Bye-bye Wellesley bricks

Wellesley crosswalk brick august 2014Wellesley has begun doing away with its brick crosswalks as well as bricks inlaid on sidewalks and around trees. The town is paving over the crosswalks and replacing the sidewalk bricks with cement or dirt. Work has been taking place during the day and for the crosswalks, at night.

While the bricks do add a classy touch, many of them have started to come loose and disintegrate (and some of the issues might involve a layer under the bricks that wouldn’t necessarily be obvious just looking at the crosswalks). Uneven bricks obviously can cause problems for pedestrians, drivers and cyclists.

We understand that the town has secured (state?) funding to do the project and has communicated with businesses to redesign sidewalks and tree plantings. The Public Works department has also issued noticed in recent weeks about the construction.

It does appear that select crosswalks might remain — a bunch still exist, for example, in Lower Falls even after work on Rte. 16 there.

We’ve sent an inquiry to the town to get more details. A reader wrote asking why the town is getting rid of brick crosswalks that seemingly are in good condition. We also wonder how long ago and how much the town invested in its brick and granite crosswalks, and what will become of the bricks that are removed. We’re also curious about what the replacement crosswalks will look like.
sidewalk bricks

sidewalk bricks

 

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6 Comments

  1. Rebecca
    Posted August 21, 2014 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    I was with an elderly woman who fell on one of these sidewalks and gashed her head quite badly. They must also be a hazard for folks with disabilities. Sometimes looks should take a backseat to functionality.

  2. bridget
    Posted August 21, 2014 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    The bricks are also very practical: drivers were very aware as to exactly where the crosswalks were. There was a lot less of this nonsense of sliding over the crosswalk that looks exactly like the rest of the street.

  3. Dave
    Posted August 18, 2014 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant Wellesley… let’s tear down the beautiful old houses and rip up the classy brick crosswalks. While we are at it, we should change the name of our town to Needham.

  4. Nathan
    Posted August 18, 2014 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    The brick edged sidewalks and brick crosswalks were added in 1995-96 when the majority of Rt. 16 was completely ripped up and repaved. That’s also when the lantern light posts were added. It was a huge, long project that was LONG overdue at the time. I was told by my parents that 16 hadn’t been paved before that since the 1960’s.

  5. Sharon
    Posted August 18, 2014 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    I sure hope those bricks are recycled and used for other projects rather than being tossed. Too bad – the bricks looked really nice and it seems it would be less costly to maintain than to replace everything.

  6. Ben
    Posted August 18, 2014 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Such a shame. The brick sidewalks were such a nice distinctive feature in our town.

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