Woke snowplowing? Boston’s new hire swears by it

Never heard of snow-plow equity? The “e” word gives it all away.

I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings here on the eve of the impending bomb-cyclone Snowpocalyse, but Mayor Michelle Wu’s new chief of staff is on the record as being a big believer in … snow-plow equity.

Never heard of snow-plow equity? The “e” word gives it all away. Equity – in this case, that means bicycle lanes should get plowed before … pick any major thoroughfare.

Broadway, Hyde Park Ave., Centre Street, Comm. Ave., Blue Hill Ave. … forget about it. Equity demands that bicycle lanes be cleared first, because, well, it’s a lotta fun to ride your bike on an icy street. Very safe, too.

C’mon down Tiffany Chu, Mayor Wu’s new pick as chief of staff. The good news is, she won’t be here running the show at City Hall tomorrow because she’s “transitioning” into the job. I think that means she’s moving here from some other Woke outpost, most likely San Francisco.

Last year Chu came out big-time for snow-plow equity at something called the National Shared Mobility Conference. She cited a study from 2012 in Sweden.

“It’s about snow-clearing and if the concept of snow-clearing can be sexist and the answer is, yes, wholeheartedly!”

Wu’s new hire Chu continues:

“In 2012 a number of cities in Sweden adopted a gender-equal plowing strategy where, um, actually, first pedestrian cycle lanes were cleared, especially near schools and day-care centers and then later on major streets.”

How often are schools open after a blizzard? Just asking, as someone who, unlike Chu, didn’t go to MIT.

Being an MIT grad, maybe she can someday explain how the plows are supposed to get to the bicycle lanes and the shuttered schools if the plows don’t clear the major thoroughfares first.

Back to Wu’s description of the Swedish study of snow plowing:

“What they discovered was that this existing societal practice actually disadvantaged women because they were the ones who were more likely to walk and travel with children while men who are predominantly working and commuting benefited from those major corridors being plowed first.”

So are you saying women … don’t work? That only “men” commute?

You know who else benefits from having the major streets plowed first? People who call 911, whose houses are on fire, who need an ambulance. Have you ever tried to maneuver a hook-and-ladder truck down a bicycle lane?

But the only thing that matters now is … equity, don’t you know.

These moonbats say the darnedest things, don’t they? Especially on these Zoom conferences with their fellow pointy-headed lunatics. At this particular egghead fest, Chu was joined by, among others, the “New Mobility, Data and Equity Strategic Adviser” for the city of Seattle’s DOT, as well as the de rigueur panelist from Camelot High – the Kennedy School’s “Technology and Public Purpose Project Fellow.”

Just last year it was Gov. Charlie Baker’s blow-in undersecretary of climate change musing on a Zoom call about the necessity of “turning the screws” on the state’s working classes to “break their will” to, you know, heat their homes in the winter and drive their non-EV cars.

And now comes a call for a new gender-equal plowing strategy in the city of Boston. Please continue, Madame Chu:

“There was actually a gender equity, um, panel or committee in Sweden where they did some data analysis and discovered that 79% of the pedestrian injuries had occurred during winter. Of that 79%, 69% were women, uh, two-thirds of which were individuals slipping on ice.”

A two-word suggestion: Sensible shoes.

Does anyone else remember the late Joe Casazza? For decades, he was commissioner of Boston’s Department of Public Works. He didn’t go to MIT either, but he got the streets plowed. The Comish used to sing a little ditty around City Hall, something along the lines of, “My name is Joe, what do I know, I just plow snow.”

That’s the kind of guy you need running the DPW, a meat-and-potatoes blue-collar who’s more familiar with Dot Ave. than Memorial Drive. After the Comish retired, the city named its big DPW yard on Frontage Road after him.

By the way, Frontage Road won’t be plowed if the new crowd at City Hall gets their way. Not only is Frontage Road a major thoroughfare, it’s often used by … men.

“Sloppy Joe,” as this paper used to call Casazza, knew that the city’s mission in snowstorms was to clear the streets, not promote equity. And certainly not to worry about sidewalks — that’s the responsibility of the property owners.

Hell, John Forbes Kerry could have told Wu, Chu, et al. about that. In the winter of 2015, he was jetting around the world, warning about global warming, and the city was writing him a $50 ticket for not ordering his butler to shovel the piled-up global warming off the sidewalk outside his mansion in Louisburg Square.

Even City Councilor Chuck “Superfly” Turner once got a citation for not shoveling his sidewalk. I don’t know who handled the duties after he was sent to prison.

A new mayor only gets one chance to make a good first impression about plowing the streets. DiBlasio blew in New York eight years ago. Jane Byrne became mayor of Chicago because her predecessor blew it.

By the way, in City Hall’s press release announcing the new hire, Chu says that her favorite things about Boston include “the City’s walkability.”

Good luck walking around here after the storm, Tiffany, especially if the DPW adopts your recommendations for gender-equality snow plowing.

Join Howie's Mailing List!

You have successfully subscribed!