Last year Town Administrator, Mel Kleckner, formed a Snow Removal Task Force, partly in response to Article 28, submitted by The Brookline Community Aging Network.

Article 28 sought better enforcement of Town bylaw 7.7.1, which requires the property owners in business districts to maintain the sidewalks adjacent to their land in a non-slippery condition suitable for pedestrian travel within the first 3 daytime hours after snow and maintain the sidewalk in that condition thereafter.

The Task Force representatives include members from the DPW, Police, Building, and Health Departments as well as the Brookline Chamber of Commerce.

Frank Caro, Co-Chair of BCAN was recently asked if he thought the Task Force was making progress. “I’ve been impressed with the real effort applied by all involved, everyone is taking it seriously”. Caro remains cautiously optimistic, ‘There has been substantial progress by the DPW but big storms clearly still present a challenge, they are simply overmatched and do not have the resources. More effort is needed by the Town to find better ways of doing things.” Caro cited. “More work needs to be done to open up intersections, areas just outside of commercial areas and areas near public education.”

Brookline Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Director, Celinda Shannon, who attends the Snow Removal Task Force meetings, agrees with Frank Caro’s assessment about progress made, “I think it’s gone really well. It’s been helpful to have all the departments in one room, figuring out which systems are working well together and which ones don’t. There was a lot of confusion among the business community, a lot of them did not know they were responsible for snow removal on the sidewalks after the first pass.”

Since BCAN started filing complaints last year about those who violate the Town’s snow removal policies, the public has followed. The Town of Brookline has been able to improve its data entry system for complaints and can now more easily target chronic offenders.

– R. Harvey Bravman