In a change hoped to bring rapid and visible results, local road maintenance crews will begin “plowing” snow to the side of roads during major winter storms.
This new technique, popular in many other locales, gives motorists a better driving surface and reduces the confusion that can happen when drivers are faced with a “whitewashed” roadway and forced to decide where their lane should be.
City managers have been in lengthy discussions leading up to the decision. “We’re thinking outside the box here,” offered a supervisor. “with a winter like we’ve been having, dumping sand won’t always do the trick. We had to figure out some way of managing all this snow, and then one of us threw out the idea of pushing it around, and it stuck.”
Large curved plates will be attached to heavy duty city vehicles, and used to push, or “plow” excess snowfall onto curbs and side walks. Implementation will begin on streets considered “arterial” which bear the heaviest traffic burden. If successful, it may be expanded to include secondary street in the future.
While many residents are supportive of the tactic, others are outraged.
“Who do they think they are?” asked an irate shoveller. “Before, the sand and snow would just sit on the road. Perfect, road snow, road problem. But now they push it all off, and it ends up in my driveway. Why should I have to deal with stuff that didn’t even fall on my property?”
Other concerned citizens include downtown business owners, who fear that parking spaces may be co-opted for snowbank storage, meaning less options for customers to stay and shop. However, some believe this may be offset by the narrowing of the street, reduction in traffic speed, and increased viewing time of store front displays while cars are stopped to wait for a double-parked taxi to drop off their fare.
All eyes will be on the program over the following days, hoping that it provides some much needed relief to streets and residents, already choked by this aggressive winter season.