Open Letter To: The Plow Complainers of Rochester, Minnesota
Nine inches of snow fell on and around Rochester, Minnesota, and the plow drivers were out working their butts off, almost around the clock, to clear the streets of snow and ice and make it safe to drive.
But for some Rochester residents, it wasn't enough. Complaints of blocked alleys, driveways blocked with plow poop (my name for it, real name later in the story), and things like that. Some complaints are 100% valid, some are venting, and some, I think, just lack perspective. Here I'm talking about the ones from a lack of perspective. The people that think, "Why am I not getting what I want?"
So I thought I'd add some context. Rochester has 500 miles of roads, 9 miles of alleys, 544 cul-de-sacs, 40 miles of sidewalks and paths (source), so it's a huge job. They work long hours and their chief concern is safety and mobility.
Reaching out to Dan Plizga, Infrastructure Maintenance Supervisor for the City of Rochester, I asked what kind of schedule the crew was working during the storm...
We had our full crew out for 12 hours yesterday the whole time it was snowing. As you know, the snow was heavy and continuous all day, so most of the day was spent just keeping the main roads and hills passable with a goal of 1 pass down all residential streets.
Over the evening and overnight our 2nd shift & 3rd shifts continued clearing. Our full crew came back in at 2am and is working all day today to get everything cleared curb to curb.
And that's not it either. "Tonight crews will be picking up the downtown snow so that should clean things up for those who travel/live downtown" said Plizga. Then, as more snow melts, they'll keep tidying things up for the next few days.
What's the biggest complaint the city gets? Dan says, "the biggest being that nice windrow of snow (ed. plow poop!) at the end of driveways."
I get the frustration of a driveway blocked with plow poop. I get that an alley or parking space blocked with snow is a problem for businesses. In my opinion, the city is in charge of clearing as much snow as possible and making it safer for people to get here and there, including to visit businesses. They work on the big stuff. The snow you and I could never clear in a month of Sundays.
Then I believe it's our job, as members of a community, to take care of the smaller stuff. Does big heavy plow poop suck? Yep. It does. Monkey butt. And except for people that cannot move it for whatever reason, I say, "Suck it up" and "Neighbors, please help when you can."
Obviously, you're welcome to complain, people always do. Sometimes, though, maybe giving yourself the gift of 5 minutes would help more than complaining. Go ahead, write that Facebook post, attach a picture, be upset. Then delete it. Go on with your day. You'll feel a ton better.
As always, if you have a comment, complaint, or concern about something I wrote here, please let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Could be a messy weather day for Saint Patrick's Day...so if you decide to go out, watch for the plows.