Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Snow in the City

The topic of snow can only be avoided so long, therefore here a few not so serious snow related observations which show that snow shows at the same time how vulnerable society has become but how resilient people remain:
  • Snow can end the US Conference of Mayors in a jiffy. They al
    Communal snowball fight at Washington Square (Photo: Sun)
    l know they have to be near a local plow when the flakes fall or they will be toast
  • Lawn-chairs can be placed even in anticipation of snow although the merit principle is even harder to see without the shovel work
  • Snow-plow plans for putting down the salt before the storm work to perfection, during the storm a bit less so (does it make sense to throw salt into snow that piles up at 3" per hour?)
  • The plow plan for the second day after leaves a lot to be desired. The plows are incapable of nudging the huge piles of frozen mess a few feet closer to the edge, on the small streets there is no room to plow it so a lot of trucks drive up and down the streets that are already open
  • Snowball fights are not only for children
  • Free transit and service limited to the most heavily traveled lines is a great idea
  • Buses can bunch even when only 12 lines are run without a schedule. Go figure
  • Snow brings people into the street. Literally. 
  • Snow makes people walk again even when it means dodging cars and wading through snow piles
  • It is neat to be able to pull the facsimile version of the daily paper up on the IPad if the delivery of the real thing is failing. 
  • It is neat to see and steal so many pictures from Facebook friends
  • Snow turns Red lights even more into just advisory signals than Baltimoreans think they are anyway. Whole lines of cars could be seen going through red where a cross street wasn't plowed and open. 
  • Convenience chains and drugstore markets haven't gotten the message that they have to clear adjacent sidewalks. They don't touch a shovel and don't care. 
  • City snow plow operators like Vincent Campbell didn't get any sleep from Friday evening until early Sunday. That's two nights, man! 
A full blown testosterone competition has broken out between Governor Hogan and County Executive Kamenetz, each outdoing the other who can mark his territory best via plowing. Meanwhile our Mayor's sets on creativity:
"I ask you to be creative about where to put it, but just don't put it back out in the street, because it prevents us to get back up and running," ....
"The snow's not going to be around forever. If you don't have to dig your car out, think about leaving it until the snow melts. Think about taking a taxi or an Uber or Lyft, whatever, but just think about safety — and please don't throw the snow back into the street"
The morning after (Photo Brooke Lierman)

Automobiles become symbolds of immobility (Photo: Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson)

As seen from behind the plow. (Photo Vincent Campbell)


Creative: Free transit on limited service. Monday MTA announced there was no set schedule

Monday morning on an arterial: The plows had done their work, single file to work (photo: ArchPlan)

A shoevel party at Ridgely's Delight captured by Bill Reuter

Baltimore Police dig out an eighty year old lady (source: Police Blog)

Cars freed are plowed in again by single lane dead end plowing (Photo: Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson)

Some just leave their cars any which way until Tuesday morning and still don't get towed
(Photo ArchPlan)