Lack of salting can be a plus

Opinion

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The decision on the part of the village to reduce the amount of salt used this coming winter makes fiscal, environmental, and common sense. I agree with the reduction while hesitating to agree with the idea that if salt prices go down, we might buy more.

I spent 25 winters in a Detroit suburb. It was a city similar to Oak Park. It had busy main streets intersecting quiet, low-traffic side streets. The city salted main streets, but not side streets. The city assertively plowed main streets, but did not plow side streets unless a major storm endangered the residents or made it impossible to reach a main street. We survived, actually thrived.

In the 25 years I lived in the city, our streets never required repair, and I cannot recall one accident attributable to the lack of salt or snow removal. Was it inconvenient? Yes, but not a lot and there was an advantage. Drivers did not use our side streets to avoid congestion on the main streets-that is, we did not have cars speeding down our streets trying to make up the time they lost by leaving the congested main streets. Another minor minus was our occasionally having to clear some of the street snow while doing our sidewalks. We survived. We thrived.

Last year, as a result of lack of salt reserves, the village suspended side street salting.

That was not a major problem. What was a problem was their substituting aggressive snow-plowing operations that threw street snow onto the sidewalks to freeze and repeatedly blocked the crosswalks with snow and ice. Pedestrians were placed in Harm's Way by a hazard created by the village. The village made things easier on drivers while endangering pedestrians. That just does not make sense in a community that prides itself on its small-town culture. Not that the drivers were spared new dangers. The snow plows removed snow, exposing the ice underneath. Driving on ice is a lot more dangerous than driving on snow.

As we move into fall, it is time for the village to review its Snow Removal Strategy. The village might find that it can lower its cost while providing better service.

John Murtagh
Submitted to WednesdayJournalOnline.com

 

Great! [Oak Park going on a low-sodium diet, News, Sept. 10] Now if we could just get the snow plow trucks to slow down ...

Karen Baldwin
Submitted to WednesdayJournalOnline.com

 

Why not make a few trips to Wisconsin and get salt? The money saved may even save lives!

Jean Heyes

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