The bollard-plinth-obelisk post

A black metal bollard now graces the Cottage Ave. entrance to the Alewife Greenway.

The Alewife path near my house got a few refinements this week, including a handsome new bollard, three feet tall, to discourage people from driving their cars onto the path along the brook. (Do not laugh, as I have seen people do exactly that, in fruitless search for the Northeast Passage to Somerville.)

Movable bollard (looking west)

The above view is more or less east (that is Route 16, and Cambridge, in the background). From this vantage point you can see how the new bollard sits at the apex of a triangle, where the entrance path forks left and right, north and south, around a tree to join the brook-side path.

This entrance way, and those little forked pathways, are not quite finished. But the bollard unlocks and swings down from its base, or maybe it even comes off, so getting heavy equipment in to finish the job should not be impossible.

I did not see any of this work done, but presumably the base to which the bollard is locked is itself anchored to a metal post driven deep into the ground.

Pavers now fill the circular area around the granite plinth

Meanwhile, someone has filled in the little moat around the new granite marker at the Henderson-Street-Bridge end with stone pavers.

These are set in sand (though not too well) and are at least an inch thick. (Probably thicker: poking about online suggests that one standard thickness seems to be 60 mm, more than 2 inches.)

The paving stones have a mat finish and are square, though some have been cut to fit. Here is a closer look at them (click for closer still).

Stone pavers in red and gray

I can’t tell whether these are natural stone, but they are quite handsome.  Plenty of gaps between those pavers though.

So as the end of the year approaches the punch list for this project (or this segment of it) seems to shorten with the days.

Work on the Cottage Ave. entrance is still not done. The stone dust for the northern entrance path was never laid down, the southern branch is significantly eroded, and there are problems with persistent standing water after storms.

Despite that people have been enjoying the path and the new ramp since it was finished earlier this year.

Although this is a blog about Mass. Ave., I like posting these photos of work along the Alewife too because I can use words like “plinth” and “bollard.” Here is the previous such report, first, and all. Update: And next.


2 comments so far

  1. John S. Allen on

    That bollard is black and unreflectorized. I hope that changes. Cyclists sometimes collide with bollards.Please see my video on that topic at

    • Adam Auster on

      Ouch, good point!

      Also motor vehicles have been known to do this from time to time too.

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