Thursday, February 14, 2013
We asked Somerville residents to grade the city's response to the weekend blizzard. The average grade was B.
On Wednesday we asked Somerville Patch readers to grade Somerville's snow response in the wake of an historic blizzard that dumped around 28 inches of snow on Somerville. The final grade: B. Clearly this isn't a scientific result. A number of people had great comments about the city's response to the storm—it's plowing, snow clearing, parking ban and school closures. In the end, 12 people, as of Wednesday evening, gave a concrete grade (A, B-, C+, etc.) I averaged the grades, and the result was 83.75 out of 100, which rounded up is 84, a B. (I describe the numberic grade range below). Interesingly, the breakdown of grades had most people giving the city something in the A range. Five people gave the city a grade in the A range, three gave …
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Trucks haul snow, and mounds pile up in parts of the city.
On Monday and Tuesday, police closed off sections of main roads and squares in Somerville so crews could remove snow. In this video, a wheel loader dumps snow into a truck, one of a handful lined up on Powder House Boulevard to haul away snow. Many of the trucks took their loads to Assembly Square and dumped them on the parcel of land once slated to be an IKEA furnitre warehouse. Here are also some photos of snow mounds in Somerville. Feel free to add your own by clicking "Upload Photos and Video."
A+, B-, D ... or F: Did the city get a passing grade in dealing with the blizzard, or are you ready to flunk the whole class and send the students to summer school.
If you could grade Somerville's response to the February blizzard, what would it be? A, B, C+, F? Did the city remove snow fast enough? What about its decisions about school closures and parking bans? Are you pointing fingers, or do you think, given the severity of the storm, things went relatively smoothly? A number of people have voiced opinions about the city's efforts to clean up after the storm. One commenter on Somerville Patch, Ivan, said, "We should be able to fine the city for failure to remove snow from bus stops, bridges, and public walkways. Volume of snow my foot. More like poor planning and coordination." Mplo agreed. But some people disagreed with him. Warren Dew wrote, "This single snowfall was more than the total for the …
Monday, February 11, 2013
Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone said crews worked all weekend to clear snow, but streets are still unsafe.
Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone said it was a concern for pubic safely, particularly at intersections near schools, that prompted city officials to prolong a snow emergency that was originally supposed to end Monday at 6 p.m. Asked if clearing snow off city streets was taking longer than expected, Curtatone said, "It's a lot of snow." The mayor, speaking on the phone Monday afternoon, made reference to the large mounds of snow lining the city's roadways, often forcing residents to walk in the streets because sidewalks aren't clear. The situation, he said, is a "treacherous public safety challenge." The mayor commended the "hard work" of Department of Public Works employees and independent contractors who have been working to clear snow…
Monday, October 31, 2011
Somerville Board of Aldermen approves $750,000 bond to purchase new DPW vehicles.
The Somerville Department of Public Works' vehicle fleet is in a state of shocking disrepair, if a recent presentation to the Somerville Board of Alderman is any indication. One truck is "so badly rotted that we had to use a street sign as a floor board," said Mike Brown, from the DPW, telling the aldermen about the poor condition of many of the department's vehicles. Another truck's fuel tank is being held in place with a ratchet strap, the kind of polyester strap normally used to tie things down in the back of a pickup truck. At least two trucks were recently lost to fire, and on one vehicle—a 36,000-pound dump drunk—"the rear end fell out of the truck," said Brown. The result was that heaps of snow-melting salt spilled onto Powderhouse …
Thursday, February 10, 2011
This year’s nearly six feet of snow comes with a steep price tag for the city.
The City has spent nearly double its allotted snow removal budget so far this year, with at least a month and a half of winter ahead. With snow totals this season nearing six feet, it’s no surprise nearly a million dollars and counting has been spent. According to a document provided by the Department of Public Works (DPW) to the Board of Aldermen’s Finance Committee at Wednesday night's meeting, approximately $951,491 has been spent so far this fiscal year on snow removal costs. The DPW expects snow cleanup will cost at least an additional $94,600 before the season’s end. “If everything stays the same today, you're probably going to have a $500,000 deficit,” explained DPW Commissioner Stan Koty at the meeting. “What’s going to happen in …