road at or near 25 MPH – even though there are radar-enabled electronic signs in both directions showing drivers their speed – typically 10 – 20 MPH over the posted limit.

Where’s the SPD? Oh yeah, they’re out on route 9 or just driving around.

How about setting up some radar – you know, traffic speed limit enforcement?

7 Interested November 8, 2019 at 10:49 AM

Oh my goodness, people are forever complaining about the speeding traffic throughout town and now your complaining about the speed limit not being high enough

8 Alan November 8, 2019 at 10:55 AM

I just drove middle rd yesterday and the SPD were there sitting doing radar.

9 Kelly Roney November 10, 2019 at 10:35 PM

Is it time to remove the “Internet Transaction Safety Zone” sign on Main St.? I would guess that no one’s monitoring that site now that the police have moved. Who’s responsible for removing the sign?

10 Matt November 11, 2019 at 1:51 PM

Is there any recent information on what the fate of Capasso Farm might be? I saw some articles in 2011/12 about potential businesses and then by 2016-18 the talk was of developing housing. Aside from being a movie set location I wasn’t able to find anything more recent. Based on how long it’s been I am not holding out hope, but seems a shame as it’s a beautiful location.

Is it true the zoning is not lapsed? Is housing an inevitability?

11 Interested November 14, 2019 at 8:14 AM

I’m hoping to start a meaningful conversation here by asking;

What is the ok boomer thing all about?

I’m interested in trying to understand the emotions and logic behind this storm. I appreciate all perspectives, but if there are any readers who are behind this movement, your insights are important to me.

12 OK Boomer November 14, 2019 at 9:13 AM
13 will_I_am_not November 14, 2019 at 10:12 AM

That link ‘splains it all.

Much Ado About Nothing, essentially.

Reading the article and comments, one young person stated there is/was nothing they could do about today’s issues since they were created by preceding generation(s).

Fatalism? Phooey!!

Where’s the sense of some level of empowerment? What’s the expression, “Cant’ never could do a damn thing!”? The Boomers pressured the US government to: get out of Vietnam, clean up the environment – air & water, enact safety standards for cars, provide nutritional labeling for foods, landed a man on the moon, etc.

Things weren’t prefect when the Boomers came along – and they did something about it.

OK Boomer indeed.

What’s the response to the generation (what is it called?) using the OK Boomer expression? Perhaps OK Whiner?

14 Interested November 14, 2019 at 11:57 AM

I think “retort” is the word your looking for.
But I think that might cause more hostility. I’m hoping to deescalate hostility and bridge a gap that I was very much unaware of.

15 Matt November 14, 2019 at 10:51 AM

Spiked-online is a new one for me.

Not going to weigh in on the discussion but perhaps caution on the source. Article definitely has an intended audience.

16 beth November 14, 2019 at 9:14 AM

I had a response, but it felt like a generational version of mansplaining. I’d be GenXsplaining, since I’m between the generations involved. It appears to mostly come from Millenials and Gen Z.

But I will still share that before all of this, I read and heard a lot of Millenial-bashing in the media in the past few years. Plus, a lot of bashing of college students (Gen Z). I would guess that feeds in to some of those groups’ current delight in taking up the mantra. (Though, I think a lot of that bashing came from Gen X. So we may be next as soon as someone comes up with a catchy taunt!)

Personally, I never liked lumping people into generalized character traits by generation.

17 Frank Crowell November 14, 2019 at 11:11 AM

Or put another way, Millenials are the Greatest Generation’s revenge on Baby Boomers. Too bad most have passed without witnessing it. I have often thought about how my father (WWII Vet) would have reacted to half of what my kids put me through.

18 mytownsouthborough November 26, 2019 at 8:58 PM

Hi Beth Just where are ADA handicapped visitors to the Public Safety Building suppose to park, close to the building, so they don’t have to hike to the front door from the general parking area. There simply must be accessibility for these people. In snow storms, this is unacceptable. The committee obviously forgot the handicapped parking needs.

