Letters to the Editor


Dear Editor:

Saturday morning a postal storage box appeared outside my home at the corner of Revere and Garden Streets.  I was at the gym when the box was placed and surprised to find it when I returned.  I would not care if it were not that I have good reason to worry about the future of the young tree that shares the sidewalk with the postal box.  Because, also sharing this stretch of sidewalk are vehicles that pull onto it to make deliveries.  Given the lack of options, who can blame them?  But how long will it be before a careless driver hits and kills the tree?  Already yesterday, I confronted the driver of a huge FEDEX truck (see attached photo) who refused to remove it from the sidewalk.  Thereafter I lodged a complaint with FEDEX and the City’s 311 system.  311 responded that they have no “control or authority over where US Postal Service boxes are placed.”

To be clear, the postal box is not the problem.  Commercial traffic beyond Charles and Cambridge streets used to be confined to a relatively small number of retail businesses, typically with early morning deliveries.  The impact on quality of life was negligible.  Contrast that with today when droves of large and noisy UPS and FEDEX trucks descend upon the neighborhood every day starting around mid-day and continuing into the evening.  The drivers park their trucks illegally, on sidewalks and elsewhere, where they compete with trees and pedestrians.  Under the circumstances, the placement of a postal box has increased the risk to a young tree, but the real problem is illegal parking due to the volume of deliveries and absence of commercial live-parking options.


Deborah Holt

Deplorable, unsafe state of Beacon Hill brick sidewalks

Dear Editor:

Recently I noticed that some civic minded group has put up warning signs about these unsafe sidewalks.

Thank Goodness !             

Maybe we need a #metoo movement for Beacon Hill sidewalk abuse !

In the last 2 years, I have tripped on the bricks and fallen down:

• At Toscano’s, where the valet people picked me up, with bloody knees and shins.     • At Gary Drug, with nosebleed, which a passerby ran into to buy a box of tissue to help me staunch the flow of blood all over my shirt and suit. Came away with bruised knees and torn trousers.

• At 48 Beacon St, which is impassable in wet weather. Came away with scratched lenses on my glasses, and black and blue on my shin.

I have observed:

• A young business lady in a suit catch her low heel in the gaps between the bricks and fall in front of Charles Liquor 141 Charles,

• A tourist slip and fall at 48 Beacon St.

When I bring up the subject conversationally, I have been told:

• By a nurse practicioner , in her 30s at MGH that she has fallen on Charles St. 3 times, one spraining her ankle and requiring medical treatment

• By my wife’s visiting nurse, in her 40s, that on her visits she has fallen on Charles St. and also Myrtle St.

• By a prominent Beacon Hiller, “I fell on a loose brick at the Starbucks corner on Charles Street and broke two bones in my hand.”

•  By a neighbor, A Beacon Hill friend, fell on Charles St. some time ago and had a shoulder injury.  

• By a 43 year resident of Beacon Hill, fell near Crush, banged her head and broke her collarbone. Spent 3 weeks at MGH and Rehab Hospital for most of November, 2018.

None of these falls were Snow Related !

The Mayor is interested in helping the handicapped.

I would say the non-maintenance of these sidewalks is creating handicapped people.  In the case of the aged, such a fall can often start their decline to death.

The bricklayers know how to set an even solid underlayment and how to set and lay bricks tightly together to avoid the deterioration that winter and freezing brings. There are many examples in Boston of such excellent safe brick sidewalks.

But not on Beacon Hill.

Yours for preventing injuries,


John Appleton

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