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Car turn Hulk, smash wall in Cambridge

Car into wall in Cambridge

Jeff Durham reports no injuries after a driver took out a wall at Fresh Pond Parkway and Mt. Auburn Street in Cambridge sometime before 11:30 a.m.

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Walls have to understand that cars are going to hit them.

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It looks like the wall at Fresh Pond Parkway and Brattle.

Is that the snake wall?

Is it that "curvy" brick wall? That's a landmark and probably expensive to repair. Not as simple as just stacking bricks in a straight line.

The driver should have to pay for its repair and hold a sign saying what an idiot they are while the repairs happen.

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"insurance"

The driver will get a few points, though!

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I’m pretty sure that at some point in the early 1970s that wall did t used to be curvy, and it got run into a LOT, and my parents said they rebuilt it curvy because it would help lower the impact force of collisions? And I remember being able to see repair lines in the mortar of the curvy version ALL THE TIME.

I'm almost as old as the wall (1950s) and it has always been curvy. It was designed by an architect.

  1. Use more bricks than a straight wall of the same thickness, but are much stronger.
  2. Attenuate sound to some degree
  3. Look really cool.
  4. Have the awesome name, "Crinkle crankle wall"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crinkle_crankle_wall

Not knowing what happened here, I do see many adults looking at phones while they are driving.
"Adults". My favorites are the mothers that drop their kids off school in their huge suburbans and immediately get on the phone when they turn on the ignition.

Again, I don't know what happened here but maybe people are just stupider in 2019.

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I hope the driver didn't drop their phone.

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Was the wall behaving aggressively, perhaps making obscene gestures at the SUV driver? Was it in a crosswalk aware of its surroundings, or did it just dart out like so many bicyclists and walls that have jumped into traffic forcing me to drop my fajita, grab the steering wheel and swerve out of the way? Of course many of UH's resident car-haters will jump to absolve the wall of any blame but ask for all the facts first please

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Arrest this moron for destruction of property and then take away their license.

Yes, this person should lose the right to drive for a long, long time. Driving should be treated seriously as both a privilege and a responsibility. Lucky that no person was hurt; taking drivers off the road when they are responsible for a wreck like this is common sense. If the driver has even a thimbleful of same, he or she won't want to drive after this, anyway.

You're going too fast. This is a very difficult stretch of road, and you don't know if another car forced this one off the road, or if the driver had a medical event, or really, anything about what happened. If the police determine that this driver was texting or otherwise being stupid, then I'm right there with you -- stop them driving for a long time. Right now, we don't know why this happened.

Largely predictable and preventable. We all should have to submit evidence of having a physical to renew a license - that would take the "ignoring diabetes and heart disease" folks out of the equation.

That curvy wall used to be taken out on a regular basis, but it's been a while. You can see the places in the cement where it's been repaired. Perhaps the guardrails helped.

Also, that has to be one flimsy brick wall to be knocked out so much, and the car not turned into a blob of tin foil. I guess modern SUVs are better that way.

How the heck does this happen? There's not even a curve in the road at that point. One would have to swerve into the wall.

It shouldn't be four lanes, but it is. Some drivers can't handle it, and if one of them crowded their neighbor, bad things can happen. As others have said, this wall has been crashed into repeatedly.

Fresh Pond is curvy, but this driver was on Brattle driving towards Fresh Pond (unless the car was turned around in the action). Brattle is 2 lanes and pretty straight. The driver had to be doing something pretty unusual to end up where they did.

It's called a serpentine wall, and it's at the corner of Brattle Street and Fresh Pond Parkway, 199 Brattle Street to be exact.

It was built in 1965, the same year as the house behind it, which was the residence of (and designed by) Hugh Stubbins. He was a prominent local architect of the late 20th century; among his works are the Federal Reserve Bank building near South Station, and the Citicorp Building in New York. You can see a longer list of his works on Wikipedia.

The concept of the serpentine wall was invented, I believe, by Thomas Jefferson. It's best known for minimizing noise, which is highly appropriate with all the traffic at this location.

Parts of the wall have indeed been knocked down many times over the years by auto accidents.

Mr. Stubbins died in 2006 and his family no longer owns the house.

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Interesting to get some history on this.

The city of Cambridge lists it as built in 1950.

https://www.cambridgema.gov/PropertyDatabase/20070

... was that the serpentine brick wall was hit more than once *by the same driver* -- nobody I knew knew if that was weirdly coincidental or a specific vendetta or a behavioral problem of some kind.