A few lessons learned from the snow

February 19, 2010

The past several weeks we have lived through two rather significant snowstorms that have produced a number of observations we would like to address.

1. Snow -- It's only snow and a little deep! Deal with it!!

2. Plow drivers -- Hats off to the plow drivers! They worked ungodly hours and did a good job given the conditions they were addressing. One suggestion for them though: You are high up in your trucks. Think of the small 4-wheeler at that level as you pile up the snow at the corners of the intersection. You are creating some dangerous traffic conditions.

3. Media -- Do we really need weeks of wall-to-wall coverage telling us we are going to get snow, we are getting snow, here are the inch-by-inch accumulations, here is the foot-by-foot removal, and here is next week's snow? Stay tuned!

4. Robo-calls -- Do we really need someone calling our home to tell us it is going to snow; it is snowing, keep off the roads? Save us taxpayers a few bucks; stop the calls. The media (as previously noted) is already over covering the situation. The idiots are going to be on the roads no matter what you do.

5. Schools -- The safety and the education of our children is paramount. Good decisions need to be made regarding when to close. Making up lost time is simple: Shorten spring breaks, holiday times and the meetings for staff that impact the children by closing the schools. Stop school robo-calls also. The media has that covered.

6. Sidewalks -- If a sidewalk borders your property, it is your responsibility. Most jurisdictions mandate that you clean, repair and maintain said sidewalk. They also usually require you to shovel the snow off the sidewalk within 24 hours of cessation of the snowfall. Stop whining about unclean walks and get busy. It is not a government responsibility unless it is government property. The media should publicize this. Sidewalk inspectors should be re-instated and issue citations. It's a revenue source!!

7. Side streets -- It is a tough situation to deal with, but there are solutions. In a community association we once presided over, where we did not have off-street parking, on impending snowfall events, we all parked on the side of the street matching the date, odd or even. This gave the plow driver about two-thirds of the roadway to work with. After clearing was completed on the vacated side, we all moved to that side and the remaining side was plowed curb to curb. All it takes is a little cooperation and planning.

8. Environmental concerns -- All precipitation falling in the state of Maryland from Dan's Mountain near Frostburg eastward drains into the Chesapeake Bay. Whatever falls eventually melts, runs off and gets to the bay. It's a fact of life, so dumping in the harbor just speeds up the process in a local area with little or no harm.

You don't have to like it or enjoy it, just deal with it with good common sense.

Roy Whiteley, Bel Air

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