from [email protected]
& r & & r & Snow Removal Stinks & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & W & lt;/span & e were in Spokane for a couple of days and read the article by Robert Herold ("Snow Surprise," 2/7/08) and couldn't agree more. We were astonished at the lack of snow removal on the streets and sidewalks. We are longtime transplants from Minnesota, so we are quite familiar with the logistics of living with a lot of snow; this was a number of years ago, too, when the snowfall was a great deal more than it has been in recent years.
We lived in a rural area as well, so there was some wait time before the highways were cleared after a storm. But that was 50-plus years ago, and roads were generally cleared within three days, depending on the amount of snow and drifting. One would expect that with modern snow removal equipment, a large city like Spokane would have snow removal well under control. The city looked as if the snow removal crews had gone on strike, with no hope of their return in sight. We were also surprised to see hardly anyone out shoveling the sidewalks. It was as if everyone was waiting for someone else to do the work. Even places of business where you would expect walking areas would be cleared were downright dangerous because of the ice. Surely these people have heard of shovels and salt! What about volunteers?
As a result, we not only did very little shopping because of the nightmare streets; we also came to a firm decision that we would never want to live in Spokane, or any city that would show such utter lack of efficiency in caring for its residents. Surely the people of Spokane deserve better than this!
Oren & amp; Sandy Erickson
East Wenatchee, Wash.
Spokane Did Its Best
& lt;span class= "dropcap " & K & lt;/span & udos to all the neighbors and citizens who help each other blow snow out of alleys and who help push stuck cars. Jeers to those, especially editorial writers (see Robert Herold's "Snow Surprise") who second-guess politicians doing as good as any of us could under the circumstances. Other cities are cited as exemplary, but those cities have big-city budgets and usually plan for snows they get regularly while Spokane gets blasted once every 15 years. Comparable cities of size and climate go through the same problems Spokane does. Lansing, Mich., after only eight inches of snow, "...had been criticized for not plowing side streets after another storm Friday dumped more than a half-foot of snow. Others were disgruntled about the time it will take to clear the snow from roads and streets, if they are cleared at all." (Lansing State Journal, 2/7/08) Lansing is a city where all-night parking is prohibited and they still have problems with snowplowing.
This Ain't Vermont
& lt;span class= "dropcap " & R & lt;/span & obert Herold's commentary titled "Snow Surprise" was way off base, and did I detect a certain political bias? Not surprising considering The Inlander endorsed the other guy.
First of all, there is one thing that I agree with Mr. Herold on and that is the issue of impassable sidewalks. If we want Spokane to become more pedestrian friendly then we've got to keep the sidewalks clear of snow; at the very least main arterials and busy bus routes ought to be kept clear.
I have to take issue, however, with the fact that he compared the city's reaction to the snow to that of other cities that have much heavier and more frequent snowfalls. Cities like Boston and Minneapolis have to be prepared every year for large quantities of snow. Spokane, on the other hand, had a snowfall like this, what, 10, 20, 50 years ago?
I lived in Vermont for six years and believe me, they are prepared for snow because they have to be and because they can afford to be. Which programs would Mr. Herold suggest we cut in order to prepare for the next heavy snowfall in 2058? I'm sure he wouldn't relish the idea of paying higher taxes the next time the sky is falling.
Don't Block my Driveway
& lt;span class= "dropcap " & I & lt;/span & appreciate the City plowing our streets. But what good does it do to have my street plowed when they leave big piles of hard snow like boulders blocking my driveway? If I can't get out of the driveway what good does it do to have the street plowed? Didn't we used to have a way to designate the driveways so they didn't leave those piles there? It has been years since we had this sort of winter, but it seems we must have forgot a few important things. Don't you think it is time to rethink this procedure, Spokane?