508 #248: The Presence of Metal

508 is a show about Worcester. This week, Mike and Brendan talk about crosswalks, internet silliness, and municipal broadband.

Audio: Download the mp3 or see more formats.


Contact Info

Municipal Broadband Thoughts from Brendan

There is a plan for Comcast to move into Central MA if their mergers receive FCC approval. You may not be aware of just how abhorrent a company Comcast is, and how bad their takeover of MA (Worcester Co being the only area they don’t have a monopoly on) would be. With that, I compiled a quick list a reading material that might helpful in seeing why this proposal may have negative, unintended consequences for the city:

This merger offers the City the opportunity to at least explore the feasibility of a municipal fiber project, something a fair number of medium sized cities have undertaken successfully as a component of a larger EcDev strategy. If we’re serious about expanded development in life sciences, higher ed and retention of the entrepreneurial spirit that accompanies both; and equally serious about making Worcester as attractive as possible to residents shopping for an affordable place to live and work, we really need to be thinking forward as a city. In just a few short years, not having access to a gigabit fiber network in a city is going to be akin to not having electrical service. Comcast has made it clear they do not intend to invest in the infrastructure necessary to provide such services, and once they’re here their size as a corporation will make it all but impossible to attract competition that would. And at a higher cost to the consumer.


Worcester Emergency Management: “Height pointy shape & isolation are the dominant factors controlling where lightning will strike The presence of metal makes no difference”


Worcester Telegram, Jan 20, 1965.

Worcester City Council Agenda, March 18, 2014:

7m. Matthew Kracher request to stop the police crosswalk stings in Lancaster Street where it intersects with Dix Street. Petitioner heard – Referred to City Manager [PDF with more]

One thought on “508 #248: The Presence of Metal”

  1. The problem with the crosswalk situation is absolutely cultural, and, a two-way street with plenty of blame for both motorists and pedestrians who pay no attention whatsoever to do not walk lights. Having spent a lot of time walking in Worcester I agree with Brendan that’s it frightening. And much of my frustration is with fellow pedestrians. When I walk in Worcester I often feel like the only person in the city who is standing there waiting for the walk signal to turn. I’ve seen people with a “do not walk” light bolt right out into oncoming traffic without even stopping, then shout at the drivers who are trying not to hit them.

    That being said, I think the city could help push this cultural shift by taking a closer look at the signal lights, the timing and whether they work. If pedestrians are having to wait five minutes after pressing a button to cross a two-lane road you’re going to have trouble getting buy-in. And then there are the lights that don’t work or just aren’t thought out. On the corner of Major Taylor Blvd and East Central I don’t know how many times as a driver I got a green arrow to make a right turn only to see the pedestrians crossing East Central in my direct path also had a “walk” light. In short, I never get the feeling walking around Worcester that the pedestrian light situation is actually thought out in any way. If you look at the number of pedestrians that get struck by cars each year (never mind the near misses that never get reported) it seems like this should take a higher priority with the city than it seems to.

    Contrast this with Northampton — I know, not exactly apples to apples. If you’ve ever walked in Northampton you know that on “do not walk” signals EVERYONE stops. I’ve seen people try to cross and been told to stop by other pedestrians.

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