Before this week, people in the U.P. had been wondering when the white stuff was going to hit the ground. We think these people are not wondering anymore.
After being hit with the first blizzard of the year, followed by severe cold, it appears as though we will have another white Christmas. This is good for some and maybe not so good for others.
One of the local areas that may be inconvenienced the most are those still Christmas shopping in downtown Escanaba.
What many had feared would happen has with this large storm that dumped a lot of snow. Driving and shopping downtown can be quite challenging now.
The lanes for vehicles have become much more narrow with very little space between angle parked cars and those just trying to get through town. If you do get a spot to park in, you may have to go through high snow drifts just to get to the sidewalk.
These were concerns aired when the switch was made and now everyone is experiencing them. It is not pleasant and with such a large snowfall, it may remain this way for several more days.
City crews have many streets to get through. They have opened the downtown up, but in the angle parking area, snow still remains piled high in the middle, thus eliminating another lane. Also, with snow piled against the curb, cars are forced that much further out into the driving lane.
This type of situation also does not give much room for cars to back out of the spaces if there are vehicles on both sides of the car trying to get out. The large snowbanks are just too limiting and unforgiving.
The Downtown Development Authority is looking into what to do with angle parking and maybe this should serve as a reminder that it may not work with the current configuration during the winter.
Now is the time to ask questions to drivers and shoppers. We are sure the responses would be interesting. We hope this is taken into consideration when discussions are held again.