Mayor's snowjob on snow removal

Mumbles sez:

"Another 18 inches on top of what we have is going to create a real strain on Public Works' ability to keep doing the job they’ve been doing. They've done a good job removing snow, but 18 more inches will narrow each street by a foot, foot and half."

"A good job removing snow"? Funny - when I surfed the Citizen's Connect recent reports a day after the storm, there were dozens of reports coming in of unplowed streets. Surf the reports now, and you'll see reports of all sorts of snow removal problems.

All the bike lanes around Boston (5 feet wide, roughly) disappeared for days- even the ones with snow emergency parking bans like Centre Street in JP. Until late last night, Hyde Park Avenue had several feet of snow coming out into the roadway. South Huntington Avenue has piles of snow 4-5 feet high sticking out 5-6 feet into the road. As I type this (days after the storm passed, a storm which fell most overnight), my street has more than three feet covered with several inches of snow on the side where there's no parking. Citizen's Connect is rife mostly with unshovelled sidewalk reports, but also cases like this.

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    Comments

    Thank goodness...

    By on

    Those bike lanes were getting annoying. I wish we had this much snow year round.

    that's not the point

    By on

    The mayor is claiming that a foot of snow equals a foot lost in the roads, and it's been more like five.

    Or did you miss the discussion about how, for example, South Street has been so narrow two busses can't pass each other?

    60.3" of snow, not many days

    By on

    60.3" of snow, not many days above 32F, and very little melting.

    So yeah, 5 feet of snow and about 5 feet of road gone. Seems right to me. There's snow mounds above 7-10 feet out there!

    love it

    By on

    I'm as sick of this snow as much as the next guy, but I'm actually loving the lack of bike lanes. It means that I can ride my bike down the middle of the lane like I always do, but I don't get honked at and yelled at by drivers telling me to move over to the right.

    Taking the full lane really is the safest and most enjoyable way to ride.

    Third snowiest January........

    By on

    ....in the history of Boston and you are complaining about bike lanes? Seriously? Bike lanes? Give me a f@%king break.

    if the roads weren't passable except to bikes for 5 days

    By on

    ...would you complain?

    And yes, given that people like you with anger management issues honk and scream obscenities and race your engine at cyclists for "taking up the road", yeah, I do care. And yes, given that the city wants to be named a top city for cycling, I damn well do expect them to plow such that bike lanes are accessible a week after snow falls.

    The city's ineptitude at removing snow days after the storm has passed is pathetic. Why did it take until the weekend for cleanup, aside from initial plowing, to start?

    There was a week between storms...

    or maybe they should hang up

    By on

    or maybe they should hang up the biker shorts when weather dictates.

    I'm all for alternative transportation, but resources need to be used correctly and people need to understand the limitations of winter weather.

    For cyclists, that means that there's going to be points in the winter where safety is paramount over riding, and you should just hang up the handle bars until we get a good thaw.

    The city's still trying to catch up for the last round of storms, and I don't see anyone clamoring for their taxes to be raised to pay for more services.

    As much as denser living and biking should be prioritized, we also need to understand that cars are still the major carrier of people in and out of the city daily, followed by the MBTA. They need to be taken care of first before we even start to worry about cyclists.

    keep cycling

    By on

    Since I don't own any biker shorts, I can't hang them up, so I'll just have to keep cycling through the winter.

    In my experience, major roads, and even many small side streets, are fine for cycling by 24 hours after the last snowfall. This is partly due to the actual plowing, but also due to the action of many cars driving on the road, and squeezing/pushing/melting the snow so that the road surface is clear (except when the temperature is hovering right around 32, in which case the melt/refreeze cycle can make things nasty for all modes of transportation).

    However, since bike lanes generally don't have cars driving over them, I find they tend to be more snowy/icy than the main travel lane, even when the bike lanes have been plowed. So I'm not going to kvetch about the lack of bike lane plowing -- I'll just use the regular lane.

    Thank you...

    By on

    For a reasonable and cheerful response! I admire the hell out of winter bikers, though I'm not one myself, but obviously weather like this requires some ingenuity and compromise from everyone, cyclists included. Oh, and thanks too for not contributing to the spandex problem.

    All those people

    By on

    ....one per car, sitting on Huntington Avenue, not moving this morning. Definitely the kind of transportation this city should aspire to.

    I'm not a car-owner but...

    By on

    Huntington is always a mess, but frankly it's one of the most European of all of our streets--you have cars, yes, but also buses and the T, all of whom have been compromised by the snow--so much harder to stop and let people on and off safely, people having to clamber over snowbanks, etc. So again--I agree with you, but just sayin'...

