Road conditions downtown

Emmy -- February 16th, 2007

I will admit that I have little knowledge of the system that is used to decided which roads should be treated in which order after a storm. However, I would have thought that by now Downtown would be in much better shape. Federal Street is an absolute nightmare! I’m not shocked that E. Market near the courthouse is still bad, because plows have to deal with the cars that park there. I don’t remember things being this bad last winter after a storm. Can someone explain all of this to me?


10 Responses to “Road conditions downtown”

  1. zen says:

    I don’t understand it either. Much less, the sidwalks are treacherous as well.

  2. finnegan says:

    Its equally sad and funny watching the JMU students walking on these huge mounds of snow along Maryland, Port Republic, and South Main.

    Little kids that walk to Keister Elementary are out of luck. That sidewalk is hopelessly buried under two feet of ice. I saw a crew there with a bobcat this morning, trying to uncover it, not having much luck.

  3. Tim says:

    I agree that conditions are still nasty out but I lean towards giving the city the benefit of the doubt on this one. The ice combined with extremely low temperatures is not your common Shen valley storm. Looking around my neighborhood I would say that the citizens haven’t found a way to deal with this stuff either, we’re all responsible for our own sidewalks but we all silently agreed that it was to much of a hassle to deal with. I hope it warms up soon.

  4. Benjamin says:

    Having worked for the Public Works Department for a few years now, I have some understanding of the way the snow clearing occurs. Federal St. is not an arterial, or even a residential street as far as classification goes, which means it is low priority. E. Market downtown stays bad from lack of direct sunlight. There are 3 story buildings on either side of the street, which greatly extends the life of the snow on the street. The side walks are bad, I agree. I’m not sure about downtown, but I know in the rest of the city it is the responsibility of the resident who owns the adjacent property to clear the sidewalk. Its hard to play disc golf with ice and snow on the ground.

  5. One of the worst places is the sidewalk that is on the Jess’s side of Main Street across from the NationsBank Building at 57 South Main. They appeared to have had a homeless person out there yesterday with a tire iron chipping at the ice and another homeless person out there pouring hot water on the ice trying to melt it…but as you can well imagine, there’s still three-inches on ice on the sidewalk causing people to walk in the street.

    Even a call I made to the City Manager’s Office asking them to enforce the “snow on the sidewalk ordinance did absolutely no good.

  6. anonymous says:

    The snow has turned into concrete-ice. How can it be moved?

  7. Del Marvel says:

    “Even a call I made to the City Manager’s Office asking them to enforce the “snow on the sidewalk ordinance did absolutely no good.”

    Now why would a libertarian be using the government to persecute a private businessman like that? Shouldn’t market forces be sufficient to keep that sidewalk clear? :)

  8. danno says:

    Few things would bring me more joy than to plow massive piles of snow, ice and dirt on a freshly shoveled sidewalk.

    But it looks like the weather will be taking a turn for the better after the weekend:

  9. Dave Briggman says:


    Government has the duty to maintain public safety, the alternative being (in this case) people walking in the street, or, becoming injured trying to walk through the ice mass.

    Harrisonburg has an ordinance requiring the clearing of sidewalks within, I believe, 24 hours after a storm. I don’t think that’s too onerous a responsiblity.

  10. doubletree dan says:

    Hey guys, what you don’t understand? When the garbage trucks double as snowplows you know they are not equiped to handle such an ice emergency. Thankfully, there were no fires as had happened in other towns.

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