Alderman: 'Boycott Burger King' for Not Shoveling Sidewalk

Five days after a blizzard hit Somerville, the Home of the Whopper still hadn't shoveled its sidewalk, and one alderman was livid.

Burger King, at 185 Somerville Ave., still hadn't shoveled its sidewalks five days after a blizzard dumped around 28 inches of snow on the city, according to Ward 2 Alderman Maryann Heuston.

Heuston was mad.

Speaking at a Somerville Board of Aldermen meeting Thursday, she said, "If the average joe" can shovel his sidewalk, Burger King should be able to as well.

"A large corporation like Burger King should be ashamed of itself," she said.

The Ward 2 alderman said city officials have visited the Burger King and told them to shovel, to no avail.

"I would ask people to boycott Burger King until they shovel their sidewalk," Heuston said.

She also wants to send a letter to the CEO and regional managers of the fast food corporation.

"I've had it with Burger King, and we need to make a statement loud and clear," she said.

Zoe February 15, 2013 at 11:23 AM
Looks like the administration has now decided they want Burger Kings' land. Must have something to do with Union Square. Why else would an Alderman be so outrageous as to call for a boycott of a city business? I'll guarantee you if you drove around the city you would find city property that hadn't yet been shovelled. And if you push Burger King maybe they will push back and be willing to fight the notion that you can be legally required to clear snow from city property. The sidewalk is not part of Burger Kings' property, it belongs to, and is maintained by, the city.
Mark February 15, 2013 at 01:10 PM
Shouldn't the official position of a city official be to follow the requirements of the existing ordinance? Shouldn't BK be continuously fined until they comply like the rest of us? Why are we inventing new ways to try to assure compliance with city ordinances?
Joe Beckmann February 15, 2013 at 01:29 PM
And what are the fines for chairs in the street?? When will the administration finally remove the snow before new snow makes it even harder?? And which aldermen have better snow removal? How and why? And, finally, why is Maria Curtatone's street clearer than mine? When will Somerville Patch create a forum to list poor street cleaning, and link that to Wards, to Aldermen, and to friends of DPW?
LSG February 15, 2013 at 01:35 PM
BK should be fined. Send the city's parking enforcers out to ensure that noncompliance is ticketed. It will give them something to do during the apparently indefinite time that the City is willing to wait before plowing the even sides of the streets and restoring parking in Somerville.
LSG February 15, 2013 at 01:46 PM
My husband works nights and does not put chairs in the spots he clears out. So far, he's cleared two spots on the odd sides and three on the even. Last night at about 3 a.m., our shovel broke. The municipal lots should be open for overnight parking until the snow is cleared. And residents who do the city's job of clearing the street should get paid for it.
Elizabeth Rose February 15, 2013 at 02:01 PM
They should be fined. I boycott all businesses that don't clear their walkways. Yesterday The Patch reported that residents gave the city an A for snow removal. This is far from the truth. The Patch gets an F on that one.
Donal Waide February 15, 2013 at 02:08 PM
Isn't this what ticketing is for. A call for boycotting is a bit much from the Alderman. Does she boycott everyone who doesn't shovel?
Ivan February 15, 2013 at 02:27 PM
Let's hold back on paying our property taxes for the rotten job the city did with the storm!!!
LSG February 15, 2013 at 02:29 PM
What is wrong with boycotting? No business is entitled to customers. If a corporate citizen is a bad citizen, then human citizens have every right to shun it and spend their money elsewhere.
Ivan February 15, 2013 at 02:34 PM
She's still getting over her poorly manager attempt for the ROD seat. She'll calm down in a few months.
AHM February 15, 2013 at 02:43 PM
If we don't pay parking tickets we can't renew registrations and licenses. Maybe apply the same rules? This is a city that likes to make money off fines. Were they fined at all??
Marie February 15, 2013 at 03:06 PM
