Monday, January 19, 2009

The Most Dangerous Bus Stop in Salem

The winter of 2008-2009 is well underway.  Winter brings me another problem I encounter every week.  Monday morning is for grocery shopping, and I usually do that at one of the stores on Highland Ave.  This is the view I have every winter day I shop there.  Here is the most dangerous bus stop in Salem.

This is Highland Ave. northbound at Market Basket.  It’s not shoveled.  The snowbanks completely cover the sidewalk and extend several feet into the street.  These snowbanks are either too soft to climb, or too hard, almost mountainous.  If you were to climb these snowbanks, as I have done, you would be several feet off the ground.  If you can jump onto the bus without falling, you’re good!

The alternate is to stand in the street, or as I most often do, stand in the street and shuffle backwards into the snowbank as far as possible to give vehicles, and the bus, plenty of room.

The sidewalk is owned by the same entity that owns the Market Basket lot (which may be Market Basket themselves) and I have never seen it dug out in all the years I have shopped in this area.

The southbound side of this intersection does have a bus shelter:

Jerry Ryan, the Ward 4 councilor, is trying to get a bus shelter on the Market Basket side (where I stood to take this picture). 

So far, no one in the area has been hit, but in North Carolina, a woman in a motorized chair was killed on the side of the road on the way back from food shopping.  The bus stop she normally used had been eliminated and she wasn’t eligible for van service.

There is a bill on Governor Patrick’s desk that would allow municipalities, including Salem, to increase fines for failure to remove snow and to not hold property-owners liable for slips and falls if they cleaned the walk in good faith.  No word on this.

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