Given the truly delightful winter we have been suffering through this year, I thought it might be a good idea to list off some suggestions for us planners to consider for addressing potential future winter mayhem.
You can never be too prepared for emergencies. Additional ideas and suggestions are always welcome!
- Have pre-designated and pre-stocked emergency warming shelters that can be activated on very short notice.
- Require bus stops to be cleared so passengers don’t have to walk across slippery mounds of compacted snow and potentially fall into the roadway.
- Increase the number of transit shelters to enhance the rider’s experience in winter.
- Require all power lines to be placed in underground conduits.
- Install or encourage the planting of vegetative buffers along open stretches of road to reduce blowing and drifting of snow across roadways.
- Require bike lanes to be plowed so they are clear too – don’t use them for storage of snow.
- Install homing beacons or markers on all fire plugs so they are easier to locate when they are buried under snow.
- Establish a mid-winter edition of Smart Commute Week for snow-shoeing, snowboarding, skating, fat tire cycling, and/or x-country skiing to/from work – this will help increase exercise and reduce cabin fever.
- Actively pursue regulations which promote more passive solar elements into building design.
- Require and insist on building redundancy in the electrical grid.
- Establish snow disposal areas to help improve visibility around monstrous piles of snow – this has been a real problem along residential streets and in parking lots.
- Revise pertinent regulations so that back-up generators can be easily incorporated into new and existing structures.