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Snow: Cambridge v. Somerville

I’m not one to take sides — I really do love Cambridge & Somerville equally — but I have to say that when it comes to handling snow, Somerville does a much better job of it. Just check out this front loader scooping up snow, which will then be loaded onto the dump truck across the street and hauled away. To where? I don’t know. But the point is, it is no longer clogging up the City’s streets.

Somerville snow removal

I have not seen this happen in Cambridge, though I do remember the MIT snow mountain a few years ago and wonder where that snow came from, so perhaps occasionally they do — ? But anyway, if you drove the streets of Cambridge and Somerville in the days after the “bombcyclone,” it was obvious that Somerville did a better job of cleaning up.

Aside from actually removing the snow, Somerville’s street clearing is also superior because of the City’s snow emergency policy, which restricts parking to one side (odd or even, depending on the year) of EVERY street in the city. That allows snow plows to actually plow to the curb on at least one side.

In Cambridge, the plows are limited in their effectiveness because parking during snow emergencies is only restricted on the major arteries and a bunch of random small streets or sections of street — see the orange on the map below.

Cambridge snow emergency parking ban

As you can imagine, with cars lining both sides of a street, the snow is simply plowed onto the cars, and then the car owners dump it back into the street, and then it gets plowed back onto the cars, and on and on.

One thing both Cities have very much in common is that if you happen to be parked in a snow emergency restricted spot, you will be ticketed, and you will be towed. That you can bet on!


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