One Simple Way to Anger Pedestrians: Give Snow Removal Priority to Cars
"A blizzard is the great equalizer in the city," writes Tom Donnelly. But the snow removal process following a blizzard: not so much.
Donnelly is writing of the days and weeks following the large winter storm that hit the East Coast at the end of January, focusing on the experience of New York City:
While plows worked the streets all day Saturday and into Sunday, some of the sidewalks still aren’t cleared, and a lot of those that are cleared are cleared with only a one-shall-pass narrow alley. More sidewalks are bordered by huge snow banks that make crossing the street impossible or are met at the end by the dreaded NYC slush pile, threatening to replace the Gowanus as the city’s most infamous body of water.
The neglect of sidewalks and crosswalks has invigorated a new level of anti-car political activism, according to Donnelly, documented by several media outlets. Included among the media speaking out about the city's neglect of the pedestrian right of way were Gothamist, New York magazine, and many, many upset citizens on Twitter.
Donnelly surveys the resulting backlash about the post-blizzard pedestrian experience in New York and identifies it as another sign, among many, of the conflicted way the city's law and infrastructure treats pedestrians.