The front of these stores on Somerset is much the worse for wear. The cause: walk plowing.
I have every sympathy for the walkway plow drivers. The pavements are uneven. Obstacles abound. Throw in hidden objects and frozen masses of snow, and its a recipe for difficulty.
In this case, the plows seem to be crashing into the buildings to avoid the parking meter kiosks:
I have no doubt that the minimum 5′ gap was allowed for when positioning the parking meter kiosk. I did the walkabout with the meter installers with both the Preston and Somerset BIA’s, when locations were being selected. The biggest problem is the clutter of other objects located on the walk space, and the ole bureaucratic maxim that the minimum spacing shall be the maximum allowed. And keep in mind that the area shown is already on a widened walk from a previous generation of streetscaping.