Friday, December 4, 2015

Bend fails again to clear streets of snow

Un-plowed and un-sanded intersection near my house on Dec. 3. 
Now that warmer weather has melted most of the snow, it's time to point out that Bend did a terrible job of clearing roads after last week's snow storm.

Yes, the forecast two days before Thanksgiving called for about 5 inches to 9 inches of snow.

In fact, we got between 12 inches and 18 inches of snow.

Okay, the city was shocked that there was more snow than predicted. That doesn't mean there is less snow to clear. It means they had better get their butts in gear and clear the streets.

Only the main roads were cleared, and not that well. The state did a better job than the city and they handled Highway 20 as it winds through the city.

Hardly saw many snowplows out, except in shopping center parking lots. This makes sense because the busiest shopping days of the year were last weekend.

But, I ventured forth on "Black Friday" to Costco. A relative went to Fred Meyer. There were hardly any shoppers at either place.

Of course, it was below 20 degrees out and that kept some shoppers away. Also, the national trend showed less spending on "Black Friday." Yet, it seems obvious in Bend that drivers couldn't get out of their neighborhoods due to un-plowed and un-sanded streets.  Retailers in town should sue the city.

A snowplow finally did our street today, almost a week and a half after the storm. Yesterday, it took a friend six tries just to get up the short hill to our house.

On Tuesday, a full week after the storm, the first sanding dump-truck came down our street. I went out to see what he put down on the road. It appeared there were a couple handful of cinders on the un-plowed snow, which didn't do any good. Other intersections in our neighborhood showed similar amounts of cinders. In fact, most intersections in town did not have enough sand or cinders for traction.

It's not surprising that the city can't plow the streets in a timely manner. Afterall, it can't even fix huge potholes for at least a year.

To add insult to injury, though, the city said that for the first time in years it would fine people and businesses for not clearing sidewalks that fronts their property.

Really. The city can't clear the streets of snow and expects citizens to shovel off their sidewalks or else?

How pathetic.

Clearly, Bend is a poorly-run town with a city manager way in over his head. The department of public works doesn't.

Obviously, the city didn't want to spend so much money clearing the roads so "early" in the season.

No, it wanted to save money to pay city staff to tell the public, "we did the best we could" or "we don't have that much money."

In this era of lower expectations, Bend delivers on that count.