Sharing the road


Nemo won’t go down in the history books as one of the worst blizzards, according to meteorologists, because it didn’t dump more than 30 inches of snow over a wider area.

We can be thankful for that.

Green Airport recorded 17 inches. One can only imagine where we would be if there had been another 13 inches.

That matters little now. Whether more or less, a record or not, what remains of the blizzard continues to pose a hazard to pedestrians and children walking to school.

Snow mounds have narrowed many roads; a choice made by the city not to push back snow and fill driveways and parking places residents had cleared. With rain on Monday, the expectation was for much of the snow to melt and for crews to then further open roads.

Appropriately, immediately following the storm, the city concentrated on opening all roads and doing what it could to help as National Grid crews tackled restoring power. At the height of the storm, 9,000 Warwick customers lost service.

Clearing sidewalks was a not an issue at the time, but it is now.

The city has concentrated efforts in the vicinity of schools, and many property owners have done their part, as required by city ordinance, with a little nudge from Police, who have taken a pro-active stance, issuing notices to property owners and, as of yesterday, following up with summons that carry a $100-a-day fine.

Nonetheless, sidewalks remain buried throughout the city. A Beacon survey of roads in the area of Toll Gate High and Winman Junior High Tuesday found kids walking in Toll Gate Road, a route subject to high traffic and rescue runs to Kent Hospital. These are not safe conditions.

Clearing sidewalks is not an easy task, especially when they have become the depository for snow cleared from the roads and that snow is further weighed down by rain. The challenge is further complicated by questions of where to put the snow.

We’re not suggesting that this is easy, or that sidewalks be cleared side to side, but we can all be more alert to the restrictions posed by the snow mounds that line our roads and to the possibility that people have little choice but to walk in the road.

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