Some in Boston looked at the roads in front of their homes Sunday and saw the comforting sight of black pavement.
Others saw nothing but a nightmare of frigid white left by the weekend’s historic snowstorm.
City officials said Sunday they were focused on working to clear impassable streets, but the residents of Rexhame Street in Roslindale could not wait any longer.
Ali Kiani, 21, said he and several neighbors banded together in the afternoon and evening to clear the street they call home.
Kiani said he had called the city multiple times earlier. Each call ended with officials promising to send plows but none ever came.
So Rexhame’s residents came out with shovels and snowblowers to tackle the task on their own.
“It was as high as a truck,” Kiani said. Pointing to where Rexhame meets Belgrade Avenue, he added: “Over there, it was a legit mountain.”
As he and a friend continued to dig out Sunday evening, Kiani said he and many of his neighbors were disappointed with city officials.
“The city said they were going to come but never did,” Kiani said. “It’s their job. They’re supposed to do this.”
Throughout much of the city on Sunday, cars occasionally skidded and tires spun as they rolled along roads that were still slushy and snowy.
Most main streets in Boston were clear to the pavement. But many were not plowed to their normal width, causing traffic to slow at times to navigate around the snow and other vehicles.
Some side streets were a mess, and tough to travel through, especially for smaller cars.
Other small streets were completely covered by snow, undisturbed except for the occasional cavernous bootprint. Sometimes residents found snow piled deeper than the 2 feet that fell on the city.
In Jamaica Plain, a section of Wachusett Street that stretched for several hundred feet, between Patten and Rodman streets, had not been touched by plows until Sunday afternoon.
A front-end loader pushed snow about 100 feet down the road, then had to stop because the equipment was too wide to go further. That left a mound several feet high in front of the driveway of Lisa Patrick and other residents of a six-unit condominium. City officials promised them a smaller backhoe would soon arrive to finish the job. The residents decided to shovel.
“It’s been slow going and I understand that,” said Patrick. “I give the city credit for what they’re doing. But it would be good to have better communication.”
Wanli Tan, 18, lives in the building with her mother, Cindy Zhang, 38.
“It’s terrible. I don’t like this. I think the response should have been quicker,” Tan said.
“This [snow] is nobody’s fault, but we all have our responsibilities and the city hasn’t come through on theirs,” she added.
Downey Court, a dead end road in Dorchester, was completely blanketed with at least 2 feet of snow Sunday afternoon. Residents there said they were frustrated that the city had not sent plows. One resident said she had called the city three times and submitted four other requests using the city’s Citizens Connect online application asking for their road to be plowed, to no avail.
A few blocks away, Woodville Street was passable, but not easily. More than 6 inches of snow still covered the roadway Sunday. Much of it had been packed by feet and tires.
Maurice Bruce, 68, said he and other neighbors had to help push a few cars that got stuck while trying to drive down the road.
“We’ve got a lot of older people living over here,” he said as he shoveled out his car. “It’s very frustrating.”
Matt Rocheleau can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.