Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Ruth Ann Orlansky: Time for city, DPW to change way snow removed

To The editor:

My “misery loves company” feeling set in after I read the Gazette’s Feb. 22-23 article, “Mounting mountains: Snow lingers downtown.” I feel very bad about the businesses not getting proper service from he DPW, but the residential “customers” do not have it so good, either.

On Thursday, Feb. 20, I woke up to a 3-foot mountain of compacted snow completely blocking my driveway. When I called the mayor’s office to complain, I was connected to various DPW people who essentially told me that there was nothing they could do about removing it. When I told them that I was 62 years old and that my wife was 69 years old, and that I did not have a snowblower, I was advised to borrow one from a neighbor or to call a snowplow service. Hello? I thought my taxes paid for street cleaning, not driveway blocking. My City Council representative told me that she constantly had her driveway blocked by DPW’s “street cleaning,” and had received many complaints like mine. The message I got was that this situation had always been this way, and that there was no changing it. I might have found this “idea” valid if I had not come from a town in upstate New York where, even after the heaviest snowstorms, my driveway was never blocked and downtown areas were completely cleared. What has happened to our “can-do” spirit? Perhaps we can start improving DPW “service” if the mayor’s office, the City Council, downtown business representatives and other stakeholders got together with the DPW to work out some way that snow could be quickly cleared from all streets and residential driveways not be blocked. Why not try to change things? It’s worth a shot.

Ruth Ann Orlansky Florence

Legacy Comments2

"hbomb" is correct. Snowblowers don't work well on piles of ice. We use a hoe to break up the ice and spread it out. Then we used the snowblower. We are both over 70. I seem to remember many years ago that the plowers would avoid driveways and turn their plows so that the snow and ice would not be pushed into the openings. But now the plowing system is so fast that they can't do that, apparently. If there were another way, we, and all our neighbors, would support it.

I too find my driveway badly blocked after major storms with a pile of compacted snow both wide and high. Even if I can find someone with a snowblower, that's not always an answer, especially if the plow comes by in the night. By morning, the snow can be frozen solid and it takes a long time to chop it out and just as long to find a place to put it. If there's a device that prevents the accumulation of snow from the road ending up on your property (see also Lois Ahrens's letter), I'd like to see the city look into it.

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