Tuesday, December 4, 2007

There's always something to complain about

And those on the far-right always seem to find a way to blame their favorite bogeyman, "liberal lefty environmentalists" in this case, for a problem that, in reality, can only be attributed to Mother Nature.

Check out this gem from the conservative Daily Takes blog:

Six inches of snow 48 hours ago should not leave the roads of Madison in such terrible shape.

Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz (former co-founder of the lefty environmental group 1,000 Friends of Wisconsin) is hell-bent on making it tough to drive cars in his city.

How else can you explain the dismal condition of East Washington Avenue this morning? It’s bad enough the reconstruction work has taken longer than the entire Marquette Interchange project. But now that the construction is nearly complete, more than 1/3 of the road is unusable due to the lack of adequate plowing and salting.

Madison streets superintendent Al Schumacher is quoted in today’s Wisconsin State Journal as saying most of the main roads should be “really good” today.

He’s right. They should be.

But they aren’t.

For some reason the plow drivers in Wisconsin’s second largest city are not capable of clearing out the left traffic and left turn lanes. As if that weren’t dangerous enough, there are places on East Wash where an entire lane is coated with three inches of ice.

Salt may not be environmentally friendly. But how friendly is a street strewn with disabled cars and injured citizens, Mayor Dave?

Since when does the City of Madison not use any salt on the roads? As far as I was aware, they do indeed salt major thoroughfares, only leaving the side streets sans salt in an effort to minimize the amount of bad run-off into the lakes (those big, watery things we're surrounded by here in Madison).

Turns out I was right. This press release comes courtesy of the City:

Cleanup efforts related to the weekend snow and ice storm continue in the City of Madison. Top city staff from a number of agencies met today with the mayor's office to review current issues and coordinate cleanup work. The City of Madison includes some 750 miles of streets and 1700 total lane miles.

The Streets Division's cleanup efforts are focused on a number of priorities. Additional salting and plowing is being performed on the salt routes (these are the city's heavily-trafficked streets) that have ice buildup. The City of Madison does not generally salt residential side streets in an effort to minimize harmful salt runoff into Madison-area lakes.

Streets is also continuing to plow the areas where cars have moved, and sanding hills and intersections on the residential streets. Heavy equipment such as end loaders and graders are being used to scrape the residential streets where ice has bonded, creating rutting. Work is also continuing on crosswalk snow removal.

The Streets Division delayed plowing most residential streets until early Sunday morning due to the freezing rain that occurred overnight Saturday night into Sunday morning. Plowing those streets prior to the freezing rain would have resulted in extremely dangerous and icy conditions on paved streets.
Look, I'm as annoyed at the big chunks of ice stuck to the streets as anyone, but I also understand what happened this weekend. Plowing streets that have lots of cars parked on them, streets that are older and more narrow than those in, say, Fitchburg (where the downtown is really just a "state of mind"), is difficult enough in normal snow conditions. Add to that a thick layer of ice and things get nasty.

It's understandable to be miffed at the driving conditions. Linking that to "liberal lefty environmentalists" is one hell of a big stretch, though, and just makes you look ridiculous.

Maybe our local right-wing blogosphere is just cranky about that recently released NIE report. Y'know, that one that says Iran gave up its nuclear weapons program 4 years ago.


ellie said...

They're just cranky as a way of life, Emily. Most of the right wing bloggers have an angry monkey sitting in a cesspool in the back of their minds, and that monkey will throw turds at anything that comes in front of it.
I find it amusing that he's bitching about plowed bike lanes, never considering that people going to work might consider something besides a car to get there.

dailytakes said...


Where did I write that the City didn't use any salt at all. I know it uses some salt, but only on the main roads. Obviously, though, even that is not enough.

As for Ellie's angry monkey comment, it was nice of her to illustrate her point with a picture. But it still doesn't make the four foot ice drifts on the pedestrian intersections on and near the square any less formidable.

ellie said...

What you're saying is that it's the fault of the econazis and the liberals who run Madison that there was a big snowfall and sidewalks got blocked?
And that Madison should just salt everything so your drive through town is safter, and to hell with the lakes and environment, Dailytakes?
When did being a conservative switch from being somebody who built things and took a careful approach to things like monetary policy and diplomacy turn into being a reactionary self centered crank who abandons logic and blames everybody else?

Six String Scientist said...

Maybe Daily Takes is from Illinois (as am I, I'm not trying to F.I.B. them). We from the flatlands are used to the trucks being out the intant flakes start falling. I personally like the method employed in Madison, as fewer plow trips tear up the roads a bit less, and less salt means your car doesn't deteriorate as quickly either. I've had many issues with brakes deteriorating faster than they should simply becuase all the salt got into the works. And braking in winter is hard enough as it is.

The Lost Albatross