In snow-clogged city, mixed reviews for cleanup efforts

The scene on Tuttle Street in Dorchester Tuesday.
The scene on Tuttle Street in Dorchester Tuesday.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

Residents in three of Boston’s neighborhoods gave mixed marks to the city’s snow removal efforts on Tuesday. Some were happy; others said the city still had work to do.

On Beacon Hill, many cars parked along Chestnut Street remained locked in by snow. Signs warned pedestrians of falling snow and trash bags were left out on snow banks for pickup.

One woman pulled a baby carriage up a hill in the middle of a slushy road. A teenager maneuvered a long brush out of a top-floor window to clear snow and ice from an overhang.

“It is hard to get around,” said Suzanne Besser as she walked down Spruce Street in the middle of the road.


Betty Gonzales walked down Chestnut Street on her way to work. She said the road conditions were the same where she lives in Roslindale.

“The main streets are OK, but the secondary [ones are] not that clear,” Gonzales said.

Suzy Costello shoveled out a 1988 Mercedes on Walnut Street.

During the blizzard, Costello said, she parked her car in a garage where she has received a discount in the past. But when she picked up the vehicle after last week’s storm, the garage operator did not give her a reduced rate, she said.

For Monday’s storm, Costello said, she decided to leave the car on the street.

“I don’t know if that was a good idea,” she said.

Joseph Solis was in the process of moving out of his Beacon Hill residence for a new home in Attleboro. He said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh deserves high marks for managing Mother Nature.

“I think they’re doing the best they can and I applaud Marty Walsh,” Solis said.

Kip Prahl said he was visiting Boston from California for his daughter’s wedding and was in town for the blizzard and Monday’s storm.


“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Prahl said as he walked by Louisburg Square wearing a knit New England Patriots hat.

He said he was “very impressed” by the snow removal operation following the blizzard. This time, Prahl rated the city’s response as “very good.”

“I don’t think there was the same level of crisis management,” he said.

In the South End, main thoroughfares like Washington and Tremont streets were wide-open for vehicle traffic. Sanders circulated through the neighborhood.

But some secondary roads, like Haven and Cumston streets, remained clogged with snow.

Residents of Cumston Street said they had heard a plow pass through at least once, but about a foot of snow still sat in the street.

“After the blizzard, I was surprised to see how [the plows] came through quite a few times,” said resident Vickie Carr.

Cumston Street is a one-way road and on-street parking is not permitted at any time. Carr said she has seen other streets in the South End that appeared untouched by snow plows.

“We really are mostly a cut-through street,” she said. “I just assumed we weren’t a priority.”

Ulises Cornado was digging out his car in the South End. He said he was taking it “very slow” and was pleased with the city’s snow removal efforts.

“They’re doing good,” he said. “The main streets are clear.”

In the Jeffries Point section of East Boston, many people walked in the street to avoid sidewalks that were too snowy to pass or covered in ice. One driver honked and yelled at a pedestrian who was walking in the road as she crossed Sumner Street where it intersects with Cottage Street.


Firefighters from Engine 9 spread out along Sumner Street with shovels. Many people took to the streets to dig out their cars.

Sharon Sneed, who lives on Cottage Street, said there was a lot of snow left to be removed from her neighborhood.

“We’ve been walking in the street,” she said. “It’s been kind of … slow for this side of Jeffries Point.”

Sneed used to live in West Roxbury, where she, said, the city the appeared to do a better job of clearing snow.

What grade did she give the city for snow removal in East Boston?

“It’s a whopping zero,” Sneed said.

Jennifer McCarthy lives on Lamson Court in East Boston, where the street remained covered in snow. Her husband spray-painted the word “plow” and underlined it with an arrow on a snow bank at the end of the street, she said.

McCarthy said the city should consider setting aside more resources for snow removal “instead of making it a priority to celebrate the Patriots.”

“The priorities are really jumbled,” she said.

Peter Cipriano, who also lives on Lamson Court, said he was waiting for his son-in-law to pick him up because he could not leave the house on his own.

“They haven’t done this at all,” Cipriano said. “I’m 81 years old and I’m waiting for someone to come and plow this place so I can go out for a while. ... I wish they would come down here.”


After last week’s blizzard, he said, he called the office of East Boston City Councilor Sal LaMattina because no one had come by to plow the dead-end street.

“I just called him and they sent a truck right down,” Cipriano said.

He said he had not yet called LaMattina about the latest storm. He speculated that snow plows were probably busy clearing other roads.

“They might be tied up for all I know,” Cipriano said.

Others in East Boston said they were happy with the city’s response to the storm.

“I think they did a fantastic job,” said Diego Navarro as he walked down the middle of Sumner Street. “People can commute. They can go to work.”

Tim Zeitler said he thought driving conditions were better in East Boston than downtown.

“East Boston has been holding its own,” Zeitler said. “Hopefully it doesn’t snow another foot in the next week.”

Emily Lau, a public schools teacher in Quincy, said she believed Boston officials were doing the best they could.

“I don’t know how much higher the snow banks can go,” she said.