Why Your City Street Continues to Resemble a Swiss Glacier

glacier 2.jpg
The intersection of Chouteau and Vandeventer as photographed this morning.
Daily RFT has fielded several inquiries from readers wanting to know why their St. Louis street remains snow-packed and why the city isn't doing anything about it.

Yesterday we got on the blower with City Hall. Here's the deal for those unfamiliar with city policy and budget woes: The St. Louis Street Department only allocates funding to clear snow from arterial (a.k.a. busy and/or emergency) routes and "secondary" streets that feed into those bigger roadways. It does not budget for snow removal on residential streets. Why?

"The reason is money, of course," says City Hall spokeswoman Kara Bowlin, who notes that the St. Louis has been sacked with unusually high snowfall amounts this year. With winter not even close to being over, the city doesn't want to bust its snow-removal budget too soon.

"We have enough salt for this year," says Bowlin. "But the biggest issue we're facing this year is to replenish the salt for next year, which is allocated in July. We may be looking at spending $750,000 to replenish that supply, which will come out of the fiscal 2012 budget."

Moreover, plowing on residential streets can be a double-edged sword. While it clears the roadway, it often makes it impossible for people parked on the streets to get their cars out of the snowbank left by the plows.

Now an end may be in sight, thanks not to the city but Mother Nature. After getting through the next few days of bitter cold, temperatures are expected to hit the upper 40s this weekend and stay there for most of next week. Trickle, trickle melting ice.

P.S. If you think your street should be plowed and represents a danger, you can call the Citizens' Service Bureau at 622-4800. Also the city has a pothole hotline: 768-2805.

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Joe Bryant
Joe Bryant

Here's my problem. Our streets are so bad in Soulard that the general traffic cant get to their cars. The streets are frozen. We have a worldwide event coming to the area in awhile and there's nobody in power to say we are here to save the day if it occurs again or if doesnt get fixed by mardi gras. Right now our streets are ICE and we have to make sure they are completely cleared by mardis gras. And right now we are only praying for GOOD weather and that's not good enough.

The city needs to do more. If we have a fund for SALT, I guarantee, that there is a backup fund to give it to more area throughout the year. In other words, Stop holding the salt...we're an area that needs it, and we need it now.

Srsly
Srsly

"Our streets are so bad in Soulard"...and Benton Park, Dutchtown, Tower Grove, etc. I'm willing to bet North City's pretty frozen too.

Perhaps Mardi Gras, Inc. could spare some cash for a salt fund?

Ed Golterman
Ed Golterman

Kara: The City gives up more than $20 million a year in ticket tax to the owners of the Blues, Cardinals, The Fox Theater and other entertainment-providers who strong-armed the City out of this revenue. The ticket tax is one of the few good taxes. The City is also afraid to go after some of the $10s of million a year banked by the zoo and museums via their party and events businesses and sales of trinkets. There is a money problem, but caused by City Hall, and the problem as always lands in the laps of your citizens.

Sonia Wagner
Sonia Wagner

I agree with AJ. In TGE, Nebraska and Shenandoah are both significant secondary routes for sure, but don't get plowed. The ice on Nebraska is so hard now that it is seriously hazardous trying to navigate.

Kerry7
Kerry7

First off they have never plowed my street since I have been there in over 3 years and I'm sure they never will...money or no money. I find it crazy that I pay extra taxes and don't get my street plowed. Yes the snow gets compacted and then it turns into a sheet of ice. I don't think I would have as many issues if they would at least plow enough in front of stop signs so that one could actually stop, esp. at the ends of hills. That way maybe less people would end up doing 360s in intersections.

Ryan Austin
Ryan Austin

This is how it has been ever since I have lived in the city, and I have never had my street plowed. I don't have a problem with it. The snow gets so compacted anyway, it's almost like driving on the asphalt. Plus, the snow fills up the pot holes, which is nice.

AJ
AJ

Here's my thing-They pretty much only plow arterial routes. I'd like to know how they think Osceola between Grand and B-way is not a secondary routes-it hasn't been plowed! I've been in the city for a while-and I certainly expect it-and I know they don't allocate for it-but maybe they could still be plowing in areas-trying to get to fairly well travelled streets. It seems like they don't realize what streets are busy-if it's not Grand, Broadway, Hampton or Chippewa! I'm sure alot of City res that maybe hadn't been through a winter with snow here might have been curious about this-Thanks for the article!

Tomharner83
Tomharner83

Maybe if millions weren't spent on a stadium the city would have enough money to cover the couple hundred thousand on the safety of its citizens.

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