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What is your opinion of the city’s snow removal efforts?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on December 10, 2005

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Photo of Scott Starrett

“I’m usually pretty happy with Lawrence’s city services, but it seems like they may have waited too long. It didn’t seem like there was much sand or salt anywhere.”

Photo of Toland Hippe

“It just depends where you are in town. The neighborhoods don’t get cleared nearly fast enough. Everywhere else is hit or miss.”

Photo of Armon Pollack

“They’re on par with most other cities, but in a city with so many hills, they need to plow a lot sooner.”

Photo of Janelle Amick

“I don’t think they’re doing a very good job so far. It’s been too slow, for me at least.”

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enochville 12 years, 6 months ago

For the most part I felt the speed and quality of the plowing was good enough. However, many people, including myself had some difficulty driving up the hill east of campus to find parking spaces on the side streets. I think those steep roads around campus and the main thoroughfares should be first to be plowed.

enochville 12 years, 6 months ago

Actually, I think all the major hilly roads should be plowed first. Examples include Kasold from Clinton Prkwy to 15th; 15th from Kasold to Iowa; 9th from Iowa to Michigan; 19th from Ousdahl to Iowa; 14th from Tennessee to Campus; etc.

trinity 12 years, 6 months ago

seems like sometimes the driving situation is made worse by plowing. this was a whopper of a snow storm, ya know. i think those who beeyotch the loudest are those who're totally unprepared amatuers.

and i don't even live in lawrence! :)

lunacydetector 12 years, 6 months ago

perhaps lawrence should stop putting in roundabouts - i hit the curb twice going through roundabouts during the storm - and concentrate some money on snow removal.

Chad Jackson 12 years, 6 months ago

I grew up in Topeka, before I moved here I thought snow removal was a simple task but apparently not because it never gets done. The top layer is removed and the rest is left to melt. Just wait, as soon as the snow melts away so does the filler they use to fix all the potholes. Here's some advice for the city commision...STOP BUILDING ROUNDABOUTS AND SPEND THE MONEY WHERE IT'S NEEDED.

enochville 12 years, 6 months ago

I have a question for the engineers out there. Does Lawrence build its roads differently, or not as thick as other places with colder climates? I have lived in eastern Canada, Maine, and Utah, and none of those places had the problems with potholes Lawrence does. As far as I know they all used salt and sand and plowed just like here. One possibility would be that they filled their potholes faster. Maybe, but that can't be all the answer because, when the roads were not covered with snow, those places had fewer patches than here.

K-10 is a great road once you leave Lawrence. What is the difference? I assume that it is built deeper. Those roads may cost us more upfront, but would probably save money in the long run and everyone would appreciate the fewer number of potholes.

Sigmund 12 years, 6 months ago

Forget snow removal, when is the City of Lawrence going to protect us from the roving gangs of the religious right beating up liberals!

WriterGirl 12 years, 6 months ago

I still haven't seen a plow / salt truck come down my street. Maybe, they all got stuck in the roundabouts.

Richard Heckler 12 years, 6 months ago

Considering the new growth that so many love I believe the city is doing as well as can be expected. I am not ready for a tax increase directed at snow removal. Chuck is doing a fine job.

Snow removal, pothole repair and traffic calming I believe have separate budgets. Of course snow plowing will contribute to pot holes as does the salt. It's an ongoing situation that has not changed in decades. After winter remember there is a hotline to report potholes to which the city will respond.

Growth creates more of everything. Once you get west of Tenn the hills are ruling. Those new westside neighborhoods are full of hills whereas downtown is flat. It is my guess that snow removal at this point in time needs to be concentrated to the west cuz so many of those newer neighborhoods have hills like 9th,10th,11th,13th,14th and 15th going into KU. I came across one hilly 3 way intersection in new NW Lawrence that would present a challenge to most any 4 wheel drive however a caterpillar might make it.

New neighborhoods have produced a real snow removal challenge with 8'' snows and sub zero temps. We on flatland eastside should be thankful cuz we can still walk to town or catch the bus.

Cool little sports cars are not snow mobiles. In this case walking,riding a bus, staying home or going sledding at KU might work better.

Richard Heckler 12 years, 6 months ago

Enochville has a legit question. I spent 3 winters in a town 50 miles from the canadian border that didn't seem to have the pothole situation. Also no one expected the streets to be perfectly clear and traffic moved slower until the temp moved above freezing.

