I’m always fascinated by unintended consequences, especially when they are an artifact of trying to do something right.Ice Ramp

In moving to Salt Lake City from California, I’ve been reminded that good intentions and planning do not a perfect world make.

I live close to downtown, so I’ve started walking to work. It’s a nice walk, gives me a bit of exercise, and makes me feel I’m being a bit more “green” by not driving.

The sidewalks have those nice ramps into the crosswalk, which lets a wheelchair roll across. And they keep somebody who’s not quite paying attention from tripping on the curb …

It’s all great until it snows …

Something that I didn’t expect was that as soon as a light snow falls, the snow plows pile up snow over the rain gutters. The closed drains create a perfect barrier to any melting snow. Because of this, it becomes easier to walk around the ramp rather than through the six foot long several inch deep puddle of water.

A relatively simple fix would be to have added a drain outlet at the bottom of the ramps, but I’m guessing even then it would clog with ice …

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