"A Beacon Hill residents association has sued the city of Boston to stop the installation of sidewalk ramps for the disabled the civic group says would spoil the character of the historic neighborhood."
The Beacon Hill Civic Association has taken action against the installation of concrete and plastic sidewalks ramps to accommodate the needs of Boston's disabled. Recently, the Civic group filed a lawsuit against the City for violating state law and altering the streetscape of the famous historic district.
At the outset, one may assume that the Beacon Hill resident's insensitivity to the disabled is almost pompous. But by acknowledging both sides of the conflict, a much deeper regard for the city of Boston emerges.
The Civic group's pressure on City officials to honor architecture of the Colonial-era -- red brick sidewalks -- is not unnecessary quipping from a relatively rich and privileged neighborhood but rather a serious expression of concern for the preservation of historic character. Are the residents of Beacon Hill prohibited to voice their idea of home? Why are government officials brushing past resident's solicitude for the City's aesthetics?
Boston is one of New England's largest tourism industry. This thriving city is renowned for its cultural facilities, world-class educational institutions, and sports franchises. Most importantly, Boston is the forefront of American history.
In 2013, Boston brought in 19 million visitors. According to the US Department of Commerce, spending by the total number of overseas travelers from the Uk, China and Germany alone, brought in an estimated $840,375,000 in revenue. In 2014, the City saw a 4% growth in the total number of visitors. The top activities for tourists are shopping, visiting art galleries/museums, and visiting historical places. Boston's booming tourism industry projects 6 new hotel openings in 2015 and an anticipated 10 openings in 2016.
What makes Boston one of New England's tourists hotspots all year round is its unique and historic charm. Whether shopping on Newbury Street or exploring Harvard Square, Bostonian architecture is what differentiates the City from anywhere else. Often overlooked and taken for granted, brickwalks and cobblestone streets bring tourists from around the world to this beloved city.
So are The Beacon Hill Civic Association's demands justified? To some extent, yes. The Beacon Hill residents do no oppose easier access for the disabled, but rather the materials in which the City is using to build the new sidewalk ramps. It is clear that they want to compromise with the disabled but the larger issue is complying with the City officials and getting them on board.
For more information: