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Worcester Sidewalks Still Snow-Covered Despite Ordinance

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

 

With the blizzard of 2013 now past and Governor Deval Patrick's statewide travel ban lifted, many Bay Staters began to venture back out of doors in earnest on Monday, but a number of sidewalks in Worcester remained uncleared despite a city ordinance requiring that they be cleared following a snow fall.

Worcester's Sidewalk Snow Removal Ordinance requires that all city sidewalks be cleared with a 4-foot wide-path and be passable 10 hours after the snow stops falling.

Backlog for contractors

But with last weekend's 24-hour snowfall, stretching from early Friday into the day on Saturday and dropping well over two feet of snow on Worcester in the process, the clearing of sidewalks was delayed in many areas as residents struggled to dig themselves out from the third-largest snowfall in recent history in Central Mass.

By noon on Sunday, with sidewalks and driveways still snow-covered, a number of Worcester residents who had hired plow companies to clear their property began to worry that they may be fined due to the delay caused by the backlog of work the region's snow removal contractors faced after the massive snow storm.

WRTA stop snowbound downtown

One conspicuously uncleared stretch of sidewalk in downtown Worcester was in front of the Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA) bus stop on Main Street next to Mechanics Hall.

While nearly all of the WRTA's bus routes were up and running by midday Monday, the same could not be said for the Main St. bus stop, where pedestrians had trod a rough path over the snow and the bus shelter remained largely encased in snow.

WRTA Administrator Stephen O'Neil said Monday afternoon that the transit authority is responsible for the sidewalk along that stretch of Main St. and that their snow removal contractor had been called out on a number of other jobs prior to the WRTA stop, which he would be knocking out Monday night.

School back in session

Worcester Public Schools will resume classes today after an impromptu four-day weekend due to the storm. In a message posted on the district's website, the WPS administration asked parents for some extra patience in the coming weeks as the snow melts and  bus travel may be slowed in areas where the streets are still narrow due to snowbanks. The administration also asked that students be reminded to use extra caution on any street where snow piles force them to walk in the street, noting that there are areas throughout the city where snow may make it difficult for drivers to see students crossing the street.
 

 

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