As you probably know, Boston has been nailed with historic snow amounts in the late month – the official count is now well over 70 inches! Even more is coming down as I write this. As you might imagine, these epic snow amounts have made having a car in Boston – a city not known for its easily navigable streets and thoughtful urban planning at the best of times – a total nightmare. I’ve shoveled out my car more times in the last 3 weeks than I can remember in all my years of growing up in Michigan! It’s getting to the point where there’s almost no place left to pile the snow.
Thankfully, I live on a quiet side street where parking isn’t too hard to come by. My neighborhood isn’t one known for the insidious but often necessary practice of parking savers. The real challenge of street parking with snow amounts like these, is finding places to pile it. See after a storm, owners dutifully go and find their cars – usually employing some sort of divining rod, metal detectors or the panic button on their keys. Once the car located under a shapeless mass of snow, the owner begins the process of digging out.
Simple enough right? Except that after 2-3 hours shoveling, people get tired and lazy. Those massive berms of snow between your car and the one in front and behind? Eh, someone else’s problem. You’ve beaten a path to your car and cleared out juuuust enough snow so that you can pull out and truck your way over to Whole Foods because you’ve run out of kombucha, again. Of course, before you leave you make sure your space saver is left behind, securing your parking spot from all the other predatory Massholes out there. After all, that miserable stretch of pavement is yours, you dug it out!
See how this can start to become a problem? Thank god for high taxes. Yes, really. We may pay more taxes here, but we do get our money’s worth.
The City of Somerville does a pretty effective job of handling snow. No major blizzard is going to sneak up on our city officials (I mean really how could one, with the damned Weather Channel each one an “event”) without an appropriate response. The above photo was from a clean-up following our first and second major storms a few weeks ago. Yep, that’s a Volvo front-end loader with some sort of industrial grade snowblower attached, which is chewing up and shooting the snow at high speed into a giant dump-truck. Godbless.