OPINION | Barry Richard: Boston Also Installs ‘Stupid’ Cobblestones
So, perhaps installing raised cobblestones on the median strip at the octopus to discourage panhandling wasn't such a "stupid" idea after all, Senator Montigny. Or, at least your bud in Boston, Mayor Marty Walsh (D) seems to like the idea. Raised cobblestones, albeit not as pronounced as ours, have suddenly popped up on a median strip at the intersection of Beacon and Park Streets, a popular haunt for panhandlers.
Not long after Mayor Jon Mitchell installed the raised cobblestones along the center median on Route 6, City Council members Hugh Dunn, Maria Giesta and Ian Abreu pounced. The councillors called Mayor Jon Mitchell's structures "inhumane" and "malicious." They accused Mitchell of "medieval tactics" that were "designed to hurt people."
Montigny followed up on Facebook using the same "medieval" description, and suggested that the installation of the cobblestones was "stupid" and "thoughtless." He told WBZ-TV it was "a silly way to deal with the issue" of panhandlers.
Callers to my program say they haven't seen a panhandler on the Route 6 median since the new cobblestones went in. They appear to be working. So much so, that Councillor Brian Gomes wants them installed everywhere panhandling is a problem in the city.
Senator Montigny should worry about cleaning up corruption on Beacon Hill, and leave the matters of the city streets to the local experts. Unless, of course, he has a better idea. After all, panhandling has been a serious issue in the city for nearly four years now, and we've not heard a peep from Montigny about it.
Thanks, Mark. We've got this one.
I say, "three cheers for the raised cobblestones!"
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.