19 Jim December 3, 2019 at 11:06 AM

Hi Everyone,

My wife and I just moved to southborough and we had a question regarding snow removal. Does the town clear the side walks on southville road or are owners responsible for the sidewalks in front of their homes? If they do, about how far from the train station do they go? Thanks in advance!



20 Matthew December 3, 2019 at 2:14 PM

Well they try but the machine they use can’t always navigate some of the narrow sidewalks. It does a great job of removing about 80-90% of the snow but what remains can be a real pain for those walking,
I’ve seen some folks walk up Highland between Parkerville and the train to avoid the sidewalk altogether.
If you have a machine then it might be best to run it after they come by to clear that last bit they can’t get. Today I would expect to see them down here before sunset.

21 will_I_am_not December 8, 2019 at 10:23 AM

“If you have a machine then it might be best to run it after they come by to clear that last bit they can’t get.”

It’s not an issue of “that last bit they can’t get”, it’s one of the 1 1/2 inches they DON’T get – simply by having their sidewalk machine INCORRECTLY configured. Adjust the skids to the scraper is CLOSE to the surface being cleared, NOT 1 1/2 inches away! 1/4″ is considered a standard adjustment – if one does not opt to allow the scraper to come in contact with the surface being cleared.

There is ample opportunity for the Town to DO IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME. Why is that not being exploited?

22 Matthew December 9, 2019 at 9:17 AM

I guess some of it has to do with the sidewalks themselves. They are not all the same width and some have obstructions like trees and mailboxes in their path. The town machine is designed for a larger width than some of the sidewalks around me, Southville, Parkerville, Bridge Street. If the machine cannot fit on the sidewalk then it won’t get good contact with the ground.
I’m sure operator training has a little to add to the problem, but they get better with more experience.
That machine is also dealing with the most difficult snow, the compacted and icy stuff the plows push against the drift and into peoples driveways. Anyone who has used a snow thrower/blower know it takes snow to throw snow and it can be hard to get a consistent quality of snow to throw resulting in an imperfect path with chunks and ruts. They tried a small plow one year I think and might not use that anymore due to the amount of snow they end up pushing into people’s driveways.

23 will_I_am_not December 3, 2019 at 3:06 PM

The town will eventually clear the sidewalks.

Even on a street adjacent to schools it typically takes several days before the sidewalks are cleared. After one storm last winter, the sidewalk was ‘cleared’ leaving 1+ inch on the surface – which quickly FROZE making the sidewalk more dangerous than walking in the street.

If DPW is going to clear the sidewalks, that means CLEAR down to the surface of the concrete or asphalt. It is safer to walk in a couple inches of snow than to try and walk on ice!

Let’s hope the DPW gets to the sidewalks while it’s still above freezing, rather than waiting for colder temperatures to turn the soft snow into ICE.

24 beth December 4, 2019 at 11:45 AM

I emailed the DPW, but they were understandably busy at the time. I’ve heard back that the general policy is that they clear sidewalks near the schools and the T-Station and other main road through streets. They don’t do any cul-de-sac or dead end roads.

Southville (all), Parkerville (both sides of 9), Cordaville (including River St.), Woodland, Richards (west side), Main Street, Latisquama, East Main, Common, Boston, Central and Oak Hill.

25 Adam December 4, 2019 at 12:33 PM

If someone gets injured due to non cleared sidewalks or poorly cleared sidewalks who is liable?

26 Al Hamilton December 11, 2019 at 9:05 AM

It is harder to clear a sidewalk down to clear pavement than a road. Many sidewalks are not built to the same depth or standards as roads and not as maintainted. They are rougher than roads (with the exception of Main St.) so the plow set up probably is higher than for a road this leaves more snow once the plow has passed.

Also, many private plows push snow up on to sidewalks so the best anyone can reasonably expect is that the sidewalks will be plowed such that someone can trudge through a broken path not a pristine dry paved way.

As for liability, perhaps rather than worrying about who to sue, we could put our energies into being good neighbors a d clearing the sidewalks and hydrants in front of our properties.

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