As the Hub digs out from Juno — its sixth largest winter wallop in history — Mayor Martin J. Walsh is casting his most critical eye on his own administration, threatening today to ticket and out to the public any departments or agencies that fail to clean up their own properties, including public libraries, according to Boston Herald.
“We’re going to set the standard on how snow removal should happen in the city of Boston,” Walsh said this afternoon at City Hall. With the parking ban on 850 miles of roadway being lifted at 5 p.m., the mayor said inspectors will start fanning out tomorrow. Taxpayer-funded scofflaws will be slapped with tickets, “and I will make those tickets available to the press,” he said.
Homeowners and private businesses had until 4 a.m. today to start clearing their sidewalks, but with an average of 24.6 inches of snow in the city — and as much as 31 in isolated spots — Walsh said he’ll look the other way until tomorrow. “Obviously this was an event of epic proportions,” he said. “Our people will be out there tomorrow.”
Walsh expects to make the call early tonight on whether Boston Public Schools will reopen tomorrow after being closed yesterday and today by the Blizzard of 2015.
With snow removal kicked into high gear, including 150 trucks that will be hauling away the fluff from schools tonight, Walsh said, “We will follow progress and make an announcement later today whether or not school will be open in the city of Boston tomorrow, but I’m going to continue to put the safety of our children first.”
He said City Hall yesterday received offers of help from Vice President Joe Biden, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Right now, we feel pretty confident where we are,” Walsh said. “By tomorrow, we should be fully operational.”
Since Monday, and by the end of today, Walsh anticipates his emergency hotline will have fielded more than 16,000 calls and complaints, mainly about plowing. He’s asking his public for a few more hours of patience.
“We’re going to get to you. We’re going to get to every corner of the city,” Walsh said. “There’s a lot of work to do. We need your cooperation.”
Asked if he supported the MBTA’s decision to shutdown all public transit yesterday, even as Gov. Charlie Baker banned all travel on Bay State roads, Walsh said, “Absolutely. The governor and the state did an incredible job of getting the T open this morning. Again, it was the sixth largest storm in Boston’s history. I think the fact that they’re open today is a big success. It’s easy to be second-guessed after a snowstorm.”
Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans thanked those citizens who complied both with the travel ban and the parking ban. “We towed less cars than we normally do,” Evans said, “and we ticketed less cars.”
Public Works Commissioner Michael Dennehy said the city has opened up snow farms on Tide Street in the Seaport District and at the Franklin Park golf course and will have three mobile industrial snow melters working overtime, two of which “have a 150-ton capacity per hour,” Dennehy said.
That’s the good news. The bad news? “It looks like there’s another storm Friday, possibly Sunday and then they’re talking about a large one on Tuesday,” Dennehy said. “We’ve got a couple balls in the air.”