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Snow shoveling and plowing in the Boston area appear to prioritize roadways

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Sidewalks and bike lanes, not so much

Snow-clearing after a nor’easter in March 2018.
Boston Globe via Getty Images

The first significant snowfall of winter settled upon the Boston area late during the third week of January, which means that the region dug itself out—and chipped itself out, given that a sizable amount of icy rain fell too—over the weekend and during the start of the following week.

And with that inescapable ritual came an inescapable reality of snow shoveling-slash-plowing in the Boston area: Municipalities and the companies they contract with seem to prioritize roadways; and bike lanes and sidewalks get short shrift.

Icy snow inevitably piles up on the sides of sidewalks and bike lanes, narrowing their actual pathways, and corners are often heaped with slush. That makes getting down sidewalks and through corners—and on to buses from the heaped-upon curb—particularly difficult for people with physical challenges, never mind people pushing strollers or carts.

Now, much of the responsibility of shoveling and clearing sidewalks falls with property owners and not with individual municipalities. Still, the enforcement—if recent social media posts from fed-up residents is any guide—is spotty at best.

It would appear that once the snow stops falling in the Boston area, the best mode of transportation to use is a car. Thoughts?