You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Red Sox Live



▲  8th Inning 1 outs


Beacon Hill needs more dialogue, less sparring on ramps

The clash between City Hall and the Beacon Hill Civic Association over the installation of handicapped ramps in the historic Boston neighborhood is escalating — needlessly. It’s time for both sides to come to the table, absent the class rhetoric and legal maneuvers.

Earlier this month, the powerful civic association filed a lawsuit seeking to stop the city from removing existing brick sidewalk accessibility ramps and replacing them with poured concrete ramps and plastic warning panels. The group also hired the high-powered Rasky Baerlein public relations firm to counter perceptions that its members value historic preservation above the safety of handicapped individuals. Walsh administration officials, meanwhile, are only too happy to play on the notion that wealthy Beacon Hill residents are looking down their noses at the rest of the city. And city crews are moving ahead with the construction of the new ramps.

Continue reading below

If snootiness were ever at the root of this problem, it isn’t now. The civic association’s suit makes clear its commitment to meet the needs of the Americans With Disabilities Act without harming unnecessarily the character of the oldest historic district in Massachusetts. The preservationists believe it can be done with wire-cut brick ramps and cast concrete pavers in place of plastic.

It’s a more expensive option. But Beacon Hill residents have a history of raising private funds to preserve the architectural integrity of their neighborhood. The group is already spending good money on a public relations firm to preserve its reputation. Minimally, the Walsh administration should sit down with community leaders to see if they would like to spend their money toward a higher purpose.

Loading comments...
Want each day's news headlines delivered fresh to your
inbox every morning? Just connect with us
in one of the following ways:
Please enter a valid email will never post anything without asking.
Privacy Policy
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of