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With plows, cars nowhere in sight, a steep, snow-covered Allston street becomes sledding hotspot

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  February 9, 2013 04:55 PM

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(Matt Rocheleau for

For at least one day on this steep stretch of road in Allston, the car was not king.

Instead, it was the sled.

Dozens of people wearing winter gear glided down a snow-packed, vehicle-free stretch of Brainerd Road for much of the day Saturday.

For many, there was little else to do.

A historic blizzard dumped an estimated 24.9 inches of powder in Boston – the fifth most in the city’s history. A driving ban was in effect for much of the day. Many businesses were closed. Most cars were completely buried. Public transit was shutdown. Many roads and sidewalks were a struggle to travel on.

Some of the more popular means of travel on Saturday were skis, sleds, snowboards and snow tubes.

Others improvised.

Rachael Uhlir, 23, and her friend, Amanda Trock, 22, both of Allston, used a long cardboard box to make several trips from the intersection of Brainerd Road and Kelton Street down to where Brainerd intersects with Walbridge Street.

They said they had seen other creative alternatives to the sled, including one group that sped down the hill on a mattress.

“Everyone is kind of creating their own sleds,” said Trock.

Trock and Uhlir said that everyone was in good spirits, at times helping one another get up to the top of the hill or giving them a push to start their ride down.

Alejandro Martinez, 38, brought his two daughters 8-year-old Valeria and 5-year-old Isabella. The young sisters smiled as they rode a sled down the hill to their father who waited for them at the bottom.

Martinez said he and his family moved to Boston from Venezuela in 2007.

“It’s hard to find snow in Venezuela,” he said. “This is the first time we’ve seen a lot of snow. It’s fun. They love it.”

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(Matt Rocheleau for

Dozens wait their turn to slide down the middle of a steep, snow-covered road in Allston.

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