Thursday, February 28, 2008

The city brain trust hard at work

A story in Thursday's paper brought the news that the city of Washington is nearly out of road salt and can't get any more, but if another round of wintry weather hits the area, have no fear. Councilman Matt Staniszewski, right, who heads up the city street department, said he and Mayor Sonny Spossey have put their heads together and come up with "Snow Plan B." No, I didn't make that up. That's what he really called it. Are you ready to hear about it? Are you sitting down, ready to be in awe of this brilliant strategy? OK, here goes. It's actually a two-part plan, a dual attack on those insurgent snowflakes. Part one: Spread cinders instead of salt. So far, so good. Part two (and this is where it gets interesting): The street department will attach plows to its vehicles and plow the streets. Eureka! Actually plowing the streets when it snows. What will they think of next? I know, I know. The city will tell you that it already plows when snow hits, but its past efforts, based on personal driving experience and the complaints of countless others ("The roads were fine once I got out of the city."), haven't been worth a damn. I'm willing to give Staniszewski a chance. He's just getting his feet wet as leader of the public works sector of city government, and there's absolutely no chance he could make things worse.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Between Staniszewski and Toprani, I'm not sure who more resembles Luke Ravenstahl.

That, my friends, is not a compliment.

February 28, 2008 at 12:27 PM  
Blogger Scott Beveridge said...

Maybe Washington should follow Ravenstahl's lead and declare war on snow.
Nothing like an overused metaphor in politics.

February 28, 2008 at 12:47 PM  
Blogger Monique Ringling said...

I travel from Canonsburg, in the very early morning hours, to the O-R and never have a bit of trouble until I make a left onto Beau Street off the Beau Street exit off 79. From that point until I arrive at my parking spot it is pure hell. I can't believe how they ignore the road conditions! I usually get a good laugh when I'm coming down Beau and passing the church on my right and see an East Washington police car sitting there either waiting for speeders or an accident to happen.

February 28, 2008 at 12:52 PM  
Blogger Tracy J. said...

I live in Wheeling but work here in Washington. I am always amazed at how bad the roads are here. I can't tell you how many times I have asked "locals" if Washignton even has a street department. Most of the answers I get is that it doesn't have one. My step dad works for the Wheeling Street Department so of course I am partial but they sure do a much better job than the guys here in town do, and they have alot more hills to deal with. I almost fell off my chair when I read the councilmans idea of installing plows on the trucks. Shouldn't they do that at the beginning of winter say in November and leave them on through March?

February 28, 2008 at 1:43 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

My wife and I used to live in Bridgeville, and admittedly it's a smaller town than Washington, but their street department was the best I've ever seen. They were out early and often, and the roads were always cleared, no matter how big the storm. It can be done.

February 28, 2008 at 1:53 PM  
Blogger Scott Beveridge said...

The ruts along East Wheeling Street make it a challenge even in the best of weather.

February 28, 2008 at 9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somehow, "city" "brain" and "trust" don't belong in the same sentence. Kinda like "Bush"and "competent."

February 29, 2008 at 1:20 PM  
Blogger Dale Lolley said...

Actually, all the potholes serve to provide extra traction.

February 29, 2008 at 11:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do salt suppliers intentionally reduce the salt supply in winter to drive up the cost because of greater demand?

If so, would it not be smart to buy salt in the summer months when the supply is healthy and the demand less?

By now, city officials should have a good idea how much it will snow in a average winter, thus know how much rocksalt will be needed.

I just heard on the weather a couple days ago that we have experienced about 1/2" more snow this winter than the average. It's surprising we would run out of salt with a month of winter remaining.

One more thing, if our storm drains were not clogged with leaves, trash, and cigarette butts, perhaps the roads would clear up sooner after a snowfall.

I understand we have 52 miles of roads within the city. Don't you think each road could be swept at least twice during a calender year?

March 1, 2008 at 10:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It always kills me when idiots shovel snow off their sidewalks into the road.

Isn't this against the law?

Your paper had a picture this week of a guy doing just that. Under the picture he was identified and his street name given.

That was great journalistic investigating, but I doubt he was arrested.

People, shovel the snow into your yard. It will melt!

March 1, 2008 at 10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

.........Sounds like Fiddle-Dee and Fiddle-Dumb!

March 4, 2008 at 11:57 AM  

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