How Would You Grade Newton's Plowing During the Blizzard of 2013?

Are you satisfied or frustrated with how the city handled the area’s fifth largest snowstorm in history? Let us know by posting a comment below.

Now that the snow has fallen, and started to melt, it’s your time to rate how the city’s plows handled the more than two feet of snow that fell Friday and Saturday.

You can also weigh in on the plowing of city municipal lots as well as the sidewalks and crosswalks the city handles during a storm.

Feel free to give praise or thanks, express frustrations or offer up constructive criticism in the comments section below, and keep in mind, the blizzard was the fifth largest snowstorm in New England history.

For more local blizzard coverage, check out our Newton Storm Center.

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Related discussion:

  • Was it the Right Call to Close Newton Schools Monday?
Barry Wanger February 12, 2013 at 11:44 AM
The plowers did a wonderful job, as usual.
khluvr621 February 12, 2013 at 01:51 PM
Minus the slush, very impressed in my area. Didn't want to take a chance to cross the bridge on the Waltham side due to unplowed streets/sidewalks, but at least I saw "road" in Newton!
Beth Mathiesen February 12, 2013 at 02:45 PM
The plowing on chestnut street, auburn street, woodland rd, and central street is awful--these are major roads and 2 cars can barely pass. The side streets are even worse. I see city plows and tractors driving along doing nothing. Nothing has changed since Sunday morning-- what are the plows doing!?
erikapz February 12, 2013 at 03:28 PM
Sidewalks are awful! People are walking on Rt. 9 to access the Eliot train station and is very dangerous
Matt DeJohn February 12, 2013 at 03:37 PM
Great job on our street, there was a plow going by every 10 minutes it seemed like. Well done and thanks!
peter February 12, 2013 at 03:40 PM
From a one to ten I would give newton a five at best
mvhul February 12, 2013 at 04:07 PM
I am frustrated that the plows only cut one center lane on side streets instead of going closer to the curbs. I understand that this enables through traffic sooner, but one they have plowed the center, leaving wide banks of plowed snow at the edges of the road, the edges are rendered unusable till the snow melts. On our street, cars try to parallel park anyway, and then there's too little room to pass.
Jess Rossman February 12, 2013 at 04:32 PM
im very disappointed with the plowing! i work in a business that uses a municipal lot and it still is not plowed! there is no where to park. side streets are horrendous as well, there's only enough room for one car to pass! such a bummer
DJ February 12, 2013 at 05:31 PM
Joan Kunitz February 12, 2013 at 05:45 PM
I think, over all, they did a terrific job! It certainly was a challenge and, don't forget, it was the plowers who were out in the snow and the cold.
DJ February 12, 2013 at 05:48 PM
As a driver, it was nerve-wracking and upsetting to see folks waiting for the bus IN THE ROAD, and watch kids climbing snow banks just to access crosswalks en route to school. They were fighting against cars trying to park and other cars negotiating cramped roads not slowing much on their own morning commutes. Related: Houses on Walnut St near NNHS, what on earth are you waiting for before you clear your sidewalks? Everyone has a responsibility to shovel their walks, and folks near schools need to take that seriously. I also checked out my kid's .5 mile walk from the bus stop to our house, and again big stretches of unshoveled walks, narrow roads, completely blocked street corners and such. No way does it feel safe. I really hope I open up the Tab tomorrow morning and see a huge full-page decree outlining who is responsible for what, and what the consequences are for anyone who fails to comply. Whatever is necessary until streets, sidewalks, crosswalks and bus stops are safe and clear for our residents and our kids! I really hope the attitude of the city and residents is, "Oh well, let's wait until it melts and everyone can just deal with it until then."
Barbara John February 12, 2013 at 06:28 PM
Listen, folks, this was a most unusual, huge storm. Did some of you expect perfection when there was so much snow and so little place to put it. I certainly appreciate that at 9:00 AM on Saturday, after a great struggle to create a pathway to the street, that the street was clear enough to walk down it until my dog felt inspired to do this thing. By the afternoon, I was able to walk all around the neighborhoodl, and by Monday, I was able to drive my car through the streets. Granted, they are narrow, but what do you expect? I am sorry to say that some people just have unreasonable exzpectations
Paula Thompson February 12, 2013 at 06:40 PM
Same issue. It used to be that a plow would come one way down our street and plow as close to the sidewalk as possible and then come back the other way and plow that lane back to as close to the sidewalk as possible. The last few years it seems to be one lane down the middle, just enough to get a fire truck down here. When these snowbanks sit for a while they can't be moved back in the next storm. My other impression is that they are not using the large heavy plows that were used in the past that could really throw the snow up out of the street.
Abbe Dalton Clark February 12, 2013 at 07:37 PM
If I expect that children walking to school should not have to walk in the middle of a busy street made even more unsafe by teenage drivers on their way to school, that they should not have to try to climb a 4-foot high packed-down iceberg where the crosswalks are, and that homeowners should have their walks shoveled by 72 hours after the last flakes have fallen, call me unreasonable.
