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Archive for Sunday, December 27, 2009

Blizzard’s gone, but roads remain snow-covered

Storm dumped 8 to 10 inches in area

Kerry Townsend was resourceful in her quest to run to the grocery store for herself and a few neighbors. Using a saucer sled and rope to pull her groceries, she easily made her way along Connecticut Street near 15th Street Saturday, Dec. 26, 2009.

Kerry Townsend was resourceful in her quest to run to the grocery store for herself and a few neighbors. Using a saucer sled and rope to pull her groceries, she easily made her way along Connecticut Street near 15th Street Saturday, Dec. 26, 2009.

December 27, 2009

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December 2009 Winter storm

Expect slight snow accumulation through Saturday, with the winter storm wrapping up completely by Sunday.

The snow will stay for a while, but the Christmas Blizzard of 2009 is on its way out of town.

“It’s wrapping up,” said 6News Meteorologist Ed Bloodsworth. “(But) it’s going to stay cold.”

And referring to the recent storm as a “blizzard” isn’t simply a figure of speech.

“We’ve reached blizzard criteria,” Bloodsworth said, which means the storm met wind and sustained snowfall requirements that sufficiently reduced visibility.

The total snowfall tally in Douglas County as of Saturday morning ranged from 8.5 inches in Lawrence to 10 inches in Lecompton, according to the National Weather Service.

While the snow has eased up, Lawrence police said area roads remain dangerous.

“The roads still require a lot of caution,” said Sgt. Mark Warren.

The police did not have a tally of storm-related vehicle accidents, but, Warren said, “we’ve been busy.”

Bloodsworth said the area will have seen the last of the snowfall by this morning, but temperatures will continue to dip into the teens and 20s through early this week.

Comments

BigPrune 4 years, 3 months ago

Smart Growth hurts our quality of life.

The reason why the City doesn't have enough money to budget for snow falls is because of so-called "smart" growth policies that have been detrimental to our tax base thus our quality of life.

Johnson County streets are plowed, even their side streets were plowed. K-10 highway has actual pavement showing - you can see where the State takes over from the City - Lawrence side has high snow, State side has none to very little snow. Just drive East on 23rd.

I thought we lived on an island in the middle of what?

I don't fault the street crews for busting their tails. I fault the administration for not allocating enough funds and instead cherry pick stupid ideas (like paying thousands for invisible carbon credits to some out of state non-profit).

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Rick Aldrich 4 years, 3 months ago

SNOW REMOVAL, OR RELOCATING SUCKED SOOOOOOO BAD! 19TH AND LOUISIANA 90 DEGREE TURNS, NO TURNING LANES CLEANED. INSTEAD THEY HAVE ABOUT 4 FT. OF SNOW PILED ON TOP OF MOTHER NATURES MESS. THE 1ST POST ON HERE SUMMED IT BEST. FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF!

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Seamus 4 years, 3 months ago

readingraven-- If only these same people actually thought about things enough to realize in 20 years we won't be driving like we are now anyway. An infrastructure based on walking/cycling, trolleys and rail will have many benefits, one of which is to not be rendered helpless during a little winter dust up.

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Seamus 4 years, 3 months ago

Jack, I just love it when the same people who gripe about the slightest increase in fuel prices (because their rig gets only 15 mpg) suddenly feel vindicated enough by a rare snowstorm to brag about their unstoppability.

"Ain't nothing stopping me from getting my double-mocha latte!"

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readingraven 4 years, 3 months ago

It s funny how the same people who wish for snow ,then gripe about it being on the streets .Ok so the city has only a few trucks and about 800 miles of road to do. The trucks go about 20 miles per hr and people wonder why it’s not getting done fast enough .I think Lawrence is a little to spoiled !You sure don’t see every one running out to move their cars to help. And you don’t see people staying in and off the roads so the work can get done. Ok so the same people who are griping will be the same people who also get mad when there’s to much sand on their streets ,Or they can’t get out of there drive because the snow plow snow row blocked them in. Or they are mad because a snow plow spit a little snow on their cars as they go by.I think everyone needs to really think about what really possible and what really can be done! One of the biggest problems we are having is global warming, so here’s the snow to cool it off! Deal with it and stop being such babies about it!

