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They Think There Snow Problem

, , , , , , | Working | December 10, 2019

When I get up in the morning, I find that it has snowed heavily overnight. Snowplows are making the rounds everywhere, and only the main roads have been cleared, so I’m driving slowly and carefully over slippery streets.

It’s normal winter business until I pull up to an intersection and see two snowplows coming down the street towards me. They’re staggered a little, so the snow cascades from one scoop to the next plow and off to the side of the road.

This seems efficient, except that this is a two-lane road. To do this, one of the plows is driving down the wrong side of the street. 

Freaked out by the sight of a large snowplow driving full-speed down the road directly at me with no sign of slowing down, I decide to make a quick right turn to get out of the way. The snowplow cruises through the intersection and starts honking at the oncoming traffic. The traffic that is going the correct way down the street. Both oncoming traffic and the plow slow down, and the plow manages to squeeze over into the correct lane just before hitting another car, well past the intersection.

I am able to see this from the side of the road, where I ended up after my car fishtailed from turning fast onto a slippery road. It takes a few minutes and a kind bystander to get me back on the road.

Furious, I call city public works and tell them about how a snowplow was driving down the wrong side of the road at 8:00 am on a Monday and ran me off the road to avoid getting smashed into. The response I got?

“Well, ma’am, when the roads aren’t busy, we encourage our drivers to plow like that to save time clearing the roads. They just got a little behind today because the snowfall was so heavy; they usually stop driving like that around 7:00 am.”

That is how I learned that in my city, snowplow operators and the city government think that driving directly into other cars is a perfectly acceptable thing to do, and that they don’t take into account how snowfall affects the plowing schedule.

I’m not sure what bothers me more: that it is a complete non-issue to them that a plow nearly killed me, that they don’t think plows should adjust their behavior when it turns out there are cars… or that the plow never slowed down until it had driven past where I was.

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