Community Real Estate Transportation

Jackson Ave Resident(s): It’s a Private Way, Just Look at the Signs

A discussion emerged on the Forum regarding the new signs placed on Jackson Avenue which abuts Copps Hill Terrace (Slide Park) between Charter and Commercial Streets. We went out and took these photos that pretty much tell the story, as described in the forum by Sallie:

“In the 30+ years I have lived in the North End this is the first time I have seen Jackson Ave. designated with a new sign stating it is a “private way” with no access to non residents. … Not very neighborly.”

Another commenter, masha, says,“Apparently one person on the Charter Street end of Jackson Terrace is responsible. It is ugly, illegal and unwanted. Any sledge hammers???”
“There are lots of private ways in the North End that non-resident pedestrians use all the time,” adds Joyce S. who also wonders if there is an easement for pedestrian access. “Mostly the private way designation means it is not a City of Boston owned street and the City won’t pick up trash or plow snow.”
Ed: Marking a private way can be helpful in some cases (i.e., Commercial Wharf West parking area). However, this Jackson Ave. signage is excessive and confusing. A pedestrian would unknowingly assume the publicly accessible stairs to Copps Hill Terrace are also private. And to make matters worse, the signs are using public property (street poles and the sidewalk).

6 Replies to “Jackson Ave Resident(s): It’s a Private Way, Just Look at the Signs

  1. Just happened to see the pictures today. To clarify – originally the "flower pot" sign appeared directly at the bottom of Jackson Ave. and Commercial St. It is is now in front of the stairs to Copp's Hill/Slide Park – and as seen in the photo – states: Private Way and NO PASSAGE ALLOWED. I go by this spot every day and apparently it must have peeved someone else or others because it was continually being moved from the bottom of Jackson Ave. to where it is now, then it would be moved back. Also the sign would be turned so it could not be read – it was kind of amusing to watch it go back and forth.

    Finally, the street pole sign appeared, as shown in the photo, at the bottom of Jackson Ave stating "private way" but without a "no passage allowed". Now the "pot" remains in all its glory at the bottom of the steps up to Slide Park and Matt you are absolutely correct that some might think "no passage allowed" applies to the steps. I thought it was a resident(s) at 500 Commercial who had the signs put there but that was just an educated guess. I have no problem with Jackson Ave being a private way, just with the "no passage allowed" since I actually sometimes walk up or down Jackson Ave and have done so for many years.

    How about someone moves the pot across Commercial St and use it as a Segway obstacle?

  2. Right, so ignore the sign. Whoever put it up should be dealt with in court for using public property to promote a false belief about the street.

  3. In my 10+ years I was not aware that it was a "private way". However, only on a few occassions, less than a dozen seen anyone use those stairs. And that includes myself using it once or twice.
    So got to wonder why have the signs now?

  4. As of this morning (Monday) the pot with the sign is gone! At least from its last placement on Friday which was by the curb next to the fire hydrant by 500 Commercial St. Thanks to Matt for his photos and to all those who commented and perhaps complained. Maybe whoever had it put there reads North End/ and had it removed.

    My complaint was not the "private way" designation but the "no passage allowed" aspect. It just seemed most unneighborly, even though Carol is correct that not many people use Jackson Ave.

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