January 15, 1850The complaints of the residents of St. John’s about snow clearing and allowing pedestrian’s safe passage on the streets are not new. As early as 1850 the town now city of St. John’s has been trying to negotiate the delicate balance between walkers and drivers.
An Editorial in the Morning Post and Shipping Gazette a St. John’s newspaper on January 15, 1850 speaks about the difficulty of getting about the town. The editorial reads:
“Solely from a desire to preserve the well-being of all classes in the community, we call the attention of the Police to the extreme carelessness manifested by the drivers of vehicles of almost every kind, in neglecting to provide them with a sufficiency of bells to give the foot passenger timely notice to move out of their way.
No person in St. John’s need be reminded of the difficulty, and often danger, of perambulating the streets of this town during the winter months ….
The Police would do well to order that all vehicles, both sleighs and slides, whether drawn by horses or dogs, shall be amply provided with bells to give timely notice of their approach; an order which, we hope will not only be given, but strictly attended to and rigidly enforced.”
Pedestrians, if you are preambulating the streets, wear light or reflective clothing. These drivers need to see you!
Recommended Archival Collection: At The Rooms Provincial Archives Division read the old newspaper accounts that give great insight into the events of the past. http://www.therooms.ca/archives/
Recommended Web Site: City of St. John’s Snow Clearing: http://www.stjohns.ca/living-st-johns/streets-traffic-and-parking/snow-clearing
Recommended to Read: Rain, Drizzle and Fog: Newfoundland Weather by Sheilah Roberts. Boulder Publications, 2014. Newfoundlanders love to talk about the weather. And why wouldn’t they? The province is known for its great gales, fierce blizzards, destructive glitter storms, blizzards, and hurricanes. Sheilah Roberts delves into the archives, to find stories of Newfoundland weather. Reports from 400 years of Newfoundland and Labrador weather are interspersed with traditional weather lore, snippets of science, and dozens of fascinating photos.