Greater City Providence

Sidewalk rant: Day 3, too little too late edition

This morning city workers were throwing a sand and salt mix on top of the 10 inches of ice on the Atwells Avenue overpass sidewalks.




Many sidewalks Downcity were dry this morning, the Hilton and the Dunk among them. The Westin gets a demerit for having ice on the sidewalks outside the Residences.

The city has cleared the snow within Burnside Park, not just around it, but the walkways within it too. But at Garibaldi Park on Federal Hill I was forced to walk in the street. Downcity proves it can be done, snow can be cleared and the sidewalks can be safely navigable within a reasonable time period. So why can’t the rest of the city follow suit?

Jef Nickerson

Jef is Greater City Providence's co-founder, editor, and publisher. He grew up on Cape Cod and lived in Boston; Portland, Maine; and New York before settling in Providence. In addition to urbanism, Jef is interested in art, design, and ice cream. Please feel free to contact Jef if you have any question or comments about Greater City Providence.


  • Instead of walking in the slush, saying excuse-me-for-living, pedestrians along places like those overpasses should take a lane and block traffic. If conditions are such that they are getting splashed there, take both lanes.

  • I just picked up a rental car to head to the Cape later. I drove over the Dean Street viaduct and of course, not shoveled (I’ve heard the city say flat out, that is the state’s responsibility). Of course that area is pedestrian hell even on the nicest spring day. I saw a woman and two children struggling through the ice mounds this morning. Also at the Woonasquatucket crossing on the Parkway, people were in the street because… no sidewalks.

  • It’s time for the city and state to stop pointing fingers, suck it up and just shovel, plow, or do whatever it takes to make the city livable and navigable for pedestrians, even in the winter.

    The residents and visitors don’t give a crap who is responsible, just that it gets done. It doesn’t make the state look bad if a patch of sidewalk that might be owned by the state is not shoveled. It makes the city look bad. The city should suck it up and take the initiative. If it’s state property, send the DOT a bill.

Providence, RI
Mostly Cloudy
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Wind: 8mph S
Humidity: 88%
Pressure: 30.07"Hg
UV index: 2
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