Citizens Disconnect: It’s a Boat! It’s a Helicopter! It’s … Not the City’s Problem!

A roundup of our favorite requests for city services in the past week.

With the Citizens Connect app and website, Boston allows its residents to take a picture of a problem, send it to the city along with their precise location, and request help. The site is filled with complaints about trash on the sidewalk, potholes, and dead trees. It also contains the occasional oddity. Welcome to “Citizens Disconnect,” a series wherein we round up our favorite few from the past week:

Boston Can’t Fix The Boat Problem

Concerned Citizen: “I just spent nearly 35 min coming down rt. 99 everett into boston. The problem was the draw bridge opened three times to allow boats to leave the mystic river into the boston harbor. Why does one boat have the right of way over maybe 200 cars .they just blow there horn and all traffic stops for them. Why dont the bridge open every 1/2 hour or so for all boat traffic instead of stopping traffic each time one shows up they obviously have time to kill. This happens all day long on weekends.”

City Response: “Closed. Case Invalid. E mail was sent explaining federal goverment/coast guard regulations that bridges must open on request.”

Okay, this person’s proposed solution actually seems kind of sensible, but apparently boat traffic is outside the city’s jursidiction so, oh well. At least you aren’t stuck behind a Michelob Ultra truck.

Boston Also Can’t Fix the Helicopter Problem



Concerned Citizen: “helicopter cycling very low over my neighborhood.”

City Response: None yet.

Hey, helicopter’s gotta refuel sometime. This seems like a problem that solves itself eventually.

A Salvation Army Screed

Concerned citizen: “The city is violating its own nondiscrimination laws by partnering with the Salvation Army and sending out emails suggesting city residents go there for various reasons — Countdown to Kindergarten backpack event, 3D home workshops, etc. The Salvation Army is a homophobic church and their website says right on it that being gay or lesbian is a sin. They aren’t required to abide by state and city nondiscrimination laws because they are legally a church. The city could be liable if residents attending these events are subject to discrimination while at the facility. Please stop supporting them and stop using city time and money to direct residents to a homophobic church. Partner with worthwhile nonsectarian organizations instead, like ABCD, Boys and Girls Club, etc.”

City response: No response yet.

Sure, sure, Salvation Army had its gross moments when it comes to tolerance for gay people. But, this just feels a little too political for the good folks at Citizens Connect?

“Porn” Graffiti Is Not Pornographic.


Concerned Citizen: “Porn”

City Response: “Closed. Case Resolved. Removed all set”

The funny part of all this is that the city deems all graffiti submissions offensive or not offensive and this one was deemed “offensive,” which … like, is the word porn really “offensive?” I’m just not sure.

One Man’s Eyesore…



Concerned Citizen: “Ban these heinous billboards on Centre St!!! They are an eyesore!!”

City Response: None.

We love this citizen’s passion, but we’re pretty sure the Geico Gecko takes offense. Also, your finger is the real eyesore here.