Abbe Dalton Clark February 12, 2013 at 08:00 PM
Newton gets a 2 because SCHOOL CHILDREN SHOULD NOT HAVE TO WALK IN THE STREET TO GO TO SCHOOL. Shame on you Setti Warren for not making the safety of school kids a priority. Less than an hour ago I watched children trying to negotiate uncleared sidewalks. They couldn't get off of the street at Lowell and Walnut without mountain climbing gear thanks to the packed-down 4-ft high glacier at the southwest corner (the one on the southeast corner was only a couple of feet high, and thank you to the business that did its civic duty and cleared the northeast crosswalk entrance). What is really terrifying is that these middle school kids, some just 11 years old and waiting for a growth spurt to put them closer to 5' tall, had to walk on the street over the turnpike bridge, meaning a driver is already traveling over the bridge before the children come into view, and that many of those drivers were teenagers driving to the high school. I tried to remove some of the snow myself with a small shovel and only one arm and it was so packed down I couldn't get any snow/ice to budge. The plowers did a great job on our street, but I would gladly trade the inconvenience of having to be careful to get out of my driveway for the safety of the kids.
DJ February 12, 2013 at 08:01 PM
What Abbe said. If the city requires that you shovel your walk, shovel your bloody walk. What's the rule on street corners? The crossing is the worst part. Really lovely homeowners will shovel a nice bend around, but it means you can't cross the street without either clambering up and over an iceberg or taking your chances in car traffic on the street. Also, to Barbara John, what about someone in a walker? Or a wheelchair? Or a mom or a dad with a stroller? Or a handful of toddlers? Still unreasonable? I don't think so.
DJ February 12, 2013 at 08:06 PM
Boston lets you report unshoveled walks online, what are we supposed to do? It sounds like we can call and call and get told one thing, but it may or may not have been resolved. Ridiculous.
Jess Rossman February 12, 2013 at 08:29 PM
You can report it online as well on the city's website.
Harry Sanders February 12, 2013 at 08:40 PM
Understanding how DPW signs on the private contractors is of upmost importance. Storms such as this call upon those contractors who have supplied proof of insurance and by contract have agreed to be available. Sounds good on paper but in practice, the contractors can make ten times what the city will pay them - essentially a thousand bucks an hour or more per hour. Market demand in a declared snow emergency overrules and supply side economics leaves a deficit in man/equipment. Hence schools, public roadways, lots, etc. don't get cleared. Contractors know this and the fact that the city does not have any followup recourse through contract litigation renders the situation unfavorable for the Hall.
Stephanie February 12, 2013 at 08:44 PM
@DJ - you can use the 311 system on line
Jess Rossman February 12, 2013 at 08:45 PM
I work at a health care facility and a patient called to complain to the city and within 1 hour they came to plow the lot. Also, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect the city to have taken care of this. It stopped snowing on Saturday And has been plenty of time to complete the job.
Stephanie February 12, 2013 at 08:48 PM
We must live in a unique neighborhood. The bus stop is in a neighbors driveway, and they shoveled really well, and all the neighbors pitched in and shoveled the walks where possible. I know that we also shoveled access to the street (we are on a corner), however it is not where the ramp is, since the mound of snow is over 7 feet tall. . . . it is next to the mound. But cars aren't expecting people or kids to walk out of a snow mound. Drivers need to get off the phone and pay attention to the pedestrians.
Stephanie February 12, 2013 at 08:50 PM
We can't have visitors at our house. Our street has one driving lane in the middle. If someone parks in the street, no one can get by. I had this happen on another street, and I had to wait for the person to drop off their kid, and get back into the car. The plows got the street plowed. . . . down the middle with no room for parking on the residential roads.
ck February 12, 2013 at 10:59 PM
It would have been unreasonable to expect perfection by Sunday but would have expected better by Tues. I used the online 311 Sunday night and although a return email on Monday indicated my issue was resolved it was not. I called and had issue reopened. Still unresolved. I don't think it's reasonable that there is no safe way for kids to cross a 4 way intersection right outside a middle school that has no crossing guard. Right across the street from the middle school a mound exists and the sidewalk is not shoveled.
Indulge! February 12, 2013 at 11:11 PM
Newton did a horrible job with the snow removal. One lane roads, uncleared sidewalks, people walking on Route 9. You'd think that this was the first time the city has been faced with this much snow! No excuses. We live in New England! Very disappointing.
Gus MacBride February 13, 2013 at 03:41 PM
Well, Same old story the plow drivers do not know how to plow to the curb leaving a very narrow street
Naomi Olson February 14, 2013 at 07:23 PM
I feel that the plows did a good job. The larger issues were with sidewalks especially at corners, bus-stops and hydrants and with private companies ploughing snow into already cleared streets. The former problem -- which is far more serious -- probably cannot be efficiently solved simply by throwing public funding at it. How can we motivate citizens who own snowblowers to adopt a corner or bus stop?


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