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Giorgio: A Tale of Two Cities

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

 

Paul Giorgio

As we fight the worst winter we have had in a very long time, I am reminded of the Tale of Two Cities. I am not talking about Charles Dickens’ novel. I am talking about the first and second cities of Massachusetts and how they have handled the winter. It is indeed a tale of two different cities.

As I write this Worcester is the snowiest city in America, having taken that honor from perennial winner, Buffalo, New York. We have had a little over 100 inches of snow in the past few weeks.  This is another first for our hometown.

Worcester has endured and handled the crisis well in our usual non flashy style. The city has responded well, complaints are being handled in a timely fashion. The City Administration under City Manager Ed Augustus has been sensitive to the needs of both business and residents. The city has removed snow from major business areas such as Shrewsbury Street, The Canal District, the Downtown, Highland Street and a host of other commercial hubs.

There have been problems with the shoveling of sidewalks, but here too, the city has taken a common sense approach. Residents have been pretty responsive to the shoveling ordnance. I wish the businesses of the city were as community minded. I have seen major arteries filled with commercial activity without sidewalks shoveled. And why do those businesses who shovel their sidewalks, in many cases not shovel through, so that people who are walking do not get trapped in a dead end. In a great many ways, this is worse than not shoveling at all.

DPW workers deserve our thanks

The workers from the Department of Public Works have been working for hours with only short breaks to keep the city open. They deserve our gratitude.

Even the WRTA buses have been running, albeit on a limited snow schedule some days. Many  hills in our city are just too dangerous to drive a bus down.

We cannot say the same for Boston. The MBTA is all but shut down and it has been shut down for close to a week. They asked people to find alternate transportation. For most T riders, the T is the alternative. These are the poor hardworking stiffs, who keep the city going. The minimum wage workers, who are employed in fast food restaurants or in hospitals. They have had to bare an un-due burden because of the MBTA’s failings. On Tuesday the MBTA said it may take a month to get the T back to full service. The Governor must do something quickly about this ineptitude on the part of T management.

T shutdown hurting Worcester

The shutdown of the T has affected us in Worcester because the Commuter lines were also affected by the shutdown.

In addition, Boston has had a hard time plowing and then removing the toms of snow that have fallen.

I think it’s time that Boston learn from Worcester’s best practices when it comes to snow removal  It is also time that we  take a 21st century approach to a problem that only seems to be getting worse with climate change. Maybe we need to invest in different types of machinery. We need to look at machines that melt the snow, not pile it up.

Fight the snow with humor

In the meantime, as the streets get narrower and as the snow get higher, let us treat it all with humor rather than anger. We still have at least a month more of this to endure.

And finally, let’s take advantage of being the snowiest city in America-Let’s goes after the Winter Olympics. Think of it, we can turn Dead Horse Hill into a giant slalom course and have speed skating on the Common’s Oval.

And just relax, the snow will all melt in time for all of us to complain about the heat and humidity.

 

Related Slideshow: Worcester’s Top Ten Highest Annual Snowfall Totals

Prev Next

#10

Year: 1966-67

Total Amount of Snow: 94.2 inches

Month with Highest Amount of Snow: January '67 - 46.8 inchess

Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Prev Next

#9

Year: 1957-58

Total Amount of Snow: 97.5 inches 

Month with Highest Amount of Snow: February '58 - 36.5 inches

Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Prev Next

#8

Year: 1995-96

Total Amount of Snow: 97.9 inches 

Month with Highest Amount of Snow: January '96 - 45.2 inches

Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Prev Next

#7

Year: 1947-48

Total Amount of Snow: 98.5 inches 

Month with Highest Amount of Snow: January '48 - 37.7 inches

Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Prev Next

#6

Year: 1971-72

Total Amount of Snow: 99.3 inches

Month with Highest Amount of Snow: January '72 - 35 inches 

Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Prev Next

#5

Year: 1993-94

Total Amount of Snow: 100 inches 

Month with Highest Amount of Snow: January '94  - 34 inches

Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Prev Next

#4

Year: 1960-61

Total Amount of Snow: 104 inches

Month with Highest Amount of Snow: January '61 - 32 inches

Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Prev Next

#3

Year: 2012-2013

Total Amount of Snow: 108.9 inches

Month with Highest Amount of Snow: February '13 - 44.44 inches

Source: Goldensnowglobe.com and U.S. Climate Data

Prev Next

#2

Year: 2004-2005

Total Amount of Snow: 114 inches 

Month with Highest Amount of Snow: January '05 - 50.9 inches

Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Prev Next

#1

Year: 1992-93

Total Amount of Snow: 114 inches

Month with Highest Amount of Snow: March '93 - 44 inches

Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

 
 

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