    Brookline

    By on

    Brookline has managed to remove the snow of their streets. It looks great and you can PARK! Can you believe it!? On the street! Parking! F U Mumbles, the only thing you publicly work is my last good nerve.

    And some of the side streets

    By on

    And some of the side streets I saw tonight in Brookline were significantly narrower than they normally are.

    Still, Boston needs to do

    By on

    Still, Boston needs to do even/odd parking bans and plowing to the curb. We could be as clean of brookline, but southie thugs scare mumbles.

    neither did Boston, on many roads

    By on

    A huge number of Boston roads are designated no-parking during snow emergencies, and the snow fell overnight, when parking in business districts would be non-existent. Yet there's giant piles of snow on major arteries like South Huntington. They've been there for days, even after the cleanup this weekend.

    Why was the cleanup left until the weekend in the first place?

    And hey, look on on the city's own tracking system...the proof's in the pudding, complete with photos.

    It's also not like these storms were one right after the other, like the mayor paints it to be; there was a week between the last two, more between the others. Plenty of time for cleanup...but after every storm, the city just cleared the roads on a basic level, and let everything sit for days if not weeks.

    Well, now that policy is biting the mayor in the ass, and we'll find out how much fun it will be to get a foot and a half of snow on top of all the snow he decided to leave hanging around.

    Sam Yoon would have had this

    By on

    Sam Yoon would have had this mess under control. Yoon 4 Mayor!!! Where are you, Sam Yoon??? Oh crap, he is in DC! Good move. Very little snow there.

    Biased???????

    By on

    read the first line and knew the rest would be you crying about how shitty you think boston is. how can a mayor or anyone else keep up with the snow removal? there is no money, budgets have been cut and more are coming. But its menino's fault that we have 70 inches of snow, did he not block for brady in that debacle of a football game either?

    Come on--really?

    By on

    I'm not generally one to stick up for city services, but are you kidding? You really expected things to be all tidy for the...bike lanes? And I'm a cyclist so no anti-bike sentiment here but in case you haven't noticed there's an extraordinary amount of snow out there and nowhere to put it. How about being grateful that the buses seem to be managing OK, that most streets ARE clear and safe? Considering the circumstances, I think we're doing just fine--find something else to rant about, unless you really want to move to Brookline...

    not just bike lanes

    By on

    My residential street, the major thoroughfare it connects with. And yes, I expect the streets in business districts to be plowed to the curb so that cars aren't blocking the bike lanes.

    My street still hasn't seen a plow or bucket since the snow stopped falling, leaving 3-4 feet of roadway unplowed. Another street up the block has been so congested with snow that a fire truck would find it impossible to get through.

    Same is true of several nearby intersections; they'd be passable to a truck in normal conditions, but the city plowed two straight-line paths, which means a fire truck wouldn't make the turn.

    If this sounds like a silly concern, it's not- an ambulance came onto our block a few days ago. It barely fit, and the street is two-way. If it had been needed 2 blocks over, it wouldn't have.

    If these safety issues were

    By on

    If these safety issues were really your primary concern, don't you think you might have led with that instead of going on about bike lanes? Again--as someone who is a daily, three-season cyclist in the city, I'm committed to increasing the safety and respect granted to bicycles in the city, but to carp about bike lanes when everyone is dealing with snow overload makes us sound pissy and demanding. Thank goodness, as I do, that you don't have a car to shovel out, and cycle on.

    A solid B

    I'd give the city a solid B for job to date. There was a period before the most-recent storm when it looked pretty bad but over the past week there's been marked change to the sidewalks and streets in the downtown Boston neighborhoods.

    I like to criticize the Mayor, etc., every chance I get but I have to give credit where credit is due.

    (Terry isn't as pleased as I am but maybe that's because he slipped on an icy sidewalk and fell and broke his arm during a December storm ...)

    B+ D-

    The City gets an B+ for clearing one plow width down the middle of the road

    ...and a D- for clearing to street to the curb even when there are no cars parked there.

    My neighbors and I move our cars off the street during snowstorms. Then we call the mayor's line and request they plow to the curb. After about three calls they come... until last storm when they did not. We did see guys driving around in their trucks talking on their cellphones but they couldn't be bothered to plow to the curb even though there were no cars parked there.

    IMAGE(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk143/nfsagan/bostonwinterstreet.jpg)

    Pencil-Whipped

    By on

    I see that report was pencil-whipped like most of the ones I see closed. "Road salted/plowed." They might as well create a new closure category, "We don't care." Nothing was done.

