Although it may receive criticism for its environmental harms, disposing of snow on Singing Beach in extreme cases, such as this winter, is a necessary action.
The excessive snow this year caused many problems for Manchester.
Students cannot walk to school because of covered sidewalks, causing lines of traffic to get to school in the morning. This issue has pushed the start time of school instruction back around 15 minutes most mornings.
The snow also affected commutes for residents by negatively impacting the train system and the conditions of roads.
Drivers have difficulty looking around snow banks when making turns and passing other cars on narrow snow-lined streets.
The unsafe conditions on roads also affect the safety of runners on the track team, who use the roads to train.
“[Running] is definitely more dangerous. Exiting streets and taking turns on the roads can be blind for cars, which means we have to be very careful. Running on snow also allows for slipping, which could lead to injury,” senior captain Olivia Lantz said.
Most years, the snow has been placed in the Singing Beach parking lot.
“Many times the lot has been two-thirds full or three-fourths full, with some parking still available,” Tom Kehoe, chairman of the Board of Selectmen said in an email.
This year, however, the Singing Beach parking lot is full, as well as most of the Masconomo lot. Because of this, the town was forced to place snow on Singing Beach, where the tide can wash it away.
According to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, the environmental issue with disposing of snow on the beach is that it is not just snow, but also dirt, trash, and pollutants that are swept up with it. However, the town worked to minimize this negative effect.
“The snow disposed of on the beach was clean. There was very little salt or sand in this snow, and it had not sat long in areas where it picked up heavy metals or other contaminants from vehicles,” Carol Murray, the department of public works director, said in an email.