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 12 years, 6 months ago

I grew up in Cleveland and the streets were cleared immediately and continually there. Convoys of snow plow and salt trucks covered every neighborhood as soon as the snow started coming down. When I moved to Kansas City, I absolutely could NOT believe that zero effort was made to clear the streets; even the major streets like Main or Braodway. Three days after a storm and cars were STILL driving over packed snow and ice! Lawrence does a so-so job, but I understand that snow removal may not be a big part of the city's budget.

Richard Heckler 12 years, 6 months ago

Public Works Director Chuck Soules estimated he could begin to get service times moving back toward the 2000 levels by adding three dump trucks and three employees to the department's street division. That would cost the city about $320,000 in new equipment and about $150,000 a year in wages and benefits, he said."

We do not have frequent enough snow fall to justify that type of spending.

killjoy 12 years, 6 months ago

The snow removal has been good, except for the speed bumps and the roundabouts. I wonder who the fruitcake is that designed them is?

enochville 12 years, 6 months ago

Thanks for all the explanations about roads, but most of those explanations don't explain why K-10 outside of Lawrence is so much better than 23rd. They both share the same climate.

GreenEyedBlues 12 years, 6 months ago

Isn't K-10 maintained by the STATE and not the CITY of Lawrence? Just a thought.

Kathleen Christian 12 years, 6 months ago

Sad!! In the 8 years I've lived on my street it has only been plowed once. Most side streets which are traveled frequently are never plowed. They wait too long to get started. The way they plowed the downtown area streets amazed and puzzled me - seemed a little disorganized they way they were going about it. I think Lawrence could do better.

enochville 12 years, 6 months ago

GreenEyedBlues: I think your right. But, the point I am getting at is that it is possible to engineer roads in our climate that can save the city money on maintaintence and make the citizens happy by not having bumps and potholes everywhere. I am sure that it is more expensive to build better roads, but I wonder if it would be cheaper over the long run, by not having to repave it as often or repair it as often. Futhermore, I noticed that the snow did not seem to collect as much on K-10, but blew across it. That may have been due to several factors, but I wonder if the thickness of the pavement makes a difference on how well snow sticks to the surface. If it does make a difference, the city would save money on plowing as well.

I am just in search of the facts. Even if it is cheaper overall to build better roads, I know a lot of people who are more willing to pay more over time, than pay a smaller amount overall at once. I think cities can get loans so that they can finance the cost overtime. I don't know a lot about these things, I just what to know if there is a better way that are politicians just have been unwilling to pursue.

enochville 12 years, 6 months ago

correction: "that our politicians just have been unwilling to pursue".

l_eustacy 12 years, 6 months ago

Nudist, I think you have a good start, but I think your plan doesn't go far enough. Snow is just one of the problems facing us. I think we can solve many more problems if we get the right resources. Guns are not the answer.

We need nuclear weapons. Heck, if Iran can try to build thier own weapons, we Kansans should too. We could hold Missouri and Arkansas hostage and make them clear our streets.

"It won't be over until we decide it is. Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Heck no. Who's with me?"

Smarmy_Schoolmarm 12 years, 6 months ago

I haven't been checking in regularly at all for the last few months. After going through the last few days' posts it's good to see that nothing has changed. What a bunch of fruitcakes! Nice to see all the old names and some new ones.

Ceallach 12 years, 6 months ago

I think it has been adequate.

What has turned so many of you guys into wimps? I do not have a new car, I work at KU, and I have been able to go all over town before, during, and after the snow. I do have decent tires, front wheel drive and am willing of changing routes to get around the more challenging streets. I will admit I have not navigated roundabouts this last week, but I do have to fight it out with a couple of roustabouts on my way to work each day. I think it's unrealistic to expect side streets to be cleared rapidly when we have 8 inches of snow and such frigid temps.

DGL 12 years, 6 months ago

All those people who call it adequate: Are you thinking of prior years or are you just high? My next question: did you see a single plow truck out this year? KU has their plow trucks and they did an excellent job...the city dropped the ball big time.

bearded_gnome 12 years, 6 months ago

katebleu: your street in east lawrence...per chance?

Rick Aldrich 12 years, 6 months ago

what snow removal ?????????????????????????????????

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