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JackRipper 4 years, 3 months ago

Seamus don't you love those rugged individualist who live in town because they can't be without their paved roads, city water and sewer, and most likely in this case a cute coffee shop.

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Seamus 4 years, 3 months ago

infidel, it is an established fact that the older sections of a city subsidize the new and often keep doing so again and again through the years while its own infrastructure crumbles.

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Seamus 4 years, 3 months ago

I guess we all need to be like Westsider and go out to buy a 15 mpg truck that will only be necessary once in a great while. But let's remember that he's a rugged individualist who is prepared for all situations.

Except an energy crisis.

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toddtrip 4 years, 3 months ago

What would the City Manager do?

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JackRipper 4 years, 3 months ago

I do realize, like I said, the focus has to be on the big arterial streets that are much bigger than just one or two plow widths. One lane is working fine in my area, are you expecting a parade?

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happy_go_lucky 4 years, 3 months ago

Jack you fail to realize. Many of the side streets have only SEEN a plow one way. Many have been hit both sides of the roads, but countless side streets have only one lane cleared.

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JackRipper 4 years, 3 months ago

shorttrees you must be aware that many of the streets are more than a plow width across and going to take more than one pass or two? And with all the new big massive arterial streets out west do you think people would be happy with just one pass of a plow?

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hwarangdo 4 years, 3 months ago

hey, my neighbor simply put a blade on his ATV ... he can have fun while plowing the driveway :D just a thought for those of you with ATVs who miss the mud.

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shorttrees 4 years, 3 months ago

Hartk, you didn't dig quite far enough. http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2009/nov...

805 miles. Divided by 16 routes (the city's numbers, not mine) means about 50 miles per route. 5 mph is equivalent to a fast walk, and much slower than the plows who went through my street finally at 4 am this morning. It works out to 10 hours and ALL streets get plowed at least once.

But, this is Lawrence so of course the numbers don't crunch. .

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Boston_Corbett 4 years, 3 months ago

& you can't plow a cul-de-sac at 15 mph... more like 1...

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hartk678 4 years, 3 months ago

Please keep in mind that, not counting county roads, there are 805 lane miles within the city limits of Lawrence. (see link below) Consider how long it would take YOU to cover 805 miles... going 15-20 mph. Oh, and please put a plow on the front of your car.

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JackRipper 4 years, 3 months ago

Absolutely, thanks crews that spent your holiday out plowing away. There is a lot of territory to cover and with budget cuts we should be darn thankful for what we have.

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persevering_gal 4 years, 3 months ago

Thank you, city crew! I appreciate what you do. I guess some people tend to forget that life doesn't always revolve around themselves.

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JackRipper 4 years, 3 months ago

infidel, no I believe the rate is the same. Just because they may be paying more taxes does not adjust for the burdens they place on the city. It is obvious, isn't it, right now with roads crumbling away (just imagine how they'll look in the spring if we keep getting this much snow), lack of being able to clear the streets, plus for those on the west side no option but a vehicle in order to get to the store. Plus, a lot of the expenses were based on the rosy no thought estimates of the pro developer faction who now leave us with the taxes dropping because the housing values are dropping so what do you all expect?

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infidel 4 years, 3 months ago

My road was plowed today, however I made around town yesterday with my old and low to the ground Toyota, with not much problem.

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JackRipper 4 years, 3 months ago

west_sider, I wouldn't want to take you away from watching reruns of your stockcar races. I suppose your inability to see how these issues interrelate is the reason so much of it was also build on a pyramid scheme that has crashed and bringing us depression II. And we are more educated than ever before?

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infidel 4 years, 3 months ago

Jack, I would say yes the west side residents are paying additional expenses for a lower density population. Look a house on fall creek rd. taxes are over $19,000.00 year, while a comparable sized house on Tennessee is just slightly more than $4.000.00 on similar size lots.
Both in outstanding condition.

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hwarangdo 4 years, 3 months ago

what are you guys whining about? heck, shawnee county simply declared a snow emergency and told people not to drive. period. until they can get the streets plowed. A couple of sand/plow trucks turned over in the ditch here in topeka ... a semi-trailer got stuck in a parking lot ... people are abandoning their stuck cars on the streets ... dogs and cats sleeping together ... hell and brimstone ...

