It is an odd turn of phrase to say that winter creates friction. But it’s true.
In this case, friction takes the form of cold, wet, white stuff, clogging roads and sidewalks to the point of keeping people from getting down to business.
If you are a restaurant owner, retailer or any business, your walk-up traffic disappears if people feel like they are trudging across the tundra as opposed to taking a stroll down the street. And forget about how many contusions can be blamed on poorly shoveled pathways.
OK, you say, we live in New England, and winter is, well, supposed to be white. But just because Mother Nature feels free to take the contents of clouds and transfer them to the earth’s surface does not mean that commercial and residential property owners should shirk their communal duties and avoid clearing their sidewalks.
In fact, many towns and cities, including Providence, have ordinances requiring property owners to keep the public rights of way out front clean. And if it takes a few tickets from the local constabulary to remind people of their duties, then we are further down the road to balancing municipal budgets. •