Answers: Questions about crosswalks, snow emergency route tickets and weather apps

Posted: Mar. 15, 2013 7:46 pm Updated: Nov. 28, 2014 3:36 pm
The crosswalk at 11th Street on Maine outside the Quincy Medical Group has raised questions about who has the right of way the pedestrians or the traffic. (H-W File Photo)


As a downtown Quincy employee, I often drive past the Quincy Medical Group heading west on Maine on my way to work. I am perplexed about the crosswalk situation near 11th Street. Is the legal thing to do to stop traffic (for other people also heading to work) and wave those employees across the street, or is that just the courteous thing to do? At what point do you stop? Do you stop when more than one employee is waiting? When you see an employee approaching the crosswalk? As they shut their car door?

Quincy Police Chief Rob Copley says that because the area is marked as a crosswalk, if a pedestrian is starting into the crosswalk, the pedestrian has the right of way.

"If you can safely stop, then stop," he said. "If you're moving along at normal speed, you don't want to slam on your brakes. If you see someone waiting on the corner, they do have right of way.

"I do it all the time. I'll look behind me, and then I'll look them across at traffic coming the other way. You don't want to set a pedestrian up for a potential accident."


Why were cars not towed that were parked on snow emergency routes? I saw many cars still parked in snow routes that were plowed in with snow.

To explain, let's review the two major snowfalls of 2013 and the massive 20-inch snowstorm of 2011.

Two years ago, Copley said, the city tried to get ahead of the storm by putting the snow emergency into effect (cars can't park on designated snow emergency routes when three inches of snow has fallen). Cars that were not removed from streets were towed before snowplows came through.

"That wasn't the best experience for us," Copley said. "We don't have enough tow trucks. That didn't work."

When this year's first snow emergency was called on Feb. 21, Mayor John Spring directed the Quincy Police Department not to write any tickets.

"(The snow emergency) was called after some cars were already snowed in, and we felt we didn't want to tow or ticket anybody, because some where snowed in before it was plowed," Copley said.

The snow emergency for the second storm Feb. 26 was issued before cars were snowed-in on emergency routes.

"We would ticket anybody who got plowed in," Copley said. "We wouldn't tow anybody unless the snowplows or any other utility needed to get them out of the way.

"That is where I think we will land. That's the best place for us to be."

Copley said 117 tickets were written during the Feb. 26 snowstorm. Each person ticketed receives a $25 fine. No one was towed.

"The rationale for ticketing is that if you call a snow emergency and you don't do anything about people not moving their cars, then you're just reinforcing them staying there," he said.


Not everyone owns a mobile way to download the WGEM weather app for the area. Is there any way it could be made available for the home computers, as well?

The WGEM StormTrak Mobile app isn't available in a desktop or laptop format. However, Brian Shoemaker, internet director at WGEM, recommends visiting the StormTrak Interactive radar page at It's an interactive radar format designed for desktop and laptop computers and delivers similar features to the weather app, including a 48-hour futurecast radar loop and moveable map.


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