Cynical Synapse

Mon, 10 Nov 2008

Counties Cost-Shift Ice Control to Drivers

Filed under: Behavior, Cars, Detroit, Driving, Economy, Life, Michigan, People, Rants — cynicalsynapse @ 9:57 pm

Accidents and spinouts along I-96 in Detroit

I’m generally frustrated every winter with Oakland County’s poor job at snow and ice removal during the winter months. This morning was particularly pathetic with the first icy/snowy condition of the winter season. As is usually the case, it wasn’t a surprise—it was just a failure to take action, or a purposeful cost-shift from spreading salt to letting citizens and insurance companies deal with the cost of damage. The result was dozens of accidents that read like a winter storm school closing list.

During my commute this morning, I didn’t see a single salt truck. Not in Oakland, Livingston, or Ingham Counties, the 3 counties I traverse. But roads were fine in Livingston and Ingham. Why? Oakland County is the 4th wealthiest so why can’t we get basic services, like snow and ice removal? How can Livingston County consistently do a better job?

Yes, I realize driver behavior is a contributing factor. There are those that would end up in the ditch no matter how efficient the Road Commission was. But, the fact the Road Commission for Oakland County was totally absent this morning, is telling. Why do they wait until after rush hour to take care of snow and ice removal? Oakland County owes the public a better deal for their tax dollars. Livingston County proves it can be done.

Lest anyone think this isn’t really such a big deal, fender benders are just the tip of the iceberg. Today’s slippery roads cost a Detroit man his life. And don’t forget dozens of fender benders and the lost time due to traffic snarls add up to considerable economic loss in and of themselves. Things the Road Commissions could care less about. But I’ll bet the police and fire departments know how much time they spent on the highways this morning.

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