Archive | Snow

Cool train snow plow

The title on this video says it is Siberian, but the railroad crossing sign appears to be in English and commenters say it is Canadian. Wherever it is, it is cool to watch.


Privatizing Garibaldi Park did not result in the sidewalk being cleared


Unfortunately, privatizing Garibaldi Park did not translate into the adjacent sidewalk being cleared of snow. As when the City was responsible for its maintenance, I had to walk in the street this morning.

Also, per usual, Lamar continues to fail to clear the snow from the bus stop here (and elsewhere I’m sure).

Update: Better late than never, as of Wednesday morning, the sidewalk is clear.



Snowblogging – Last Night

I went out for a walk last night during the storm. Here are some of the photos I took.


Hey New England: It is gonna snow again


A Yellow Jacket clearing snow Downcity. January 21, 2012.

Have you lived in New England for more than a year or so? Remember how last year it snowed, and the year before that it snowed, and for 10,000 years before that it snowed? Well, get ready, all the weather people seem to agree, it is going to snow again Saturday.

So, you might want to remember how to deal with it. The City luckily, has you covered.

When snow season arrives, City crews, residents and businesses need to work together to manage challenging winter weather conditions.

The Providence Public Works Department is responsible for clearing snow and ice on more than 421 miles of City-maintained roads in the City of Providence.

City of Providence Snow Facts

  • Over 130 pieces of equipment are available for every storm, including plows, tractors, snow blowers, graders, loaders and pickup trucks.
  • Materials and equipment are housed at one central location in Providence.
  • Public Works replenishes supplies after every storm.

How We Plow

  1. The first priority for city crews during and immediately after a snowfall is to clear priority roads, including major arterial streets, bus routes, bus stops, and roads that access fire stations and hospitals.
  2. The second priority is to clear collector streets and routes leading to schools.
  3. Once conditions have been stabilized on first- and second-priority routes, crews will begin to clear local streets. Local streets are not plowed immediately during a snow event. In the event of continual snowfall, it may take longer than usual for plows to reach local streets as first- and second-priority streets will require additional attention.
Also, don’t forget to share you snow photos in our Flickr Group, we might share them here on the site.

What are your legal requirements as a citizen of Providence when it comes to snow removal?

Sec. 23-13. – Removal of snow — Required.

All owners, occupants or persons, having care of any building or lot bordering upon any street, highway or public place within the city, shall, within the first eight (8) hours of daylight after the end of any snowfall, or the fall or deposit of snow on the sidewalk of said building or lot from any cause whatsoever:

  1. Remove or cause to be removed all snow from a path not less than three (3) feet in width of the entire border in or on said street, highway, or public place;
  2. Remove or cause to be removed all snow from around any fire hydrant on the sidewalk in front of said building or lot;
  3. Remove or cause to be removed all snow from the opening of any catch basin in the sidewalk of said building or lot;
  4. Remove or cause to be removed all snow from pedestrian-access ramps cut into street curbs bordering said building or lot;

Any person found guilty of violating this section shall be fined not less than twenty-five dollars ($25.00) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500.00). The enforcement of the above shall be done by the city police department and/or an inspector or supervisor of the city public works department. Failure to pay the fine within thirty (30) days will result in the creation of a special lien against the said lot(s), which lien shall be removed only upon payment of the fine plus an administrative penalty of one hundred dollars ($100.00). The imposition of such fine and other charges may be appealed to municipal court within ten (10) days of the issuance of a written citation.

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Snowblogging: November 7th Edition (Really?)


I lived in Portland, Maine in the early 90’s and we had snow that stuck on Halloween, other than that, I’m pretty sure this is the earliest I’ve ever seen accumulating snow. And of course I love snow, so this is great.

These are just a few photos I snapped with my phone as I struggled home in the gale force windstorm this evening.



And of course, as always, even with a surprisingly early November snowstorm, Angelo’s on Atwells Avenue has a completely snow free sidewalk. I swear I’m going to move back to Maine and gay marry them someday.


There’s a few snow photos in our Flickr Group, if you have any please share them and we’ll post them on the site later.

Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting – September 24, 2012

Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission (BPAC)
Regular Meeting, September 24, 2012, 4:00 pm
Providence City Hall, Aldermen’s Chambers, 3rd Floor, Providence RI


  • 4:00: Welcome and Introductions
  • 4:05: Cyclovia Recap and Future Plans (Katiuska Perez)
  • 4:20: Public Input
  • 4:40: New England Builders Ball and Cyclocross Festival promotion (Eric Weis)
  • 4:45: Bike Providence Status (Dave Everett)
  • 4:50: Review of Bicycle Ordinances and Regulations (Sheila Dormody)
  • 5:05: Snow Removal Issues (Jef Nickerson)
  • 5:20: Election of Officers

Agenda pdf

Full disclosure: I am a member of this Commission.


The Rant


Angelo’s on Atwells, a business that obviously wants customers.

I’ve been mini-ranting here and there in posts and comments, but allow me to just devote one post to this, and as we do every year, let’s talk it out.

