By Brett Ratner
In my opinion, there’s been no shortage of recent press concerning the hardships endured by winter motorists. I mean, we get it. People have to dig their cars out of parking spots and call “dibs” with lawn chairs. To me, this wasn’t interesting news when it was reported on last winter...or the five winters before that. Can we move on, please?
What I’d prefer to see is broader coverage of individuals trying to get around the city after a big snow, not just mototorists. What, for example, are the difficulties of propelling a wheelchair along un-shoveled sidewalks or across un-plowed intersections? And what about the people who rely solely on public transportation? Certainly busses stuck in gridlock and frequent train delays impact their lives in countless ways.
While I’m not qualified to report on those subjects, I thought at least I could do my part to shed some light on another topic not getting a lot of press coverage: what it’s like to be a cyclist after a blizzard. So, on Monday morning, I took some photos to document my snowy commute.
While this certainly isn’t an all encompassing representation of what every cyclist experiences, hopefully it helps raise awareness and start a conversation about a specific way that I believe our cities can improve bike accessibility during the winter.
Photo #1: Monday’s commute started like every other: in my alley next to my garage at 7am. Judging from the lack of tire tracks and the shovel propped up next to a stuck car, I’m certainly not going anywhere in an automobile today.