Greater City Providence

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?

In other sidewalk snow news. Shockingly, it appears that someone dragged a shovel across the Atwells Avenue Bridge over Route 95. The sidewalk is not clear, but there is a shovel width path cleared. This usually happens at the end of the winter after a winter of me posting photos and ranting about it, so”¦ yay, I guess.

However… after one crosses from Downcity to Federal Hill, one reaches Garibaldi Park, a city owned park adjacent to the Federal Hill arch. The sidewalks there, are not clear, so, FAIL.

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.


  • I continue to not understand the inability, or the unwillingness of anyone (state, local, non profits, roving gangs of shovelers) to deal with this issue.

    Virginia is not usually very well prepared for snow, and yet we seem to get some pretty big snowfalls, at least in the last few years. And you know what? The roads and sidewalks get cleared. If not by residents or businesses, then by roving gangs of entrepreneurs who will shovel your entire sidewalk frontage, AND driveway for $40 and four bologna sandwiches, some clementines and a sleeve of girls scout cookies. And honestly, they would have done it just for the lunch, but I insisted on giving them all my cash because it was 18 inches of heavy snow.

    It isn’t like snow in RI comes as any huge surprise up there–why does there continue to NOT be any kind of snow removal plan? Is it really rocket brain surgery? Seriously?

  • What was discussed at the last I-195 Commission meeting? Director’s insurance. Why? Because they fear a lawsuit from you. OK, that last part I made up.

  • While this is all a very important issue, you undermine your point by suggesting that private sector employees have to pay for parking while public sector employees do not. Many private sector employers (such as Johnson & Wales: do provide parking. And many DCYF employees are required to travel to different locations throughout the day to visit homes, schools, the Training School, etc. by using their own personal vehicles, so charging them for parking would not make very much sense.

  • Parking is not free. They should have to pay. When land is taken off the tax rolls, the city loses out. So if they have to pay for parking, that’s money coming into the city (or in this case, the state).

    Brown charges their employees something like $400/year for parking. PC gives free parking (but being in a less dense neighborhood, they have the space for it, not that I agree with it, as an employee, I would have no problem paying for a parking pass… though I’d probably just walk or bike since I live close enough).

    His point is not undermined by stating that. The snow on the sidewalks is still a hazard, even for those employees who get free parking, as they have to walk from the parking to their offices.

  • there’s no money to pay anyone to clean off the sidewalks, and most people in this city don’t care (or walk anywhere).

  • I’m not sure if DCYF employees pay for parking, but I’ve seen a shuttle drop employees off in front of the building in the morning and I’ve always wondered where their parking lot was.

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