There’s something that I really don’t understand about clearing sidewalks. I can see that some residents are selfish, shovel a path to their car and everyone else be damned. I don’t like it but I understand that some people have no civic pride or common decency, and since their is no action from the City, I understand that those people simply don’t shovel and seemingly don’t care.

What I don’t understand is businesses. What goes on in your brain when you go to your business, unlock your door, turn on the lights, and wait behind your cash register for customers, but don’t shovel? Even if 100% of your customers arrive by car (which does not happen anywhere in Providence), those people still need to get from their cars to your cash register.

Yes, civic pride and common decency may be gone, but in a massive recession simple customer service is out the window too? That photo at the top, that is Angelo’s on Atwells Avenue. That was yesterday morning, they weren’t even open yet, but their sidewalk was clear. They have civic pride obviously, but they also know, even if they are not open, their customers and potential customers are walking by, so they clear their sidewalks.

There’s a couple other businesses on the Hill that are really good at shoveling, Chef Ho’s is notable for their snow removal as well. And both Chef Ho’s and Angelo’s keep this up all year. While the rest of Federal Hill is a trash pit, Angelo’s sidewalks are always swept and clear of debris, they care for the street trees adjacent to their property, they hang lights during the holidays, plant flowers, they hose off puke…

I simply cannot wrap my brain around why more businesses don’t have Angelo’s attitude.


Snowblogging: Twice in one week!

I am going to try to not sidewalk rant here. It is still snowing, so by right, no one is required to have their sidewalks clear, but expect a little ranting to sneak in, I can’t help myself!

I was out between noon and 1pm and did a big loop through Downcity to Waterplace and back.

Snow - January 21, 2012

Right off the bat, a little rant, I told you I can’t help myself. Well not so much a rant as a surprise; the sidewalks at Dominica Manor have not been touched today. They do not need to be per regulations, but they are usually out clearing snow all day on a day like this. Budget problems?

I didn’t take a photo, but as always, Angelo’s was clear. Someone was out shoveling and salting as I walked by.

Again, dumbfounded here, my ranting is bearing fruit. Someone (I assume the City though it is a State bridge) dumped a metric ton of salt on the Atwells Avenue Bridge sidewalks.

Snow - January 21, 2012

Of course then the plows pushed snow up on top of it. The sidewalk on the other side faired better and was actually clear, even as I walked back and the snow was getting heavier.

Snow - January 21, 2012

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Piling on the 195 Commission’s sidewalks

Am I being unfair? I don’t know, let me pile on as much as the snow is currently piled on their sidewalks, shall I?

To be accurate (not fair, just accurate), the 195 Commission had according to idiotic changes the City Council made to the snow removal regulations in 2010, until 3:08pm to remove their snow (8 hours after sunrise after snow stops falling). When I left work around 6pm, the sidewalks were still unclear.

However, this parking lot built for DCYF was clear first thing in the morning.


DCYF surface parking lot on the 195 land

Yes, the only thing built on the 195 land thus far is a surface parking lot clearly marked as for employees of DCYF, a non-tax paying state agency.

So, this lot is clear, and apparently, DCYF employees are able to hover from this lot to their offices. I’m assuming this is the case as none of the sidewalks around this parking lot are clear. For us mere mortal non-state employees who can’t hover, we’re left walking in the street or risking falling on the snow and ice. (as an aside, does anyone know if DCYF employees have to pay for parking, you know, like private sector employees do?)

Does anyone know who I sue if I fall on these sidewalks or get hit by a car while avoiding them? Does the 195 Commission have insurance yet? Does the Governor just give me money out of his personal fortune?

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The 195 Commission doesn’t shovel the sidewalks on “their land”

The 195 Commission doesn't shovel their sidewalks

When speaking at an event or talking to the press, the members of the 195 Commission are quick to remind everyone that the parcels formerly occupied by Route 195 is “their land.”

I know they were recently installed and they’re busying getting up to speed and finding parking spaces, so let me remind the Commission, we have a law in Providence that says abutting property owners must clear the snow from the sidewalks adjacent to their property.

The 195 Commission doesn't shovel their sidewalks

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Rain on top of snow equals gross

Atwells Avenue bridge over Route 95

At midnight last night I almost went out to do some honest to goodness snowblogging, it was really coming down. But come morning, it had changed to rain and most of the snow was gone. The amount of snow we got before the changeover, and the amount of rain that fell on top of it, and the temperature still hovering in the mid 30s meant that the sidewalk were a mess.

Worst kind of weather conditions for sidewalks, a thin layer of slush frozen, often indistinguishable from what is simply wet makes for a slow shuffle with arms out to help stop from falling. When I got to the Atwells Bridge, I moved into the street.

Some building owners were out salting, Dominica Manor as usual was putting a lot of salt down on their sidewalks. The Hilton, again as usual. The Public Library was just getting started on salting as I shuffled by. The newest member of the neighborhood, 38 Studios also had salt down on their sidewalks at One Empire and also salted the sidewalks past the pocket park to the Westminster Walk. I’m liking 38 Studios now!

The forecast I saw this morning had some snow showers on it for Thursday night, Friday, and next Monday, maybe we’ll finally get some honest to goodness real New England snow!