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Plowing Concerns Spread In City Council

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Dec 17, 2008 10:00PM

2008_12_17_plow.jpgIn the wake of Ald. Tom Allen (38th) calling out Mayor Daley on the city's failure to properly plow and salt/sand side streets following last week's and this week's storms (both past and future), other aldermen are now getting antsy for answers from MayDay on exactly what's going on.

Ald. Billy Ocasio is the most outspoken critic of the most recent city snow removal effort, claiming that when he personally called for help for his ward last night, he was passed from department to department --- making him wonder aloud "who's in charge?"
Ocasio (26th), who is joining Allen's call for $3 million to be added to plowing and salting efforts, said, "I don't think the resources are out there. I think if you come into the Loop, you see the resources, but you don't see them out in the neighborhoods. Yesterday I had to call personally and just go off on everyone because there are mothers and grandparents trying to get their kids to and from school, and they can't make it. They can't make it down the street."

Streets and Sanitation spokesman Matt Smith said the rate of snow plus its timing - happening at rush hour when many vehicles were on the road - complicated the matter for the department. Marisa Kollias, Illinois Department of Transportation spokeswoman, backed this argument, saying, "When the snowstorm hits during the rush hour, there is actually -- there's nothing anybody can do to prevent this kind of traffic nightmare from happening. We can only go as fast as the traffic. Our trucks aren't going over 10 mph. It's not something we can control."

Photo by Nick Suydam