Snow-covered sidewalks, cleanup complicate parade plans

Boston was very difficult to navigate for motorists and pedestrians alike on Monday morning.
Dina Rudick/Globe Staff
Boston was very difficult to navigate for motorists and pedestrians alike on Monday morning.

UPDATE: The Patriots victory parade has been postponed by a day.

As if it wasn’t enough to clear Boston’s streets after two major snow storms, municipal workers now must prepare a parade route to bring the champion New England Patriots on a victory ride through the city — an undertaking that has some worried about pedestrian safety.

The team is scheduled to return to New England Monday, and many of the players plan to leave for the winter soon after that, leaving Boston only a small window to host the Super Bowl celebration.

At a news conference, Mayor Martin J. Walsh said the city has the capability to manage a parade route without limiting cleanup in other parts of the city. He said there will be no rally at City Hall, where the procession is scheduled to end, because of the snow.


“We can’t afford to just have resources on Boylston Street,” the mayor said, referring to the planned route. “We have an entire city to get up and running.”

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The victory parade is scheduled to begin at the Prudential Center at 11 a.m. Tuesday. Walsh said that schedule will give the team enough time to return from Arizona, even with the storm.

But as the snow continued to pile up, narrowing sidewalks and impeding visibility, pedestrian safety advocates worried about where fans would stand as the duck boats rolled through.

“It’s definitely a difficult situation right now,” said Brendan Kearney, communications manager for WalkBoston, a nonprofit group dedicated to improving walking conditions citywide. “They would have people climbing all over the snow mounds. It’s treacherous right now, I don’t know how they can do it.”

Kearney fears that the snow mounds could push pedestrians onto the streets.


“As long as [the city understands], people will be taking over the streets,” said Kearney. “It’s an exciting time, but we have to realize that.”

Walsh said Monday that the parade route passes many shops and businesses, which means people can go inside and warm up.

Logistics aside, Barry Peskevich, a building engineer from Winthrop, said he’d be there to congratulate the team on its first championship in a decade.

“I think the city has their work cut out for them. Right now, obviously, the streets are still a mess,” said Peskevich, 33, who works downtown. “I don’t know where they’re going to put [the snow], but it should be exciting either way.”

Beth Marple, 35, who wore a Patriots winter hat and hooded sweatshirt as she walked to her job at a government relations firm near Government Center, said she hopes the city can pull it off.


“Better to do it sooner rather than later. I’m sure all the players want to go on vacation,” she said. “My office is right over there, so I hopefully will be watching from the window.”

Eric Moskowitz of the Globe staff contributed to this article.