Friday, March 4, 2011
Finds in the gutter
Yes, Old Man Winter has given us a sound thrashing this year, but his days are numbered ... mercifully. The deep snow that once swallowed my legs whole, during attempts to walk through the back yard, is grudgingly losing its bite. For bicycle commuters who have stubbornly pedaled their way through winter, the melting of snow and ice is widening the roadways and making our lives much safer. Depending on the daily course of the sun, I've even noticed long stretches of curbing that have become bared. Sadly, bikers will notice, curbing and pavement aren't the only things being revealed with the slow onset of warmer weather. Simply stated, the roadway gutters are littered with a continuous array of snack wrappers, paper cups, smashed glass, building materials, cardboard, plastics, clothing, footwear and used condoms. Did people think they could litter with impunity because the next anticipated snowfall would cover all their environmental sins? Did they think, perhaps, their litter would somehow disappear by the time the snow melted? Did the sheer wildness of the winter stir their deepest anarchistic inclinations, allowing them to think, "Who the hell cares?" as they chucked an empty six-pack of beer bottles out the car window and into a snow bank? I don't know the answer to those questions, but I know that until street sweepers swing into action this spring, my commute to work is going to be like biking along a long strip of landfill.