Archives For Sidewalks
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.
Internet is down here at Greater City Providence. Lucky for us we still have power and heat. So, I’m posting from my phone, lets see how that goes.
I took an epic amount of photos (and a few videos) and am going to split them up a bit. Here goes day after post number one.
Whoops! Published that too quick. Wait, I’m adding more!
Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Agenda
January 23, 2013, 4:30 PM, 444 Westminster Street, First Floor
Note: Meeting is Wednesday instead of Monday due to the Martin Luther King Day holiday. Also, meetings start at 4:30pm now rather than 4 o’clock.
- 4:30 – Nate Urso, Providence Department of Public Works: Crosswalks, Street Repaving, Policy, and Safety (Nate will also give a brief update on the status of the Road Bond repaving in general)
- 4:55 – Dave Everett: Bike Plan Update and BPAC input on potential road bond bicycle improvements (Melrose, Prairie, Potters, Olney) and review of typical sections. Also plans for draft report and stakeholder meeting in Feb.
- 5:05 – Public comment.
- 5:20 – Discussion/letter re DOT bikeway plans (master list for bike plan)
- 5:25 – Jef Nickerson: S. Main St. merchant issues re pedestrian access/movement relative to I-Way parcels
- 5:30 – Jenn Steinfeld/Jef Nickerson: BPAC communications update/protocol for receiving input
- 5:40 – Bridge detours update
- 5:45 – Zip Car spaces and potential bike lane conflicts
- 5:55 – Rescheduling BPAC meetings now scheduled for May 20, August 19, November 18, December 16
Full disclosure: I am a member of this Commission.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
— Providence EMA (@PEMA591) December 29, 2012
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
- 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.
- The second priority is to clear collector streets and routes leading to schools.
- 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:
- 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;
- Remove or cause to be removed all snow from around any fire hydrant on the sidewalk in front of said building or lot;
- Remove or cause to be removed all snow from the opening of any catch basin in the sidewalk of said building or lot;
- 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.
Of course, the devil as always is in the details, with this type of rendering it is difficult to tell what the materials are. However, at first look it is nice, doesn’t make one recoil in horror. There’s a short list of nitpicks as always: A rather blank wall along the Service Road. I won’t go on about saving the Engle Tire Building, but it is always annoying to not have a net gain on the vacant lot scoreboard. I’d prefer to see taller buildings along the Service Road, but there is still plenty of developable space.
WPRI reports on City Councilman Michael Correia’s proposal to fine homeowners for unruly weeds on their property. The ordinance would impose a $25 fine per day on homeowners who have weeds or grass on their property exceeding 8 inches in height.
While there is a neighborhood beautification component to the proposal, as the WPRI video above shows, it is also a safety concern. As I’m sure you’re all aware, we have another ordinance which addresses a safety concern, snow shoveling.
WPRI reports: “The Department of Public Works would be in charge of enforcing the ordinance.” Great, DPW is also responsible for enforcing snow removal. How is that working out? The City admitted this to the Providence Journal way back in 2010 regarding snow removal:
Peter T. Gaynor, city director of emergency management, acknowledged, however, that the DPW is not yet ready to discharge its new duty. For the time being, he said, it’s still up to the police.
Before we pass another toothless ordinance, let us figure out who is going to enforce it and ensure they have the resources to do so.