Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sidewalk snow and slush frustrate foot traffic in Burlington

Sidewalk snow and slush frustrate foot traffic in Burlington. This is the same in Montpelier. Every morning after some stronger snowfall you see people being forced to walk out on the street -- in car traffic. Sometimes drivers don't even slow down for these pedestrians, which causes frustration and dangerous situations for the pedestrians. 
Not having to shovel the little piece of sidewalk in front of your own house is a rare thing in the US. Vermont, however, seems to be relying on the so-called "sidewalk plows", which obviously doesn't work out as well as hoped. Maybe it's time to reconsider (and go out there, do your community a favor and shovel a little). Much appreciated, thanks. 
Read the full article from the Burlington Free Press:
Laksman Adhekari and his granddaughter, Smerika Adhekari, 4, walk Monday afternoon on Sherman Street in Burlington because the street’s narrow sidewalks had not been plowed.
Behind the blockades of plowed snow, out of view to many Monday motorists, Burlington’s pedestrians strode, slogged, shoveled, tripped, skated and waded along miles of snow-compromised sidewalks.

A one-two punch of storms in the past several days dropped about 2 feet of snow, according to the National Weather Service.
The second dump — a heavy, dense mess — prompted Public Works Department Director Steven Goodkind to pronounce the removal efforts for sidewalks as “slow. Slow and steady.”
The sheer volume of snow has clogged the city’s efforts to plow it out of the way: “We’re no longer able to push it around, and we can only pile it so high before it falls back down,” Goodkind said.
Burlington’s tumbling snow exceeds what geologists term the “critical angle of repose.” In other words, it eases itself back to boot level all too quickly.
Crews today will continue the slow, costly strategy of reducing the height of roadside canyons with front-end loaders and haulingaway snow in dump trucks, Goodkind said (snow is deposited in city-owned land along Lake Champlain, contained behind berms).
Courtney Price of South Burlington dropped into town for a lunchtime sandwich. In hisJeep, parked on Main Street, he sat for several minutes to consider how or if he should feed the meter. A 10-foot expanse of thigh-deep snow lay between the sidewalk and the coin-slot side.
“I’m not hugging the snow bank to get to the meter,” Price said. “I’m not able to get there — and I’m not disabled.”
He took the street, by foot.

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