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Alderman: Snow Removal Expectations Of Chicagoans 'Unrealistic'

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jan 15, 2014 4:50PM


Chicagoans will let a lot of things slide in local government so long as the streets are plowed in winter but do we give it too much of a priority? That’s what Ald. Joe Moore believes. The 49th Ward alderman argued that the city wasted half its allotted snowplow budget and spent $7.2 million on snow removal and salt during last week’s polar vortex that didn’t work because we’re still sensitive about the Blizzard of 1979 that turned Chicago into a frozen ghost town.

Moore has a point here. The plows were out as the temperatures rapidly plummeted but the salt that was tossed on the streets was unable to do its job because of the extreme cold, rendering Chicago’s streets ice-covered hazards. Per the Sun-Times:

“Should we have been out there pouring salt on the streets when it was clearly not working [or] waited until the weather moderated. But then we’d have to answer to our constituents who say, `We don’t see any salt trucks out there? What are you doing?’” Moore said Tuesday.

Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) agreed and said two snowplows in his ward broke down doing their jobs on the streets because of the ice.

By the time the weather warmed late last week and Friday’s rains did what Streets and Sanitation couldn’t, snowplows were on a ration of one load of salt per truck per day.