Snowbanks in Salem

Fair warning: this is not going to be a “pretty” Salem post. The first few pictures–taken on the morning after the second major snowstorm in a week that raised our snowbanks to four feet or so–are picturesque, but the remainder reveal a far less pristine picture. I try to walk to school as much as possible even in conditions such as these, so I thought I would show you yesterday’s commute, which was not for the faint-hearted. Generally I walk down side streets to get to Salem State, but yesterday I was determined to navigate busy Lafayette Street, to see if I could actually walk on the sidewalks. I would say that about two-thirds of the way was a clear path: the remainder clogged with snow that property owners (whose responsibility it is) had neglected to clear, forcing me, the mere pedestrian, into the busy, narrowed street. Nearly every single intersection was marked by a HUGE snowbank with no cut-through, again–forcing me into the street. I’m not sure if there is anything to be done about this particular problem: the snow has to go somewhere!

Setting the Scene: Lower Chestnut Street, the day after the second storm.

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My commute yesterday: starting off and proceeding to Lafayette:

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On Lafayette:  the owners of #276 and all the houses pictured below apparently feel no responsibility to clear their sidewalks.

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The most intimidating snowbank, at the corner of Holly and Lafayette Streets, and on the other side, a nice man clearing his sidewalk.

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9 responses to “Snowbanks in Salem

  • Kat

    It’s awful!! Becket Street isn’t even paved. I cannot tell you the number of times already that I’ve been standing face to face with a car on the street because there are no sidewalks. C’mon Salem!

    Like

  • Cotton Boll Conspiracy

    Wow, it’s not like you can trudge through those snow banks, either. I must say I pity the homeowner who’s armed with only a shovel. That would be a backbreaking job.

    Like

  • Brian Bixby

    We’ve much the same experience here in Cambridge. I believe sidewalks are supposed to be cleared wide enough for a wheelchair, but for the most part they are currently alleys one shovel-width across. And, as you note, corners are a particular problem, as one has to chance whatever route has been cleared.
    Fines are handed out for not clearing sidewalks. But I know of one case where they were for years ineffective: the owners were not in residence, and there was no tenant. And clearly they are being ignored or preferred to the cost of clearing snow in some cases.

    Like

  • jennyjames

    My three sons are all Cambridge-way, and they tell me nothing! Thanks for your report on local conditions. I will encourage them to shovel. And at least your Coke truck made it through!

    Like

  • daseger

    Lots of fines being given out here too, but I don’t know how effective they are. And now the snow is frozen in place with more coming!

    Like

  • Beth M

    It is awful! That is my section of Lafayette, near Holly, though my sidewalk IS cleared. I love walking downtown with my son who is now 3.5, but we have put that on hold for now. I don’t even know how anyone would hack through the snowbanks at the intersections, but the unshovelled sidewalks anger me.

    Like

  • downeastdilettante

    A friend who winters in New York emailed me, asking why I had not posted on my blog for a long time, then suggested that some pictures of the snow in Maine would be perfect. Haha. Easy to say when you’re not in the middle of it. Just an hour ago, I called a contractor to shovel the two feet of snow on the roofs of the house off, and to bring in a dump truck and front end loader to take away the two seven foot high mounds at the back door, that there might be room to put the nearly two feet more on its way. I don’t know how you made out, we had just shy of four feet fall in 10 days.

    I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for some new records—like most sunny days in a row without snow in February

    Like

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