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Sidewalk Snowblowing System

The same system used to clear roads... miniaturized.
  [vote for,

I just thought of something I failed to think of 4.5 years ago, regarding the argument (the argument too place in annotation form in one of my other posts) about eliminating walkable environments: One reason so many people hate walking in the winter, one very BIG reason, is the complete lack of walkable paths in the winter. There simply aren't any safe places to walk. Snow plows shove huge berms of snow up onto the sidewalks to make way for vehicle traffic, so if you want to walk, you are forced to walk in the street, with all the slipping/sliding vehicles. Business owners and property owners are technically required by law to keep their sidewalks cleared, but most fail to do so and the law is almost never enforced. Even if it were enforced, it would be pointless, since the only place for a business owner to relocate the snow to is back onto the road from whence it came.

When the big plows get to work on the 3-lane roads, the typically make berms in 3 places: Left sidewalk, right sidewalk, and center lane. They then clear the center lane berm with giant truck-mounted snowblowers, with the blower spout aiming backwards into a closely-following dump truck. They then leave the berms on the sidewalks, just expecting the business owners and homeowners with storefronts facing the sidewalks to do something with all that compacted snow that the CITY put there.

As a result, business owners often clear out small sections directly in front of the door, and leave the rest, which makes it very hard for pedestrians to get anywhere, or they use snowblowers to repatriate the berm back to the street. It's not hard to spot the inefficiency with such a system.

Well if the city is going to put the snow there, then the city should have to get rid of it, and it needn't be hard. All they need to do is miniaturize the process used on the roads: golf carts or small tractors with sidewalk-sized snowblowers, with the spout aimed into the cargo bed/trailer of a closely-following golf cart.

It would be well worth the few (relatively speaking) tax dollars it would cost, to achieve some very worthy goals: increased pedestrian traffic, which results in a more active economy and fewer traffic collisions.

21 Quest, Feb 10 2012

Pick your favorite, they're all fully-baked. http://ventrac.com/advantages/snow/
This was only the first hit on google... [Alterother, Feb 11 2012]

Better example http://www.holder.o...t_att_snowBlow.html
More what I had in mind [Alterother, Feb 11 2012]


       I have no idea what you're talking about because I live in Tennessee. And I love it here, because I'm glad I have no idea what you're talking about. :-)

       But to the problem at hand... couldn't they make a step-up extension on their plows that shoved the snow on across the sidewalk to the other side? Sidewalk heights are fairly even, and if there were some sidewalks above normal height relative to the pavement they could be adjusted. It wouldn't have to be cut as close as the plowing on the street... a couple or three inches left on the sidewalk, people could still step through that.
Psalm_97, Feb 11 2012

       //couldn't they make a step-up extension on their plows that shoved the snow on across the sidewalk// Signs, light poles, mailboxes, parked cars, etc?
AusCan531, Feb 11 2012

       Your municipal snow-removal must suck. In just about every town and city in Maine that has a sidewalk, you'll find something like this in the muni fleet <link>. I've even seen some with little dump-trailers; in my hometown, they empty them right off the waterfront into the river.
Alterother, Feb 11 2012

       The snow blower in your link blows the snow off to the side... the spout wasn't nearly tall enough to blow it over the back into a trailer. The others just shoved or 'dispersed' (in the case of the snow broom) the snow to the side, which is the problem my idea is designed to overcome.
21 Quest, Feb 11 2012

       Agreed, it was a lazy link. If I looked harder, I'm sure I could find the ones with the little dump-trailers. My point is that you could too, and I'm really surprised you don't have them tooling around your neighborhood, with as much snow as WA gets. I mean, the town I live in now only has about 60 yards of sidewalk, and we've got one.

       <a little later> The one we have here is like this one <link#2> with a chute that goes back over the cab. It could be custom-made, I haven't gotten that close a look at it, but there are plenty of others like it 'round these parts. I'm just saying such things exist, that's all.
Alterother, Feb 11 2012


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