Shovel, shovel, shovel … Whose responsibility is it?

By Ron O’Clair

Today is the 19th day of February, 2014, and while I was in downtown Worcester, I noticed that the bus stop near to the Mechanic’s Hall on Main Street was not shoveled, forcing the passengers to use the curb cut near the entrance of the Mechanic’s Hall in order to board their bus.

In stark contrast, across the street in front of 340 Main Street, the Bus Stop was shoveled, allowing passengers to embark and disembark without difficulty.

I thought to myself, why is there such a variation?

When my brother Lonald rented a house on Greenwood Street, it was his responsibility to ensure that the bus stop was shoveled out for passengers, and if he failed to do so, the bus driver would complain, and the city would force the property owner to have it done.

My brother was not aware that it was the responsibility of the homeowner to ensure that the bus stop got shoveled, until he got a reminder from the City of Worcester. After that one warning, the bus stop was taken care of every storm by my brother. Since he moved out and got his own house in Spencer, whoever moved in has been ignoring the bus stop, and apparently nothing is being done about it.

In the case of the bus stop on Main Street in downtown, I would assume that the City of Worcester would ensure that this stop is cleared as it fronts land that the Mechanic’s Hall occupies.

What about the community service people that are sentenced by the court to do service in lieu of fines? Couldn’t the courthouse assign them to shovel out bus stops, and fire hydrants?

This is a problem throughout the city with all the recent snowstorms, bus stops and fire hydrants are being ignored, and buried under layers of snow that freeze into ice banks making it near impossible to remove without heavy equipment, I know, as a civic duty minded individual, when I saw that the bus stop was not cleared, I tried to clear through the snow bank with my plow truck, but it had been left too long and had frozen, I was not able to get all the way through so that the bus riders could board the bus through the cut I tried to make.

Something that would have been easy to do immediately after the storms now becomes a difficult task. It would be interesting to know whose responsibility it is for the downtown bus stop.


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