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Plowing done wrong

east-ave

East Avenue near the Pawtucket/Providence line.

I’m seeing a lot of bellyaching on social media about streets not being plowed yet. While, my street is showing signs of blacktop, I feel others pain, but. We got walloped with feet of snow drifting to amazing proportions. There are hundreds of thousands, probably millions of tons of snow that need to be removed from hundreds of miles of roads. This is not something that just happens in a day or two, or more.

What does annoy me, is snow removal done wrong. The Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission (of which I am a member) has discussed with Providence EMA the problem of plows piling snow at the corners of blocks, which then makes it impossible for abutters to comply with snow removal regulations. And while like I said, we’re dealing with a monumental amount of snow, that really has few places to go, I’m seeing a lot of signs around the few parts of the city that I’ve been able to reach this weekend, signs that this continues to happen.

While the photo above is from Pawtucket, not Providence, it illustrates the problem well. My friend who took the photo asked the workers who were dumping the snow if the abutter here would receive a fine and was told: ‘if they talked to city hall they wouldn’t get a fine.’

Well, that is nice for the pocketbook of the abutter (though, ‘talk to City Hall,’ is a rather vague directive), it sucks for all the people who now have to walk in East Avenue because the sidewalk will be closed for weeks.

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STORM OF THE CENTURY!!!!!!

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Storm accumulation forecast from Right Weather.

Right Weather has updated their storm map with higher totals than the one above!

Updates

Amtrak Northeast Service Advisories.


Travel bans go into effect in Massachusetts and Connecticut Friday at 4pm. Authorized personnel only on roadways.


National Grid Power Outage Map
Report an Outage: 1-800-465-1212
For text alerts send STORM to NGRID (64743)



State of Emergency declared in Rhode Island.

Blizzard Warning 6am Friday to 1pm Saturday.

The short message about tomorrow (and Saturday, and probably Sunday too) is STAY HOME!

Of course, I’m planning to go to work for a while Friday, so practice what I preach, not so much.

What you need to know.


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Guest Post: Snow removal, “not my job.”

A reader submits photos and commentary on common snow removal issues along North Main. Just a little extra effort would save hundreds of people from huge inconvenience and safety concerns.

Here are some snowy sidewalk pics that illustrate the not-my-job mindset. I am glad the long sidewalk along North Burial Ground on North Main Street has been getting plowed lately, although when the snow is deep enough to bog down their little tractor, they simply fuggedaboutit. But how hard would it be to drive that little tractor a few yards farther along and clear the traffic island at Cemetary Street?

NBG_Cem

On a side note, this intersection is a fine example of inappropriate high-speed design. Oh yeah, there is a stop sign, but most drivers scoot right on through and merge into N. Main at full speed, with heads turned left to check approaching traffic as if they were at a highway on-ramp instead of a crosswalk. Also, note how the sidewalk on the traffic island is where the plow driver who clears the lawyer’s lot dumps snow.

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I guess it a dead-serious matter of turf and good fences between Parks Dept and Public Works, (or RIDOT? Or the Feds? N Main is US 1, you know) that keeps the Parks Dept. tractor from plowing all the way to Branch Ave. It might take 90 seconds and cause huge paperwork and budget issues.

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Snowy sidewalks

Yes, yes, the law says you have 8 hours until after the first light after it stops snowing to clear your sidewalk, blah, blah, blah… But, there is the law, and then there is sensibility and being a good neighbor.

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Of course, I had no doubt, even though they are not open, and not required to do so, per usual, Angelo’s sidewalk is clear. It always is, it is like the sunrise, you know it will happen. This is an example of being a good neighbor and a good business person. This simple act creates amazing goodwill from me for Angelo’s.

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Up the block, The Old Canteen has been really good with the few snowfalls we’ve had this winter. That plow pulling out of the lot, the driver of that plow is the one who shoveled the sidewalk, I watched him finish up, put his shovel in his truck, and leave. Old Canteen obviously has an arrangement for both their parking lot and their sidewalks to be clear; satisfying the needs of their customers in cars and on foot obviously makes good business sense.

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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.

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Privatizing Garibaldi Park did not result in the sidewalk being cleared

garibaldi-snow

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.

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Snowblogging – Last Night

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

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Hey New England: It is gonna snow again

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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?)

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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

Agenda

  • 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.

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The Rant

Angelo's

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.

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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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