Monday, February 10, 2014

Why Were Snow Routes Not Fully Plowed Five Days Later?

Late on Tuesday night February 4th the Cincinnati City Manager issued a requirement that all cars parked on Snow Routes in Cincinnati had to be moved.
Based on the time of the Tweet above, the announcement was before 11 PM on the 4th. Just before 7 AM on the 5th, after the 6 AM period listed above, I saw the Cincinnati Police Department towing at least three cars in the 1200 block of Vine Street. That part of Vine is part of the City's publicly listed Snow Emergency Routes. It's also posted along the street:

It was unsettling to me that the City of Cincinnati felt that reasonable notice was considered to be a late night announcement followed by an early morning deadline.  Where was early focus to tow cars put? Over-the-Rhine, of course.  We are known for our vehicular travel.  We are better known for the number of people who park on the street over night.  I'd hate to think we were targeted, but I wish there was a easy way to determine how many cars were towed from which areas's on Wednesday morning.   That would be an interesting statistic.  The motivations for towing in OTR early are mixed, but none seem to be worth wile.  The cars must go, of course, because it is important to have the full street cleared.

Or is it important?

On Wednesday afternoon the City lifted the Snow Emergency, making parking on snow routes legal again. On Wednesday evening, as I was walking home from dinner a local OTR establishment, I noticed that street parking was in heavy use.  Vine street was semi-passable, for experienced drivers.  Calling it plowed was an overstatement, as the road was packed down with a mix of ice and snow and the parking lanes were a mess.  So that evening I had to help push someone out of one of the snow filled parking spots.

For the next several days I watched people either needing help to break free of the parking space snow trap, or having to rock their cars back-n-forth to break free of the icy snow's grip.

Flash forward to midday Sunday.  After nearly 5 days, the parking lanes were still not plowed:

So, people had their cars towed, had to pay to get the car sprung from lock up and likely got a ticket in the process.  All of that for no reason?  It would appear that someone needs to rethink the strategy on snow routes.  Today, driving down Central Parkway, things are clear, mostly right up tot he curb.  Central Parkway isn't a snow route and the days after the big snow, I saw cars parked on the street trapped behind a wall of snow.  Those cars are long since free.

Poor planning is where I would point most of the blame, but poor execution can't be overlooked either.  It seems to me that if you are going to tow cars someplace, you might want to fully clear those streets.  Otherwise, why bother?

The people plowing the streets are working hard, but they don't have the resources needed.  The need for those resources isn't constant, so management of the process is very difficult.  That management needs to be reviewed on both the large scale and on the ground.

1 comment:

  1. Cranley thought he'd pull a Chris Christie and tow OTR first for the hell of it because you all didn't vote for him. I've got the internal documents in a briefcase here to prove it. As for the state of your roads, it's certainly not because the weather has been extraordinarily inclement, with new snow falling every few days, there's a salt shortage, the whole city looks like shit... certainly nothing to that effect.

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