An Open Letter to Casper About Plowing Side Streets During Winter
It's hard to understand tone when you're reading someone's opinion. I can't emphasize enough that I am not mad, but I would like to share some nice, gentle thoughts about how Casper deals with plowing side streets during the winter months.
Let me state again that this is not anti-Casper or our road crews that do a great job and work insane hours to try and keep our streets open during the 11 months out of the year when we get snow in this area.
The city has reasons for everything they do and I have no doubt there are people way smarter than me (meaning "everyone") that came up with the city's snow plowing plan. Before I make my plea, I'd recommend reading the official city of Casper snow plowing policy. Go ahead. I'll wait.
Back already? Cool. Here's the key sentence from that policy: (note: I've added emphasis to key words)
Crews focus first on clearing major arterial and collector streets for emergency responders, schools, motorists and suppliers for businesses throughout the city.
If you dig deeper (sorry for the unintentional snow pun), the city's snow routes page adds more details to what that means. Here's the detail I'm talking about:
Residential streets are normally not plowed unless a storm or blowing and drifting snow make the street impassable.
Guess where my family lives? That's right. Where many other families live. The dreaded Casper residential side street. We're also south of 21st Street which usually gets the biggest snow totals.
A couple of snow storms ago our street was impassable for our 2-wheel-drive family vehicle. Some might say "you should have gotten a 4-wheel drive or all-wheel-drive vehicle if you're gonna live in Casper". News flash: many of us can't afford to buy new vehicles we've driven for years in other places that didn't get as much snowfall.
The city of Casper says you can call their office and request your street get plowed. I did and nothing happened. Vehicles were stuck in parts of our street and several folks were unable to get to work due to being snowed in.
I've spoken to several friends who brought up good points about some streets being impossible to plow due to the creation of drifts by plows that would make a bad situation worse. That may be true, but I'm willing to take that chance.
I completely endorse the idea that major streets have to be cleared first to allow for emergency transportation and the roads that a majority of people use. But, after a day or two, I'd love to see some of the side streets in Casper get some attention.
Our Casper road crews work hard and do a great job. But, I'd love to see them more often in my family's little part of town.