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Katara 4 years, 3 months ago

Everybody had advanced warning that we were going to have a really bad storm. If you chose not to take the time to prepare (such as stocking up at the store) beforehand, that is simply your problem and you lost the right to moan and groan.

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West_Sider 4 years, 3 months ago

Jack, this blog entry is about snow removal, or lack thereof. I guess I am not seeing how the taxes your or I paid, the smoking ordnance, K-10 bypass, Walmart, KU, etc.. factor into that discussion. Please try and stay on subject.

PS Let me know if you need a ride to pick up your ADHD meds.

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JackRipper 4 years, 3 months ago

yes more dangerous when they lose control and careen into others. it is obvious why lawrence scores so low on lists that rate towns based on real actions and not just pr. i think dodge city is more enlightened than Lawrence.

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Multidisciplinary 4 years, 3 months ago

Bravo Bozup !!!!! As I and other have said, if everyone did this that can, the roads would be almost clear by now. There are enough able bodied people out there to help out the non able bodied. Take shifts on the snow blowers, chip in money for gas and cost, plenty per person using it IMO, because it's going to put a a lot of wear on them. But you'd pay someone $20/40 to come shovel, right? If everyone who uses it chips in, if anything happens in to the man who owns it won't be out if it breaks in a few months afterwards. Then everyone gets to go to work on Monday!

In pioneer days, not every farmer owned each piece of equipment. There just wasn't enough money. It was quite normal that if one man purchased something, others used it for a fee (which the man was grateful for as cash coming back in was much needed to purchase more items) and the others also benefited from the tool. Men worked together with long saws, plows, thrashers to get the jobs done when time came.

