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Bismarck Needs To Get Their Head Out Of the Sand

Here we are with another snow storm and another pathetic attempt at Bismarck’s efforts removing the snow. I drove all the way from Pebble Creek Golf Course across Century Avenue and down Washington Street and did not see one ounce of effort by the city to remove snow until the intersection of Washington Street and Front Avenue, where the plows were blocking an entire lane of road and doing nothing. The last storm, the plows were blocking an entire lane on Century Avenue during 5:00 traffic.

I don’t want to hear excuses, and don’t want to hear that Bismarck’s roads are just as bad as everywhere else in this state. We can do better, and must do better.

The snow had stopped long before 7:00am this morning. Don’t give me this excuse that the wind was blowing, because it was still blowing when you were out plowing. Nearly all businesses, schools, and government facilities open around 8:00am so why weren’t the plows out BEFORE the commuters ventured out. Instead, they went out while the morning rush hour traffic was trying to get to work.

Then there are the Bismarck drivers, who are almost as much at fault. Here I am going a meager 30 MPH on Century Avenue, keeping from spinning out, and cars and trucks of all sizes are whipping right past me. I saw two accidents on my little trek, and several near accidents.

This has to stop. Bismarck, get your head out of the sand and plow those roads BEFORE rush hour traffic begins, not after, and certainly not during rush hour. And to most of you Bismarck residents, you too need to get your head out of the sand and learn that you have to adjust your driving behavior when the streets are packed full of snow and ice.

The first storm of the season was amongst the worst driving conditions ever, and the city was mostly to blame. The night before brought a thunderstorm, but the city chose not to do anything about the wet roads. A few hours later came the snow. There was at least 14-15 hours between the rain and the snow, giving the city penty of time to spread sand and salt onto the roads to prevent the ice from forming in the first place.

The following is a list of excuses I’ve heard, either from residents or the city itself, and my proposed solutions.

1.) Sand doesn’t stick to the roads and is ineffective at cold weather. ANSWER: Use salt and chemical mixture, which will bind to the road and provide a more even spread across the road.

2.) Salt is degrading to vehicles and roads. ANSWER: Vehicles nowadays are designed to prevent rust and corrosion for up to 10 years provided proper maintenance is maintained. In fact, many new car warranties feature a 10-year corrosion warranty. Either way, would you rather take the chance of your car corroding or smashing into something?

3.) Salt and chemical is more expensive than sand. ANSWER: Up front, this is indeed true, but when taking into account the additional cleanup costs in the spring from sand, the overall costs are very close.

4.) The wind blows the snow back onto the roads. ANSWER: Plow it twice, or three times, or however is needed to keep those roads safe.