Saturday, December 26, 2009

Winter, Crotchety Pedestrian Edition

It's probably not a good thing to have one of my long standing pet peeves reinforced by one of the local blogs, however, since the point of this thing is echoes, it does give me a good touch point for reinforcing my own opinions, and there is nothing better than a blog
for echoing the opinions of others.

At any rate, in standing tradition, Jef Nickerson at GC:PVD can always be counted on to blog the aftermath of the snow storms, as written on the sidewalks. And yes, it took me a week to
get to this, sue me.

To add some additional areas and pet peeves to Jef's already comprehensive lists, below are some photos taken along my route from home to work. As with Jef, I note that the city doesn't seem to have any interest in clearing the walks of parks and bridges.

Some business owners don't instruct their snow clearing contractors to clear the sidewalks, and worse, leave their plowed and packed piles of snow square on the sidewalks. My personal favorite is the Mobil station at Atwells and Valley where I walk through the car wash to get to the minimalist path of the church sidewalk.

After getting past the churches narrow shovel width path, which were completely filled in on Wednesday when the city sent the plows around to push the street out wider. (sorry, no picture). And then, after dodging on and off the
street in front of generally uncleared sidewalks of the apartment houses, and the uncleared bridge is RI
Collision which plows their snow piles onto the sidewalk
and makes no attempt to clear the sidewalk connecting them to the check cashing shop (cleared curb to wall, this streets winner).

On the opposite side of the street, I appreciate the sidewalk clearing done in
front of Lumere Auto Body, especially the thoughtful clearing of a path to the street at the bridge.

Unfortunately, their work was initially undone by their neighbor at Rising Sun Mills which left a pile on the sidewalk. However, by the end of Tuesday, someone had gotten a path shoveled through this pile.

And lastly, the bus stops. This little island of cleared well cleared sidewalk appears to be otherwise unreachable. On Monday there was a path to the street, unfortunately plowed over on Tuesday. Impossible to reach without going in the street or over the pile at the Mobil station.

And lastly, on the topic of public areas. Who clears the Fire Hydrants?

Granted, the city is big, and probably owns lots of land, and policing priorities are for more significant crimes, but given the the alternative is to put pedestrians in the street with vehicles that are probably not at their most controlled seems pretty egregious. Who has to die before the city gets serious about enforcing ordinances about cleared sidewalks and curb cuts?

In my own neighborhood of summit, I took a walk on Sunday night after the end of the snow and found that the few streets I walked down had a very high, say 90%+ cleared in front of homes. Unfortunately, the businesses on Hope Street were apparently waiting until Monday to take care of their walks, as only about 80% of them were done.

And here's a bonus pothole the drivers are enjoying on Valley Street bridge.