This is one of those times. Neighbor could chip in together, get a really good snow blower to share. Keep it a someone's house that is always available or has a shed that each has a key too. Make sure everyone knows how to use it properly.

~~~ Bozup (Anonymous) says…

Road was cleared at 11 o'clock last night. Thank you to the driver for working those late hours. Mister_Pink there are some whining cry babies but Myself and frustrated neighbors banded together shoveled and used a snow blower to clear a section on a hill into a neighbor hood. Maybe if you got off the keyboard and stopped slandering people and got out there to witness Lawrence residents walking to the store and working together to clear streets you wouldn't be such a scrooge! I had to privilege to witness Lawrence character with people working together to get out! We will survive!

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YouPeopleAreCrazy 4 years, 3 months ago

From my experience, idiots in 4x4 trucks are far more dangerous than idiots in small passenger vehicles. Just saying.

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kernal 4 years, 3 months ago

After seeing all the whining and complaining here, maybe it's time Lawrence considers a snow ordinance.

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Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 3 months ago

As I sit here the Parks Department vehicle with two tiny snow plows on board is stuck on Vermont Street by the Community Center. They had to unload one of the plows to clear a path. However the sidewalks on South Park are clear.

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JackRipper 4 years, 3 months ago

and when you pay your taxes is it at a different rate that accounts for the additional expenses of servicing a lower density housing population?

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BMI 4 years, 3 months ago

Imagine the people whose job it is to answer the phones on Monday morning. The simple front desk people who aren't in charge of the route planning, the men in the field, who themselves live in homes that may or may not have been plowed. They may well be dreading going to work tomorrow, knowing the phone will be ringing constantly with complaints from irate citizens. All that negativity falling upon the brains of possibly one poor soul who had nothing to do with planning, driving, any of it. The limit of her or his job, is perhaps the phone and minor paperwork?

If you're going to call, be nice (and pretend that your parents, friends, your boss and the press are watching you make that call.) I can only wonder if that person was wishing they were hospitalized with swine flu this week, or perhaps have a minor heart attack shoveling snow so they didn't have to go in to work until this is all over.

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JackRipper 4 years, 3 months ago

a city providing road services should plan it so everybody can get around without a freakin special vehicle. however if a special vehicle is the answer let's make it something all can use and is safe like a trolly. i saw the what idiots in trucks do for safety last night and unfortunatey safety wasn't on their list. to many fail to realize they can't stop no matter what they are driving.

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Bozup 4 years, 3 months ago

Road was cleared at 11 o'clock last night. Thank you to the driver for working those late hours. Mister_Pink there are some whining cry babies but Myself and frustrated neighbors banded together shoveled and used a snow blower to clear a section on a hill into a neighbor hood. Maybe if you got off the keyboard and stopped slandering people and got out there to witness Lawrence residents walking to the store and working together to clear streets you wouldn't be such a scrooge! I had to privilege to witness Lawrence character with people working together to get out! We will survive!

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West_Sider 4 years, 3 months ago

Jack, I pay my DG county and Lawrence city property tax bills on time and w/o complaint every 6 mos and have done so for the last 13 years. I guess I fail to see the analogy of how planning for all of the good and bad weather that mother nature provides makes me a leech?

Leech = any of numerous carnivorous or bloodsucking usually freshwater annelid worms (class Hirudinea) that have typically a flattened lanceolate segmented body with a sucker at each end.

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JackRipper 4 years, 3 months ago

west sider you demonstrate nicely the level of stupidity about what a city is about. thanks to the resources sucked from the city by the dumb growth for people who want to feel they are living in the country but for all the big talk about fending for himself wants the luxury of city water and sewer. you and most of the west lawrence cancerous growth is nothing but a leech.

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JackRipper 4 years, 3 months ago

gconfo Lawrence is a bedroom community which means no we don't have the complete tax base. i'm not sure how many examples we need to demonstrate the growth Lawrence has had benefitted the developers and builders and left the city in a pickle as demonstrated by roads needing repair, schools closed while athletic faculties are build that people are expected to drive to while leaving simple walking options dangerous and now all the car owners get to experience what pedestrians face all the time. dumb growth by the kind in charge again is to thank. time to look at the real problems and not dwelling on the anticipated by many outcomes.

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West_Sider 4 years, 3 months ago

I'm not spewing anything but basic survival logic. I see fools show up in the field and in the woods all the time without proper gear because they use much of the same logic as you, Jack and Confo. If you only take gear that covers the conditions that are expected, then don't bitch when the unexpected occurs. As the old saying goes " Man does not plan to fail, he fails to plan". Also, there are alternatives to buying a 4wd. Simply access the citiies emergency snow removal plan, find a location near your home that is on the route and park your vehicle there the next time bad weather threatens. You may actually have to walk a little but at least you can drive the Prius down to the Merc to get your feed bag restocked.

