Editorial: A change needed on snow-filled Dickinson streetsThere is no doubt the street crews in Dickinson work hard and deserve credit for getting up in the worst of conditions to plow roads and freeze their toes and fingers.
There is no doubt the street crews in Dickinson work hard and deserve credit for getting up in the worst of conditions to plow roads and freeze their toes and fingers.
However, whatever is being done is not working. Dickinson’s streets are horrific to travel on after a snowstorm. Not just for a few hours after a snowstorm, but for a few days and sometimes weeks.
The crews put up with a lot, people leaving garbage cans and cars in streets, blocking roads that need plowing and not being thoughtful when the big machinery is heading down the road trying to do its job.
But these huge ruts on ice-covered streets are dangerous. Snow left on the roads thawed, slushed and then froze leaving potholes and ruts that make even the largest pickup bounce.
It’s time to reevaluate how the plowing is tackled. Our city has changed immensely in the last three years. There are more cars and with the 24-hour seven-day-a-week schedule of the oil industry, our streets are busier at all hours than ever before.
More people have to be at work and can’t sit and wait a storm out and snow removal procedures have to change to meet the new needs, even if it costs more money.
Here are a few things witnessed by Press employees after the recent storm; A woman had to be pulled out by a tow truck after stopping at a stoplight on Third Avenue West when she wasn’t able to get back going because of snow; a Blazer went into a complete 360 after turning off of Villard; a Press employee who drove the 125 miles back from the Stanley train station Monday said, “I didn’t notice it snowed this much until I got on to Dickinson’s streets.”
One should not have to engage four-wheel drive to get around town, especially on the main streets.
There are signs on a number of roads that say, “No parking during a snow emergency.” However, it’s not clear what a snow emergency is. People aren’t moving their vehicles after 8 inches of snow but does anyone know or is it assumed all snow means emergency?
There is no doubt there is a lot of snow to be moved and the battle won’t be over for a few months, but we need to act quickly and figure something out.
Doing things the same way and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. In-town travel should not be something to dread or fear.
Publisher Harvey Brock and Managing Editor Jennifer McBride make up The Dickinson Press Editorial Board.