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May 20th, 2005

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02:39 am
They painted the crosswalk lines tonight outside on Summer Street. I'm not sure if you've ever seen such a thing happen, but it's quite a sight to behold. Of course, owing to the roadhogging nature of the operation, it must be done under cover of darkness and light traffic so when I walked home from work around 11:30 this evening there they were, re-painting the lines on the crosswalks to keep them bright and shiny.

There's one truck and a crew of I think three. Maybe four. Not counting the police escort, working of course on duty pay. The truck was a jerry-rigged sawed-off flatbed with two gigantic Dickensian vats of bubbling, steaming hot white paint, which had coated the sides and dripped down a gleaming white sluice. The crew had thoughtfully placed a drop cloth on the road underneath the sluice itself so as to not bespeckle the fine roadway. It was from here that they periodically refilled their painting machine, which looked like a large pushcart with a paint reservoir on top. A little squeezy handle spread the paint across the pavement in a big bold swipe.

That's pretty neat, but here's the neatest part: As the crosswalk paint cools, it congeals as well, hardening into that rubbery enamel of sorts. To free up the hardening paint around the vat's paint tap, the crew used a wicked blowtorch with, I kid you not, at least a two-foot flame. They'd fire it up and stick it in the vat nozzle and that'd warm the paint back up so it'd flow freely for a little bit longer.

Nice work, if you can get it.

By the way: Walking home from the Sullivan Square T stop not only saves me $1.25 per trip, but also around 15 minutes. That's right, it takes 15 minutes longer to catch an Orange Line train into the city and take a Red Line train out to Porter than it does to walk at a reasonable yet steady pace the two and a quarter miles from Sullivan Square to my place via Union Square. I blame the crummy Orange Line construction that means only one train on the tracks between Sullivan and Haymarket, plus the godawful slow Red Line trains which apparently aren't supposed to really be going that slow. Go fig. Also I'm super proud of the fact that I'm in good enough shape that a two and a quarter mile walk, most of it uphill, is nothing to me. Must've been all those years of theme park pavement pounding.

(9 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:May 20th, 2005 09:19 am (UTC)
You can't buy a monthly pass? I realize that wouldn't do anything for the transit time, but a buck and a quarter every time?
[User Picture]
Date:May 20th, 2005 03:51 pm (UTC)
Thing is, I usually take the bus in to work and the train home, since I work later than the bus runs. So four days out of the work week that's 90 cents in and a buck twenty-five out. The fifth day of the work week I have to take the train both ways, so given a four-week month, I'm spending $44.40 on transit costs. I don't take the T during my days off, mostly, or rather I don't take the T regularly on my days off and I'm not into guesstimating today, but the cost of a monthly combo pass is $71. I just wouldn't ride the bus or the train enough to justify that cost.

The train pass itself is $44 and I would theoretically save money if I were to just take the train everywhere, but frankly I'd probably end up spending more on antacid and lose money on the whole deal. I've got two points of failure on that train-only commute (well, one giant honking overall point of failure that is the MBTA) and either one will cause me to gnash my teeth and freak out. I could end up waiting too long for a Red Line train to show up, only to take me to Downtown Crossing where I'd have to wait even longer for an Orange Line train to show up. Or a Red Line train could board just as I toodle down into the Porter Square Swamp Station, only to have to wait even longer at Downtown Crossing for an Orange Line train that is deciding to go slow so they can count every non-working light in the tunnels. I don't need that aggravation day in and day out.

It's also just patently silly to have to go across the river and south into Boston and then back north across the river just to get from Somerville to Medford, which are not only on the same side of the river, but also hey-diddly-hi-there neighborinos. Silly!
[User Picture]
Date:May 20th, 2005 04:21 pm (UTC)
Wow, seperate passes for trains and buses. Out here that'd be considered proof positive that trains are racist. (Yeah, I know.) I had no idea a monthly pass could cost that much.
[User Picture]
Date:May 20th, 2005 12:24 pm (UTC)
my ex-boyfriend used to walk the green line home from BU because he would get bored waiting for the T. He's just keep an eye out for one and stop at the next stop and catch it. He could walk faster than the T could travel in rush hour, anyway.

I walk to the train station in Worcester sometimes because the bus service is crappy. It's a mile walk and that's not so bad (20 minutes) - but when I'm carrying 40 lbs on my back, it's not so great.
Date:May 20th, 2005 02:26 pm (UTC)
We should buy you a bicycle so — just to punch things up once in a while — you can be Sangamon Taylor.
Date:May 20th, 2005 03:20 pm (UTC)
You could always take The Bus That Never Runs. :)

Have you ever spied anyone painting lane lines on the roads? I almost don't believe that they actually do that up there.
[User Picture]
Date:May 20th, 2005 04:28 pm (UTC)
A friend of mine at work used to say: "Should we walk, or do we have time to take the T". This was in reference to the green line near comm ave...

But I still like the quote
[User Picture]
Date:May 21st, 2005 06:53 am (UTC)
I think the real answer to that question is "Nobody ever has the time to take the T." :)
[User Picture]
Date:May 20th, 2005 10:30 pm (UTC)
Good Lord, I remember when I moved to Boston in the early 90's a bus pass was something like 20 bucks, the train pass was 25 and the combo was either 31 or 33. Granted, the voice in the background is supposed to go "but those were 1990 dollars!" but I'm not even sure inflation was high enough that 70 bucks today is equivalent... I'd say 70 bucks today is still way more than 33 back then. Jeez. And yeah, either my memory is fuzzy or the service back then was better and the stations were cleaner.

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