Snow Before Parade, No Problem, Downtown Snow Clearance

Now this is how you prepare for a St. Patrick’s Day Parade after a snow storm. OIB friend Doug Davidoff, a Downtown resident, filmed crews clearing snow at the corner of Main and State, just after midnight Thursday.



  1. Let’s see. McCarthy is parade marshall. City crews remove snow in middle of the night. Overtime perhaps? Were there police officers on OT directing traffic? Looks like McCarthy owes Ganim a big favor, which I’m sure he will collect.
    Lennie, is it true Ganim is rehiring McCarthy in Labor Relations?

    1. Tom, I haven’t heard that yet, but it would make sense. Tom leaves the Council, uses his past experience while working ten years in Labor Relations, Ganim could keep an eye on him, and Testa would have another double agent reporting to him directly: John Ricci and Tom McCarthy.

  2. Doug, was it a City crew? There was a time when businesses downtown would hire contractors to remove snow from around their buildings. The sidewalks around the old People’s office had heated sidewalks.

    1. Replying to Tom White: I’m pretty sure the dump trucks hauling the snow away from downtown were city trucks. The backhoes had no insignia I could see. There was at least one vehicle with a hose capable of sucking up the snow and depositing it into the dump trucks. The snow plows ranged from small Bearcat-type vehicles to pickup trucks to large trucks. The had all sorts of colors, so I think they were from a number of different contractors. There were also a number of people out in the cold air with shovels doing hard manual labor to move this very tough snow.

      I consider this an impressive and well-coordinated effort. You can complain about the overtime or suspect that any of several fixes were in. But this kind of snow removal could not be done during the day or evening in the evening when there are both cars and pedestrians around. I’m going to make a rash estimate and suggest it took 20 to 30 minutes to clear a block of snow. So clearing the entire parade route involved a number of hours and doing so at a time when the streets had the fewest number of vehicles or pedestrians was critical.

      You can complain, but this is what cities do before major events. Bridgeport’s parades are important events. They tie the people and institutions of the city together and connect it to its past in positive ways. The presence of youth in the parades also ties the city to a positive vision of its future. They bring people downtown.

      I will probably be as aghast as anyone else to see the bill for Thursday night’s parade route clearing. But I’d be equally aghast to read about the complaints or hospitalizations of parade watchers or parade participants who slipped and fell, or who could not find places to watch. The late-season snowfall was an act of God as much (though not as damaging) as the Main Street tornado that damaged the Barnum Museum. We have to deal with the consequences of these unanticipated events. Contingency budgets are invented for these occurrences.

      All in all, I think it was a creative if also unorthodox solution to a problem that had to be managed. You can argue over who was hired and how. But leaving the snow where it was on the night before a parade? Not even Mayor Jasper McLevy and his public works director would have settled for that.

      [Full disclosure: I messed up the editing. The video consists of three video clips. The third clip actually was thee first clip recorded, followed by the other two.]

  3. For everyone, those are city trucks doing the clean-up including the small bobcat. The first truck backing out of the area is a dump truck with a grabber on the front, definitely city. The dump trucks are white with a logo and are city trucks, why is that so hard to believe?
    The grader is also city equipment.

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