Snow Going

By: Paige Lambrecht
By: Paige Lambrecht

"What they literally have done is pile ten feet of snow in the middle of a 4 street intersection."

That's according to Camille Aulik, who's perched on that pile in protest.

"I'm most concerned about the safety of the children and the people walking their animals in the area here."

Aulik lives near the Ridgewood subdivision off Thompson drive on Madison's east side and complains the city hasn't done enough to clear the snow.

"I told them that if they were going to put a turnaround in the area that they shouldn't use it as, I didn't feel, as somewhere to dump snow."

"It's not going as quickly as we'd like, but they're doing a great job."

That's according to Al Schumacher, the city's streets superintendent.

He says clearing main roads are priority for street crews, but now, problems like Aulik's protest spot are at the top of the list.

"One of the things we're doing right now is we're getting into the snow removal mode, the vision hazard mode and if that's a vision hazard we're definitely gonna take care of that."

Schumacher says the magnitude of this storm coupled with the heavy snow took them 3 times longer than normal to clear roads.

"We lost 5 or 6 trucks, we lost engines and transmissions and drive trains because of the heavy wet snow. It was difficult to push."

Also difficult to push in this snow - wheelchairs.

"We'll take a little cruise and see how the sidewalk looks down here."

For Steve Verriden, the sidewalks are the streets, but even a shoveled sidewalk can stop him cold.

Confined to a wheelchair for 30 years, Verriden is an advocate for disabled rights and says clearing the walk just enough to avoid a fine isn't good enough.

"It's the old shovel's width that people will do. There aren't too many chairs that'll get by in a 16 inch path."

Verriden's brothers help clear his walk, but says many people like him rely on the kindness of strangers.

"It's just a matter of helping look out for your neighbor."

Clearing the sidewalk is the homeowner's responsibility, and as of Noon Tuesday, can net you a fine if it's not cleared.

To report a hazardous intersection, call the West streets department at 266-4681 or the East streets department at 246-4532.

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