Former Madison Mayor Paul Soglin Slams the City on Snow Removal

As a resident of Madison, I’m appalled at the condition of major arterials like John Nolen Drive after the recent massive snow storm.   I had the pleasure of driving on the road on Thursday and found it to be an ice skating rink with dangerous ruts negatively impacting transportation on this major gateway into and out of the capital city.  The city seems to have failed in a major task of clearing the major roads the provide transit options for visitors, commuters and residents alike.

Former Mayor Paul Soglin on his blog, Waxing America, let’s the city have it on their snow removal policies claiming the following:

“The snow packed and treacherous streets that commuters faced on Thursday morning were not the result of the depth and weight of the storm but a series of conscious decisions made over recent years.”

He attributes the problems to a lack of equipment commensurate with the city’s growth, a reduction in the use of salt and ill advised cost cutting to save taxes at the expense of higher costs for those impacted by traffic accidents, delayed traffic, greater CO2 emissions, publc safety risks and back-ups in public transit.

With my taxes approaching five figures, I’d expect to see the city perform this task more efficiently.


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6 thoughts on “Former Madison Mayor Paul Soglin Slams the City on Snow Removal

  1. It took me an hour and 15 minutes to get, not all the way across town, but just halfway across town yesterday afternoon. Completely absurd. This is Wisconsin, for pity’s sake. We should know how to deal with snow by now. Grrr….

  2. The streets around East Towne Mall, including East Washington Avenue, are in apalling condition. There is an icy layer of packed snow with tire-chewing potholes on East Wash (a major commuter route), and intersections are treacherous. Lien Road between Target and the gas station seems like it hasn’t been plowed at all. There are deep tire ruts, with a peninsula of semi-frozen snow in between. It’s not a big problem for SUV’s, but my small sedan’s belly scraped ominously. I’m just glad I didn’t lose my muffler. This is peak Christmas shopping season, and so the traffic is at its heaviest this time of year. Why in the world would the city skimp on snow removal in this area? I thought our Mayor cared about economic development. I guess the local retailers haven’t given him as much money as the developers.

  3. My ex-wife said it took her an hour and a half to get from the near west side to East Johnson and Ingersoll. And her car got stock on the hill on Gorham.

  4. I really hate to be devil’s advocate, but to paraphrase Schmitz, I’ll throw this sacred cow into the piranha tank.

    Do you think there may just be a *slight* tradeoff between the vaunted great schools of Madison and it’s ability to maintain it’s basic infrastructure without breaking the property taxpayers bankbook? Just sayin’…

  5. I think there might be a tradeoff between grand-vision projects like Monona Terrace (which not only cost taxpayers money to build but continues to cost us money to operate) and the Overature Center (which is about to cost taxpayers a big chunk of change, since its Frautschi-funded trust is flat broke) and basic infrastructure. We’ve spent millions on huge, under-utilized white elephants. Instead of having the balls to admit their mistake, the proponents keep telling us we just need to spend money on a new hotel to make the whole thing pay off. It’s like a classic investment scam, where the mark is convinced to throw more good money after bad.

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