SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Hundreds of bus stops throughout the city of Springfield have been piled high with snow; creating a dangerous situation for PVTA passengers waiting for the bus. Since the story was first broadcast on 22News, two crews of five inmates volunteered by the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department hacked, scraped, and chipped out dozens of stops along Main Street, State Street, and Sumner Avenue.
The clearing work is important for PVTA riders like Kevin Quesenel of Springfield, who said that he has experienced the danger posed by the conditions of the bus stops.
“I have to climb over snow banks. Downtown, I almost got hit a couple of times because I would have to stand in the street,” Quesenel said.
Of the 700 PVTA bus stops throughout the city of Springfield, the Sheriff’s Department worked to clear 100 stops of snow and ice, over a two week period.
“If you think about it its probably seven to eight snowstorms packed on top of each other with melting progress, so you’re looking at solid ice, snow, five feet high of snow bank,” Jeff DeMaio of the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department said.
22News found out that the city’s ordinance on snow removal says nothing specific about who is responsible for clearing bus stops of snow.
City Councilor Bud Williams says that a long-term plan is critical, and he is going to hold a second emergency meeting on the issue Friday.
“The law department has been trying to craft whole new legislation to pass to Boston, to suggest that PVTA has a responsibility in terms of cleaning their property,” Williams said.
Williams told 22News that the Council will reveal a draft of that legislation in Friday’s meeting.