Friday, February 18, 2011

DPW Standard Practices - Snow Removal

Best Practices in Snow Removal for DPW Commissioners of any large city in Massachusetts.

Step 1 - When it snows a lot, make sure to leave snow 2 feet out from each curb in the Downtown area, and 8 feet out from each curb in other areas of the city. This makes it hard for emergency vehicles, MBTA buses, and delivery trucks to do their work.  (Note: For areas of the city where there are thriving restaurants, make sure that there is enough snow left behind, so that the MBTA driver will have to ask the patrons of said restaurant to leave their hot dinners and move their cars. This is especially good for business and first time visitors to our city).

Step 2 - If the amounts of snow are massive, do NOT get out the front end loaders and dump trucks and remove the snow from the business area of your city. This would make it too easy to do business and succeed as a Downtown.

Step 3 - If any residents or businesses complain, do NOT answer their emails regarding this topic.

Step 4 - Create some sort of city-wide ban restricting parking in a hard to understand manner and make it voluntary so no one follows it. Do NOT consider the downtown in a different manner than the suburban portions of your city. That would make things too complicated for YOU to understand.

Step 5 - Once it is 50 degrees out and the snow will pretty much melt on its own to a reasonable distance from the curb, get the front-end loaders out and begin removing the snow from the streets.

Step 6 - Quit your job. (Optionally you could get fired, but the City Council would just reinstate you, so no worries here.)



  1. Re: Step 1.2 Clearing snow in restaurant district. Please tell me this didn't happen. You've got to be kidding. Yet it sounds completely plausible.

  2. It absolutely happened. While traffic remained back up from Oxford down to Washington Street. MBTA driver was outside the Ox screaming and yelling. Neighbor of mine witnessed and started directing a few cars to not try to go down Oxford. Was a mess!

  3. The Chamber took the reigns on this issue and solicited letters from effected business members and some in the community. I sent one in, myself. I haven't done any follow-up to see what the reaction has been, yet. The City, of course, has been consumed by other matters. Councilor Crighton has offered to address this issue on behalf of Downtown once we get back to what passes as normal, but there's a backlog that has to be plowed through as well.

    Also, well said.

  4. Normal doesn't matter. It is what it is and the downtown needs to function. This was a mess.

  5. I agree. I was livid that commercial areas were not considered. I can't think of any other city I've experienced that imposes residential street style parking restrictions on their downtowns, metered and 1/2hr parking zones. Maybe we need more downtown residents inside City Hall, if they're not going to consider us.

  6. Following up:

    Safety first, but then get snow removal equipment in there ASAP to make both sides park-able again. They waited too long. Even Revere had us beat.

  7. A copy of an email I sent today and the response. I love the fact that if they say they're addressing the issue, they think I actually buy it.

    To Whom It May Concern:

    Could you please actually enforce the parking ban that the leadership of the city has put in place. As I drive throughout the city, I see cars parking on both sides, day and night. Isn't the purpose of this to ensure for public safety? Although there has been significant melting, that doesn't negate the parking ban. Also, isn't the point of the ban to allow the DPW to start clearing the snow and increasing the width of the streets that were terribly plowed from the beginning? If you have no intention on enforcing the mandates or can't put into place a snow removal project, please find someone that can.

    Their response:
    From: Mary Wright
    Sent: Friday, February 18, 2011 12:30 PM
    To: Jamie Cerulli
    Cc: Jay Fenton
    Subject: RE: Parking Ban and Snow Removal

    Hi Jamie,
    We are enforcing the ban. The meter maids have been out tagging and we are trying to send them to the streets that we are being called about, especially the ones with the biggest problem getting emergency vehicles through. Police are also enforcing.


  8. Thanks for sharing, Anon. There are streets it needs enforcing on, and then there are our commercial areas that see a lot of visitation from folks outside of Lynn, and that also has to be considered, because they have no way to know about the ban.

    Furthermore, our Downtown, Wyoma Square and other business districts rely on street parking. The odd-side parking ban should not have ever applied to those areas. Instead, both sides should have been cleared and open for parking. I don't know what makes Lynn incapable of doing this, while other similarly-sized cities have managed to recover from the storms by now.

  9. It's my pleasure. As a life-long Lynner, and I hope my obituary says something better than that when I pass, it becomes increasingly frustrating to see even some of the most simple things not enforced. How are we supposed to have faith in our elected officials to help shape Lynn to what it could be if they cant even get this right?

  10. You're right anonymous. We need to get better at electing officials. And, once elected, we need to support them in removing department heads and dead weight.

    Unfortunately, we are not good at either of these yet! We are getting there! Baby steps.

    I hope your obit stays exactly the same and we turn Lynn into something that makes you proud.

  11. interesting article. although living in Lynn for almost 10 years now, I have only eaten a dinner or a breakfast in Lynn a handful of times. recently Discoverd Over Easy and have been there a few times. I have been to the Blue OX. Does anyone know about the place on the other end of Oxford called I think Simply Cafe, or something like that. Is that open, if not any plans to renovate. Would be great to create a little restaurant row. P D

  12. Casa Antigua opened up on Oxford and I hear it's delicious.

    Simply Irresistible cafe has people inside often but never looks open and has never reached out to the public. You can make your own conclusions on that one.

    Hawthorne's is being held hostage by the Athanas'

    Other great restaurants in Lynn - Fernando's on Munroe for Breakfast and Lunch, Turbine Wine Bar for dinner/drinks, and Antique Table over on Essex St on the Swampscott line. Put those on your list.

  13. I failed to mention, although not actually in DTL, I do go to The Lazy Dog, for the Prime Rib Special on Wednesday nights quite often......P D


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