Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Snow Thought II

With all of the discussion about an ordinance to requiring residents to take snow off sidewalks, it is instructive to look at compliance with and enforcement of the existing ordinance that prohibits residents putting snow onto sidewalks.

Section 26-9 states:

No person shall block, obstruct or otherwise hinder or impair pedestrian or vehicular traffic on the public ways of the city by placing snow or ice or permitting or causing snow or ice to be placed upon a street, sidewalk or bridge[.]

I haven't driven all over town, but there appear to be significant violators on Needham Street, Parker Street, Beacon Street, and elsewhere. And, these aren't just technical violations, they get to the very purpose of the ordinance. They really force pedestrians into the street.

I'll follow up in a few weeks to see if any citations are issued. If you have any pictures, send them and I'll post them.

By the way, things looked good at last year's poster-child Section 26-9 violator, Whole Foods on Walnut Street. Nice clear sidewalks and no snow mounds blocking them.

NS&S gets results!


edward3h said...

We cleared the sidewalk in front of our property. Every other property on our street has cleared their driveway in such a way as to make piles of snow across the sidewalk on either side.

My wife had an argument with the people next door after they plowed their driveway right on to the sidewalk she had just cleared. They seemed to think she was crazy for being upset about it.

It seems like we're fighting against the general behavior of people here, regardless of what the law says, which makes me pessimistic.

(We are Newton residents without a car...)

Eric said...

As a firefighter in Newton I can tell you that the sidewalks are in horrible shape. We shovel out the hydrants after storms and after Sun. we started having to use an axe to get down through the frozen layer. Sidewalks that were shoveled are likely ice covered and slippery and unshoveled sidewalks are completely unwalkable. Only yesterday, Tues., did I see any attempt by the City to clear the sidewalks, and then only in commercial districts like Langley Rd. in Newton Centre.

Hydrants are even lower on the list of shoveling priorities for residents, and that's if they can find one after the street's and the sidewalk's snow ends up on top of them.

As a plug for a business that shovels its sidewalks and its closest hydrant, thank you to the Langley Deli at about 425 Langley Rd. Tony's great, and his place is always accessible.