I feel that boycotting is fine, but it's inappropriate for a city official to ask people to boycott a business. I agree with the above poster. The city cannot legally require you to clear a city sidewalk. I clear the walk in front of my own house for my safety and that of my neighbors. Most businesses would clear their walk to insure that customers can easily access their store. If I thought I wouldn't be penalized in some way, I'd be glad to take the city to court and fight the notion that I can be required to clear something that is not my property.
LSG February 15, 2013 at 03:20 PM
The city actually can require a property owner to clear a sidewalk on its property. What's more, the SJC has affirmed that it is the property owner's responsibility to do so and that the property owner will be held liable if someone is hurt. So, go for it. Take the city to court. http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/07/27/with_historic_decision_sjc_changes_the_rules_on_snow_removal/
Alex February 15, 2013 at 04:26 PM
This is definitely not the first trouble we in Ward 2 and Heuston in particular have had with this particular business - BK is also a big contributor to the rat infestation on surrounding streets that Heuston's been working hard to combat. Despite many fines and failed inspections, this particular BK's dumpsters still support a large rat population that is arguably more detrimental to residents than hazardous sidewalks, so I'm not surprised she's had it with them. The rats, the sidewalks, the constant trash blowing around, etc. is all adding up to them being a bad citizen. Calling for a boycott is simply alerting others to what we in the neighborhood already do.
Adam Vaccaro February 15, 2013 at 05:12 PM
Incorrect. Property owners are required by law to clear the sidewalk. http://www.massrealestatelawblog.com/2010/07/28/massachusetts-property-owners-now-have-legal-responsibility-to-shovel-and-treat-snow-and-ice-on-property/
Lynn Perriello February 15, 2013 at 05:53 PM
OK. Let's also fine Home Depot because they didn't shovel either. Why haven't they been fined? The city could be making some money from their noncompliance. And Star Market on Beacon Street. Don't let them get away with making walking unsafe!
LSG February 15, 2013 at 06:08 PM
The city should be fining property owners with the same zeal it applies to fining car owners.
Lucille Kenney February 15, 2013 at 08:03 PM
Yeah, I was wondering the same thing. Why not just fine them ... just like they would do to the average Joe ???
Lucille Kenney February 15, 2013 at 08:05 PM
I like their Crispy Chicken Salad with Apple Cider dressing too much ... sorry no boycott ... I would rather see them fined as I would be if I didn't shovel my sidewalk.
Dev February 15, 2013 at 08:33 PM
Just wondering if the city fines it self for not shoveling sidewalks near city property, for example the park at highland and grove street the highland street side not cleared and sidewalks near city parking lots like the one near Rite-Aid on highland.
Courtney O'Keefe February 15, 2013 at 08:40 PM
Absolutely 100% agree as it is a serious safety hazard.
Frank Mulligan February 16, 2013 at 05:08 PM
The CITY should fine them for every day they don't shovel the SNOW. Safety comes first. Every city and town should do the same. They are very lax.
AHM February 16, 2013 at 05:55 PM
How do we know if any of these places are not getting fines? They do take a picture when they fine them. One person I kmow got fined and when she went to complain it was not her house in the picture. So they do have proof.
Lucille Kenney February 16, 2013 at 06:00 PM
Boycotting is a bit harsh. You're welcome to do it. But if I get stopped by a boycotter from using the drive-through to get my Crispy Chicken Salad with Apple Cider dressing ... no telling how I'll react.
Lucille Kenney February 16, 2013 at 06:03 PM
ooo that Crispy Chicken Salad with Apple Cider dressing seems less appealing now ... yuck!
AHM February 17, 2013 at 12:18 AM
I see Boston fined Walgreens $2000 for not shoveling their sidewalks.
Mr Myagi February 18, 2013 at 04:55 PM
Walgreen's doesn't have delicious Whoppers.
LUllman February 18, 2013 at 06:33 PM
um, will the board of aldermen call on the city of somerville to do a better job of clearing the public walkway alongside the city property on somerville avenue, just a stone's throw from this burger king? I know, it can take several days to properly clear these lots and haul the snow away, but in the meantime, it is a hazard for pedestrians and motorists alike...
Lucille Kenney February 18, 2013 at 06:40 PM
or Crispy Chicken Salad with Apple Cider dressing.
Jake February 18, 2013 at 07:45 PM
Or awesome fries


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