Volunteers in Roslindale form groups to clear snowy sidewalks, but say it should be on the city

Snow falling in Boston during the winter is predictable. What isn’t predictable is whether or not sidewalks will be accessible after it does. In areas of Greater Boston like Roslindale, when the snow falls, the ability for residents to get around dramatically decreases. Organizations like WalkUp Roslindale, whose goal is to try and improve the walkability of the neighborhood, have set up volunteer shoveling groups to make sure the sidewalks are cleared.

While the city clears the streets in this neighborhood, sidewalks and crosswalks are often neglected. “[Plow drivers] have what we would call windshield bias. They think in terms of driving, they don’t think in terms of pedestrian access and safety,” said Alan Wright, a board member of WalkUp Roslindale.

Even if people don’t struggle on the sidewalks, if they are trying to get on buses, the snow causes problems. Often bus boarding zones are not appropriately cleared, even though it is part of the MBTA’s responsibility. This has been a reoccurring issue in the Roslindale area. “We got all of this snow congestion, making it more difficult for people to safely use the busses,” Wright said in a video he posted to Twitter.

Community groups are trying to do their part to make sure roads are clear and safe to walk on while they wait for the city to make pedestrians a priority over cars.


This video is a part of a transit justice series produced in Jody Santos’ course “Video News Reporting and Producing” at Northeastern University. Over the course of the semester, students will be producing news packages addressing climate and transit justice within Greater Boston.


Sign up to our montly newsletter on the most important social justice issues in boston right now.