City Government

Slip Sliding Away Generates Chilly Attitude

DISCLAIMER: The GUARDIAN has been off in Florida fishing with grandson in the gulf and apologizes for the lack of good stories the past 10 days.

Unprecedented cold weather combined with wet snow has created a virtual obstacle course for Boise pedestrians and when the spokesman for Team Dave was featured on the TV news advising folks it’s the law to keep sidewalks adjacent to their property cleared of snow he got an icy response from GUARDIAN readers.
Woman shoveling winter snow off of a sidewalk in Boise, Idaho, USA.
We received numerous complaints about sidewalks adjacent to city parks not being cleared of snow. Americana Blvd. next to Ann Morrison was cited by one reader, the green belt between Capitol and Broadway was apparently never cleared of snow either.

Areas around the schools were another hot topic among readers who contacted us, citing rough going near Timberline High and Horizon Elementary among others.

So the GUARDIAN sprang into action!! We talked to the top dogs at Boise Parks. They said crews are already scheduled to get started on today’s storm at 4 a.m. Turns out Boise State has the duty to clear the green belt through the campus and the Parks boss promised to remind the university of its duty. Director Doug Holloway said, “We pay people to clear the sidewalks–that’s our job. If there is a spot we miss that needs attention, give us a call (384-4240)”.

At Boise School District we talked to top administrators who were not quite as eager to commit to clearing the sidewalks, but said they do the best the can with the resources available, etc. The administrator advised folks to contact their local principal if they see trouble spots that need snow removal. From another source we heard of at least one elementary school principal who should be up for promotion.

His solution? SNOW SHOVELS. What a novel idea! Use some petty cash for snow shovels and ask for volunteers among the 6th grade boys who are eager to get outside and do something. If kids can clean what us old timers called “chalkboards,” they can’t go wrong making the school grounds and adjacent sidewalks safer for the rest of the students, teachers, and parents.

No doubt about it. The weather has been a bummer, but innovations such as having strong boys pushing a shovel for fun or extra credit is a great idea. Also, making those phone calls to the right people put them on notice of dangerous areas–call in the name of safety rather than just a bitch and you will hopefully get a favorable response.

Politicians are particularly sensitive to things like snow and potholes when it comes to constituents. Meanwhile, remember to wear your snow boots and be careful.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Grumpy ole guy
    Jan 28, 2013, 9:03 pm

    And, DO NOT eat the yellow snow.

  2. Is fishing really an apology for fewer stories or thumb in our eye for your Florida trip while we are scraping ice?

  3. You picked a good time to be away Mr. G

  4. What a great Principal. Don’t promote him and lose him. Just give him a raise. Back in the day in parochial school, the 8th grade boys did the sidewalks.. and the walks of the old people across the street. The nuns had the system down.

  5. I totally yard saled on the way in to my office yesterday morning. A friend slipped over the weekend and broke three ribs in the fall. It’s slicker than greased pig poop out there!

  6. Ah, what a blessing it is to live in a part of town where there AREN’T any sidewalks! (/sarcasm)

    I’ll gladly defend the Parks Department; IMO they’ve done an exemplary job of maintaining the greenbelt, and this bike rider appreciates it. (Normally I ride on the streets as much as possible, but when it’s slippery I prefer the alternative routes. Yesterday I crashed right by the Ann Morrison footbridge. Since I didn’t get run over by a car after falling, I mumbled something colorful, then got up and dusted myself off, and proceeded.)

    I also wish to thank the vast majority of motorists who are patient and wait until it’s safe to pass me. When the roads are treacherous, it slows everybody down. It’s always distressing to wonder if I’m going to crash, when some yahoo in his F350 Super-Duty is 3 feet behind me, revving his turbo-diesel.

  7. Is there some reason that some of these teachers can’t shovel snow?

  8. Why should teachers shovel snow?–it’as bad enough doing it in front of one’s house. Adults are more at risk of back injuries from shoveling snow than limber kids are.
    If the kids are out there shoveling, an adult needs to be on duty with them to make sure they know how to shovel safely, and also in case of any accidents.

  9. Wow… 6th grade boys? My 2nd grade daughter helps me. At this point, she is so tired of being cooped up in-doors, I am sure she would GLADLY help. Heck, I’d even bring her shovel from home to let her help. No need for the school to purchase them.

  10. I went out to clear a path on the sidewalk and got splashed by cars. Needless to say, the sidewalk did not get cleared.

  11. How was the fishing? Nothing like fishing with a grandson! He out fish ‘ya?

  12. Eating shark is a lot better than eating crow…..

  13. As a life long Boisean as well as a person of delicate age who likes to walk in all kinds of weather all I can say is THANK YOU FRAZ for stepping up to the plate (again).
    I really tire of the city coming down on homeowners to keep their walks cleared then sit on their duffs. I never did like the “Do as I say, not as I do” attitude!

    But then there are the little neighborhoods (not in the sacred north end, but on the bench) that have not only yet to be plowed, but have not even been sanded. Wahoo!!!! It’s fun as along as nothing is damaged.

    slip sliding around town….. thank you again, sir. You are a good friend of the people and I am glad that you are enjoying your family.

  14. Great job reinforcing gender stereotypes. As a woman who grew up in snow country, where 2-3 feet per storm many times a season is the norm(versus 2-3 inches maybe a couple of times a year,) I can verify that any able-bodied person can shovel snow. That includes the dense stuff kicked up by the snow plows. Neighbors shoveled for those who could not. It’s one of the joys of winter: challenging outdoor work that rewards persistence and a dedication to physical labor. There are multiple rationales for shoveling: Safety, courtesy, clearing the way in anticipation of future storms, and my favorite, restoring the historic hydrology of the valley. When you move water from impermeable to permeable surfaces, you slow the run-off, help to replenish ground water, and create a saturated soil profile to get plants off to a good start in the Spring. I call for a community initiative to move all this free water from our wasteful pavement back to our historic groundwater system.

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