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Russell Fryberger 4 years, 3 months ago

Maybe the city should supply snow plow trucks to all the people who think that their street should be plowed first. Wait, maybe we could heat the streets so no one will be inconvenienced because mother nature decided to give us a long long overdue real kansas winter. People who complain about the rate at which their streets are plowed piss me off. Those guys are working harder than you can imagine, and taking a lot of crap from a bunch of crybabies along the way.

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mrf 4 years, 3 months ago

When are they going to remove the snow? I was planning on coming back tomorrow but it looks like I need to change my plans.

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gconfo 4 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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gconfo 4 years, 3 months ago

Jack, I'm not going to take the bait and argue pro or con regarding smart growth. Frankly, I'm not an expert, nor do I really care after the fact. However, there are plenty of large metropolitan/suburban areas near here that have similar tax bases, neighborhood layouts and sufficient numbers of snow removal crews. I don't know if this is an equipment or manpower issue; however, from the the comments I've seen so far, as well as some info I gleaned from a tow truck driver, the city's snow removal plan has been seriously lacking.

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Mister_Pink 4 years, 3 months ago

Waaaaaaaaa! Waaaaaaaaaa! Waaaaaaaaaaa! All you freakin crybabies are cracking me up! What a bunch of whiny losers! If your street is still up to the standard of snow removal you and you fat neighbors expect, then get off your stuck lazy butts and all grab some shovels and start shoveling your way out.

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Multidisciplinary 4 years, 3 months ago

1983 Denver, overnight at boyfriend's when young enough not to pay attention to the weather much, heck, it often snowed there, right? Woke up to 28 inches. My 280z was buried in a drift so deep only the antenna could be seen. We both fought our way through 5 LONG blocks of snow (urban) to find a plowed main road that the bus route was open, waited there and caught a bus to work. They run every half hour there, even in snow. Amazing. Of course my car was towed by the time I got off work that night and I had to take the bus to some horribly, creepy get my throat cut part of town to get it out. Much like that movie Adventure in Babysitting, lol. Why is there only one street light for 2-3 blocks in areas like that for a young woman to walk down to get their car at night in the freezing cold alone? They have to plan that.

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gconfo 4 years, 3 months ago

Hey West sider, I don't own a Prius, but I'll admit, my car doesn't have much clearance. Wonderful logic you are spewing. So I should give up decent fuel economy so I can navigate on a snow covered street (once a decade) that the city should have cleared by now? Maybe, just maybe if my property taxes didn't pay for basic city services, then your flawed logic would skew towards sanity. In the real world, however, you are just full of crap. I'd like to tell you to shove it up your ass, but LJW would just remove my post, hehe.

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JackRipper 4 years, 3 months ago

gconfo taking a little look at the map shows the kind of early beginnings to the dumb growth ideas that flourished further west. when there is that much dumb growth how can you expect every road to be cleared quickly? do you want to pay more taxes to pay for more vehicles that are only used a few times a year?

westsider your approach is a bandaid on a larger problem. if the city had continued building on a grid system with denser housing like in the older parts the streets could have been cleared rapidly.

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markoo 4 years, 3 months ago

For those of you who are asking why we are complaining, it's because of folks like myself who drive smaller cars and cannot get out of our neighborhood because no plowing has been done. As of yesterday afternoon, there were 2 cars and 1 truck at the bottom of our hill where I live which curves around and is treacherous for anyone trying to even get to a main road (which I know, has been plowed).

We're concerned because it's been a long time, longer than I've ever waited to even see a plow through the neighborhood after a snow. And if they don't get it done, both my wife and I won't be able to get to work tomorrow.

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West_Sider 4 years, 3 months ago

I give the city an A+ on their snow removal efforts. I had no issues navigating the streets on Dec. 24th, 25th, or 26th. I live in an area out west that has seen little, if any, snow removal during the storm. But, I do have a 4 wheel-drive truck which allowed me to come and go as I pleased. Maybe those who are complaining about the road conditions should consider bad weather mobility the next time they purchase a vehicle. (P.S. I imagine your Prius sales person never mentioned that the car only has 4" of ground clearance and is basically useless with 6" of snow in your drive)

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gconfo 4 years, 3 months ago

I live on Lakecrest rd/ct, and there has not been any plowing done. Stop patting the city on the back for doing a craptastic job. Sure, I'll give a nod to the crews that ARE working. However, there must be a serious shortage of manpower to leave so many streets unplowed for 3 days. I'm not sure if the management or budget gods are to blame, but I'm pretty pissed off right now. We have absolutely no way of getting out to the store, let alone work (are you listening KU?). If you think I'm whining, then come on by and check out my street, otherwise, shut the f*(ck up!

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nudist 4 years, 3 months ago

You call this a blizzard? Heck, this was nothing. Why when I was a kid we used to walk to school backwards and naked in conditions worse than this (and of course it was up hill both ways). Now that the grocery stores are open there should be plenty of cheese to go with all of the w(h)ine.

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JackRipper 4 years, 3 months ago

