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When Should Madison Street Department Work Orders Be Removed?

January 14, 2013

While Madison did get at least 15 inches of snow before Christmas the temperatures in the high 40’s last week along with the rain produced green lawns.  Only where snow was shoveled at the end of drives, or where the snow plow had created a line on terraces was there any sign that Mother Nature had delivered a blizzard.

Now, before I go forward it should be noted that over the years I have extended my thanks to the Madison Streets Department when others were blasting them for some snow related matter.  Over and over they do a really great job for the city.  And  technically speaking I would have to say the work crews performed their work with professionalism again today.

Even though there was no job to be done!

But there was seemingly a work order that had to be followed.

Signs were posted late last week along our streets to alert drivers not to park their vehicles so the streets department could remove snow that had at one time existed.

So this morning not one…not two….but three city trucks were lined up and idling waiting to take ‘the snow’ away.  A large front end loader dropped its bucket at one end of the block and pushed forward until it reached the trucks.  In addition, there was a city jeep-like vehicle watching it all.  In all five employees were at the ready to deal with a work order that should have been removed.


I tried to image what was going through their minds as the end result of the work was—well–would you believe after a January thaw—-pathetic.  There was basically nothing to remove.  In fact, there was not 15 large snow shovel loads to remove when it was all gathered.


If that had been the end of this story I might have said nothing.

But it was when a sand truck arrived and spread dirt on a dry street that sent me to my blog. 

Are there streets in Madison where such an operation might be needed, even after the thaw?  Perhaps.  Do those streets need a bit of sand after the snow is removed?  Perhaps.

But I am betting, given what I saw driving around this weekend, that those places where such action was needed are very few and far between.

There must be other projects these city employees could be engaged in.  I know they were just following orders, and yet it looked absurd given the warm weather we had, and the budget shortfalls that this city deals with every year.

While it is a good thing to have a project like this undertaken when there is actual snow to remove, once Mother Nature has done the job then perhaps the logical thing to do is remove the work order.

I suspect there were five men on our street today thinking the very same thing!

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