Boston Mayor Martin Walsh is urging the city's residents to remain patient, as the city continues to clear out over 7 feet of snow that have accumulated the first storm in January. City officials have taken some unprecedented steps to deal with the historic amounts of snow, including turning some of the city's two-way streets into one-way streets.

Director of Emergency Management for the City of Boston Renee Fielding joined WGBH Radio's Morning Edition host Bob Seay to talk about the city's efforts in response to the record-breaking amounts snow. 



On how Boston decides which streets to plow and when

Last night we had our Public Works crews out trying to widen a lot of our main roads and work on snow removal, so hopefully we’ll be able to lift that parking ban soon. There's a map system that Public Works has, and they assign plow drivers to each of the maps. At this point, for the most part,  the roads should have been worked on. If they haven't been, we encourage residents to call the mayor’s hotline at 617 635 4500 and report it.

On where the snow is being dumped

Our crews work on snow removal during the night. They load it into trucks and put it in about 5 to 10 snow farms across the city. At a couple of the snow farms we have snow melters, so we’re able to melt the snow during the day and free up some space so that at night, crews can continue to work on snow removal and dump it there. 

On parking options during snow emergencies

We work with some local garages in all of the neighborhoods to give discounted rates during snow emergencies, and we urge residents to go there. They’re able to park their cars the entire time that the parking ban is in effect for a discounted rate. We’re trying to get people to stay off the main roads so that crews can plow to the curb so that when the parking ban gets lifted the space will be there. 

On turning some roads into one-way streets

There’s a little confusion, of course, because it is something new but for the most part people understand and they’re thankful that this game of chicken — where you have one car coming down one way and another car coming down another way and there’s just no space for both of them to pass — is no longer occurring.  They’re thankful that there’s a little more clarity and they’re able to get around. It was dangerous with cars backing up. 

On how much all of these efforts are costing

By the latest estimates, around 34 million dollars. But we’re not done. We still have a lot of snow removal. Federal help is being requested. We got a declaration for the first storm in January. So there’s a time period where 75% of our snow costs will be reimbursable. We’re not sure if we’re going to meet the eligibility requirement for the other storms, but we’re looking into that. 

You can listen to the full interview above