This story was updated Wed., Oct. 12 at 3 p.m. to add the announcement of the public hearing's scheduled date and time:
A Boston city councilor is calling for a public hearing to clear up confusion over which city and state agencies are responsible for removing snow from public property in the city.
“There was a fair amount of finger pointing last winter by different public agencies,” District 6 Councilor Matt O’Malley said in a statement. “As public agencies passed the buck, Boston residents, including schoolchildren and senior citizens, were left trying to navigate unsafe walkways, climbing over massive snow banks, and walking along ice-slicked streets to get where they needed to go.”
“We all remember how tough last winter was in Boston,” he added, noting how the Hub was pummeled with 80.1 inches of snow last winter – around double the seasonal average. “Winter is around the corner. Let’s get out ahead of the season and try and clear up some of the confusion over which city and state agencies are responsible for snow removal on public property in our neighborhoods.”
The councilor’s office said he introduced the order at last week’s City Council meeting and it was assigned to the council’s Committee on City, Neighborhood Services & Veterans Affairs.
A public hearing is scheduled for Oct, 18 at 11 a.m. in City Hall's fifth-floor council chamber, O'Malley's office said in a later announcement. Representatives from city and state agencies are expected to attend.
O’Malley said in the release he praises the city departments, including public works crews, that were responsible for clearing snow. But, he noted there were areas of the city last winter that did not get cleared because public agencies could not agree on who was accountable for snow removal.
Last winter his office handled “numerous snow-related issues,” and “questions arose over which public entities were responsible for snow removal from various areas of publicly owned property including bus stops, pedestrian bridges, and certain walk ways and sidewalks,” the release said.
The councilor has represented Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury, and parts of Mission Hill and Roslindale since being sworn into office late last November.
E-mail Matt Rocheleau at firstname.lastname@example.org.