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« Mark McGwire, Steroids, the Hall of Fame, and the Baseball Establishment | Main | Earthquake: The Big One Can Happen Here...And It Will »

January 13, 2010


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Steve Vokers


You said "The most valid way to quantify the service level is by measuring the average time for a full plowing operation." I'm not sure I agree. While the speed with which streets are cleared is very important, how well the streets are cleared is also extremely important and also valid. And that's where I've seen the biggest degradation in the city's snowplowing efforts in the years I've lived in Madison. It's not just the big storm that started this season, the removal effort has been lacking in average storms over the last few years (although I have to say, the complaints over this year's first storm seems to have had an effect, the main streets have been cleared better in subsequent storms...).

If the snow isn't cleared down to the pavement, or if the streets are effectively narrowed because the plows don't get all the way to the curb, the roads aren't as safe as the should be. And when streets don't get cleared adequately after one storm, it makes it that much harder to get them cleaned in subsequent storms.


Perhaps it's time for a hot chocolate summit for those concerned about snow plowing.

Mark Clear

Steve, I agree with you that the quality of the work is as important as the schedule. I just don't know how to quantify and measure it objectively. You (and many people) say that the quality has degraded, and you may be right or your memory may be rosy. I agree with one of Paul's main points, which is that we do need standards in order to make informed decisions about the trade-offs between quality of service and cost.


He inadvertently exposed the declining work ethic of these city workers.

Steve Vokers

Well, gee whiz Mark, if me and many other people say it, maybe it's true. Did you ever consider that?

I've seen you make the "rosy memory" remark in other places as well, and frankly I find it insulting. In effect, you are calling me a liar. Keep in mind, that me and the many other people also pay for city services, and it's not unreasonable given the $4,300 check I just sent off last week to expect a level of service. I don't think I'm expecting too much to be able to travel from Whitney Way and Regent to Verona Road just outside the Beltline in somewhat less than the freaking hour it took me three days after a storm.

I live in District 19, and I vote. Perhaps the name "Michael Bilandic" will ring a bell with you?

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