    I reported a fire hydrant plowed under after the last storm, and the status quickly changed to closed, "plow truck dispatched." No, many days later it's still plowed under. They won't even know where it is after the next storm.

    Emergency services are going to be affected now. Many roads will become too narrow for fire trucks or ambulances, and they're not going to know where the hydrants are.

    As for egregiously unplowed sidewalks (e.g. piles six foot high completely obstructing the sidewalk), I have three ideas:

    1. Send out a city crew to shovel it, bill it to the homeowner, and slap a lien on the property.

    2. This is a job for the Whiplash Brigade. All you shysters who team up with chiropractors and send runners to emergency rooms, listen up: gather your forces together for a massive slip-and-fall offensive.

    3. Google-bombs. For example, in the citizens connect item linked above the homeowner at 139 Walter Street is Nora Duclos. Nora Duclos has paid a private plow to push snow off her parking space in front of her house and pile the snow up on the sidewalk to six feet high, completely obstructing it from her wall into the street. Nora Duclos has placed this enormous pile between a crosswalk and a bus stop. Nora Duclos is forcing children to walk in the street in heavy traffic. Nora Duclos may actually cause injury to children. Nora Duclos should be charged by the city to remove the obstacle she has created. Nora Duclos has done something immoral - placing other people at risk of physical harm for her own convenience - and anybody who googles her name should know that.

    pitch in instead of bitchin'

    By on

    If you're so concerned about the hydrant being under snow, and rightly so, why don't you shovel it out yourself instead of whining about it? You live here too, right?

    Wasn't there a call earlier

    By on

    Wasn't there a call earlier this winter for people to shovel the hydrant nearest them?

    Seems like a good idea, to be neighborly, as well as to help protect your own property.

    Cambridge is way off in places

    By on

    Anyone notice cars parked 15 feet from the meter on Broadway going into Cambridge just off the Longfellow?

    I can't believe there are so many defenders of the city's snow clearing work. There are some true awful examples and the amount of snow is not an excuse. Not a foot at a time like it is. The problems mounted from the January 12th storm. There are many park spaces full with 2-3 feet of snow. It would have been easy when the snow was fresh to have moved it.

    Washington St.

    By on

    I took the Silver Line from downtown into the South End yesterday and Washington St hadn't been cleared to the curb over by NEMC. It was pretty much down to one lane inbound -- pretty ridiculous that a a major artery that runs by a hospital emergency room hadn't been plowed properly.

    Exactly

    By on

    Bikes - no bikes. There are many streets that are just not safe. Let's just hope there isn't a reason for everyone to leave the city at one time.

    Yet Another Plowing Gripe

    By on

    The City was doing an ok job the first couple of go-rounds but I think they were hoping for a warm spell to melt some of this crap and save them some money. Instead we're in the middle of another 4-8" today with more to come tomorrow, followed by a cold snap. This kaka's here to stay for a while.

    But no matter how bad Boston has been in plowing, Cambridge is worse. I don't even want to think what it will be like after all of this.

    Situations like this they should just go street by street, let people know they're going to plow the snow out to the curb on a given day and then tow 'n' plow, block by block. At the very least they could do it for the streets they're requiring you NOT to park on during emergencies. I thought that was the point...

    In Southie...

    By on

    We shovel our own snow off the sidewalks and streets..... after the city workers do a half-ass job. This is what we have to do since 70% of our neighborhood voted for Michael Flaherty.

    I hope it snows before the parade so I can peg Mumbles with snow balls from my roof deck. Yes, he walks the route from safe house to safe house. We call it the city worker underground railroad.

    PS. Spare me the space saver comments. You all do it unless you have off street parking.

    What parade?

    The Mayor doesn't march in the St. Patricks parade because it is run by homophobes. That said, you may have a point about plowing patterns. I've observed that the best plowing is in Roslindale/West Roxbury/Hyde park. Coincidence?

    That Parade

    By on

    He doesn't march in the parade, but he marches along with the parade. He gets credit for not being a homophobe while also getting credit for gladhanding with homophobes.

    If you think he actually skips or stays away from it on principle, you clearly haven't attended in the past 15 years.

    An expedition

    By on

    I just imagine my daily commute is now a mountain-climbing expedition. Since most of the sidewalks are not clear (private and city), and even if they are clear there is usually a long ridge of snow blocking access to it, I end up climbing up and down large piles of snow.