Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Parsing Mayor Cohen

Re-reading Mayor Cohen's response to my letter to him about school sidewalks, two more things struck me:

  • On the morning after the storm, "the most urgent problem facing most of [the schools]was clearing the ice and frozen snow from the immediate vicinity of the schools." Obviously, more students are going to tread the sidewalks around the schools than on the various sidewalks that lead to the school, even if every child walked to school. But, what helped make the problem so urgent is the fact that, for most students, the sidewalks immediately around the school are the only sidewalk they'll tread. We have to have policies that discourage dropping kids off.
  • "We've assigned front end loaders to clear out intersections that might otherwise be blocked by our street plowing activities." I would have guessed that the problem of ice mountains in crosswalks would be most efficiently addressed at the time the snow was being plowed. Based on the mayor's letter, it appears that assumption is unfounded. But, whether plowing big piles and later removing them is a more efficient use of resources (including staff), it still is less efficient from a pedestrian standpoint, because it takes a few days, at least, until the loaders (or the nifty sidewalk clearing machines) get rid of the piles.

The Mayor responds
Dangerous Sidewalk Letter to Mayor Cohen

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