funny that our get it done for the developers commissioners haven't increased the tax dollars from all their brilliant ideas. and remember the only ideas they have had so far extend the miles of extra roads that will be needing snow plowing that will take priority like all those artery roads that lead to west lawrence to low density housing.

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mass207 4 years, 3 months ago

10 minutes after my post and we've got a plow!

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John Kyle 4 years, 3 months ago

Good job city crew. You gave up a holiday to help us out. Some people I guess can't handle the snow and cold so they have to complain about something. Your work was well worth my tax dollars!

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mass207 4 years, 3 months ago

I live on the back end of Cynthia street. It's at the bottom of two hills (Cynthia & Randell). Nobody in my area, unless they have 4X4, can get out. I'm lucky that my wife has a Jeep. All weekend my boy and I have watched as cars go back and forth between Cynthia and Randell trying to get up the hills. Not a single plow. Harvard is basically one lane.

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skinny 4 years, 3 months ago

What are you crybaby’s going to do if it really does snow in Lawrence? This is nothing compared to up north!

Heck, 40 years ago they didn't even plow the side streets.

I think the city did an excellent job under the blizzard conditions and the fact it was Christmas.

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cowboy 4 years, 3 months ago

Day four , no plows on my street. A minimum level of basic services is the responsibility of the city. Epic Fail

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Bladerunner 4 years, 3 months ago

I live on a cul de sac west of the 900 and 1000 blocks of monterey way. Not a single plow has come by yet! My patience is running very thin.

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JackRipper 4 years, 3 months ago

stupid growth rears its ugly head again. miles of additional roads that serve areas with lower population dense areas instead of using the grid like the old parts of town means either more taxes to pay for more vehicles and man hours or ending stupid growth. how can it really be expected all the winding curving roads and cul de sacs to be added to the total and not bog the system down?

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lawrence_citizen 4 years, 3 months ago

The city has miles of streets to plow, and so many cars stuck to try and maneuver around. My street has not been touched since the storm started. Not real happy about that, but I will live, if I don't need emergency crews to respond. My biggest complaint is they are not following their own plan. Their snow removal priority map, http://www.ci.lawrence.ks.us/publicworks/pdf/SnowPlow_web.pdf shows Harvard as a Priority #2 route. Between Kasold and Monterey Way they plowed early Friday evening, but not since, at least not as of 10:00 PM last night. The city has no device to be notified of a missed street, no emergency number. Their normal working number rolls to a voicemail box that is full. So no one is even checking that. They need to have a device in place to be notified of areas that need attention.

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a1983amber 4 years, 3 months ago

I live on Morningside Drive and they have still not plowed my street I have not seen a plow or sand truck on my street since Christmas Eve around 7pm

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conservative 4 years, 3 months ago

Yes they managed to get the major streets. Their responsibility doesn't end there however. Sand on the hills, and clearing the snow so that it is possible for the non 4wd cars to navigate is also on the agenda. I live in Lawrence and have for 20+ years. Yes I can tell the difference between snow packed down and if the plows have been back down the street. The first day some of the neighbors had gotten stuck on the street and the plows had to go around them. Even though we got the cars unstuck and into driveways the plows have not come back thru. Sorry the F remains. Oh and as far as them giving up their christmas. Yes I appreciate the drivers even though they are well compensated for the holiday work. It is the management of the crews that appears to be totally lacking.

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GardenMomma 4 years, 3 months ago

My street doesn't LOOK like it has been plowed but I know it has because I've seen plows and cars driving on it.

It only looks like it's not been plowed because the plow didn't get down to the concrete and the street is snow packed. People I've talked to say the roads are snowpacked but salted and sanded pretty well, just need to drive slowly and sensibly. Obviously you can't do 55 down 6th street (or probably even 40 - the posted limit)!

Be aware and be calm and be smart. Don't go out unless you need to. This is just one of those things that nature throws at you to test you. Focus on the fun, not the frustration.

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Boston_Corbett 4 years, 3 months ago

Its funny to read the newspaper blogs and twitter-traffic.....people like conservative complaining from medium-larger towns over the several states. (People in smaller cities seem to be more self-reliant) Heck, people were complaining on Xmas before the snow had even stopped.

And some of those griping around here are the same ones who complain about city budgets and taxes.

I would say the "grass is always greener" but its more "the roads are always clearer."

I think DToplikar yesterday had it right.

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youngjayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

What city do you reside in? Major arteries in Lawrence have been open for a couple days now. No one I talked with yesterday had any difficulty navigating the roads. Be sensible and exercise caution - you'll get where you need to be. Our city road crews gave up Christmas with their families to make sure that others could reach theirs! I applaud and appreciate their efforts - Thanks!

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conservative 4 years, 3 months ago

The city receives an F on snow removal. Are they even running the plows anymore? There hasn't been one in my neighborhood in 36 hours. They made two passes after the initial snow, never sanded or salted and have never looked back as far as I can see.

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