I spent some time scaling an icy snow packed hill on Monday. It's great to smell the crisp fresh cold air as you challenge yourself to make it to the top. My partner, photographer Jim Goff, was at my side, documenting the monumental journey and encouraging me to ignore the danger. I dug my feet in and we pushed on together. After about ten minutes of terror and exhilaration, we reached our destination: the top of Tower Street in Jamaica Plain.
Tower Street is an abomination to the people who live there. They told me that not one single plow has traversed the narrow street that climbs a steep hill. You don't need the keen skills of investigative reporter Mike Beaudet to determine that these people are telling the truth. I watched as a man tried to dig out part of the road so that he could move his massive four wheel drive SUV. It got stuck, in the middle of the road, going downhill!
Residents who have off street parking cannot get on to the street. However, they've taken the time to clear their sidewalks. You can bet if the city had done their part and plowed, the fines would be flying for those who didn't shovel.
Over in Hyde Park, Mayor Menino's street was plowed down to the pavement. Why? I believe Hizzhoner spent most of the storm at The Parkman House on Beacon Hill. Even if he did stay at home, some big city truck could have picked him up and brought him anywhere.
What will add insult to injury for the people of Tower Street is that a truck from Worcester, not Boston, could be their knight in shining armor. Boston has requested mutual aid from the second largest city in Massachusetts. It's too late to plow; front end loaders are the only way to clear streets that have packed snow soaked with rain.
There was plenty of warning, and we were told to stay off the roads. That order did not include plows.