Letter: We must do better to protect roads

Published 9:00 am Sunday, January 29, 2017

Just before Christmas last year I had a very unpleasant encounter with a snow plow driver and expressed my frustration in a “Jeers” submitted to the Hutchinson Leader. Since that time I have paid particular attention to how snow removal is accomplished and also have had others share information with me regarding their thoughts on the issue.

The thoughts shared with me have ranged from suspected meters in snow plows that require the meeting a quota to milking of overtime pay to rude behavior such as waiting for homeowners to finish shoveling so they can drop their plow and fill those newly shoveled spaces with a fresh load of snow, which seems to provide them with a great deal of amusement. Probably the one issue that is most troubling to me is the plowing of roads that have no snow on them. I have noticed this oddity for several years as I live on a very busy road and recently took video of a snow plow plowing my street — which I paid an assessment on for a new road with absolutely no snow on it and sparks are flying from under the plow. I suppose one could argue that plows need to get from one road that might not have snow on it to other areas that require plowing, but how hard is it to pick up their pow to avoid damaging our roads with their heavy equipment. Imagine the impact on equipment and asphalt when there is no buffer — the snow — between them.

The impact on equipment and roads seems to be only a small part of the problem as the economic impact would seem to be an even farther reaching subject. When our roads are damaged whether it be due to extreme weather conditions or extremely lacking maintenance practices, we all pay the price. Damaged roads require more highway workers to fix them. Those workers are often seasonal workers who may work three to four months of the year and then become a draw on our unemployment system and our governor then looks to raise gas taxes to pay for all of this.

Email newsletter signup

I would like to say that we truly could and should do better to protect the interests of taxpayers in our state. Pick up your plows when they are not being used. Our roads suffer enough damage on their own and as a taxpayer I would appreciate a little more respect and diligence when maintaining the property that I and other Minnesotans pay for. They do not own the roads, we do!

Cheryl Kochie