Thursday, January 13, 2011

Road Woes

I don't fault the City of Dunwoody for not having our main thoroughfares in better condition, but that Dunwoody sage Chip had some great comments in yesterday's blog that could serve the city well in the future.  Here is what Chip wrote:

Courtesy of
 Still stuck at home in a winter, wonderland. Since I have some free time to ponder, this is what I have been pondering:
Dunwoody has 150 miles of road, about 50 of which are considered "thoroughfares" or main roads. One snow scraper moving at 25 mph would take 4 hours to clear the major thoroughfares, assuming two passes per road. Two snow scrapers, working in tandem , would take 2 hours. 3 snowplows, 2 working the really major roads like Ashford Dunwoody, Mt. Vernon, Chamblee-Dunwoody and Tilly Mill, plus the third working roads like N. Peachtree, Womack, Vermack, etc. could probably have all the city streets cleaned in 4 hours or less.
Why aren't we getting this type of service??
Oh, I know the City Manager will tell you we don't have capital equipment in the budget, but it seems to me that the prudent course would be for the City to buy three or four sets of plows that could be retrofitted onto dump trucks, and own the plows but rent the trucks. You can always find the dump trucks around, but not the plow sets.
Minimum cost, maximum results for the one or two times we need them.
Having the city essentially shut down for two days for a few inches of snow (the ice never did materialize) has to cost considerably more that 3 or 4 plow setups.

I have no idea if retrofitting dump trucks is possible, but it is definitely worth exploring and perhaps the city has already looked into the items Chip has mentioned.  With that said, Suwanee was one of the metro area cities that got ahead of the curve.  Click on to read how Suwanee did it. 

Update from Councilman Shortal

The update below was provided by Dunwoody Councilman Denis Shortal - it was sent out last night at approximately 10 pm.  (item one is not included because it is the trash update I sent out in the last blog).

2. Road Conditions ..... Our road crew have been working long hours to clear the main roads in our City. I spent time riding with our Public Works Director this afternoon. All our main roads are passible but careful and sensible driving skills are required. The main problem we are having is that the over-night cold temperatures are causing our main roads to refreeze at night ... forecast is for 17 degree tonight and 13 degrees tomorrow night. Our neighborhood streets are getting slightly better but I would describe them as still being very treacherous. We did a few locations on neighbor streets this afternoon mainly where there was a hill involved where these streets intersected with our main roads. After we hit the main roads again in the morning we will look to expand our work on neighborhood streets. With the knowledge that the majority of our neighborhood streets are not in good condition ..... if you have a location that is extremely treacherous like on a steep hill, etc. send me an email and I will get the info to our road crews. According to the latest forecast it will be Friday before we get help from warmer temperatures. One last item on neighborhood streets .... our children, and some adults, are having the best sledding conditions in our area since 1993. Thus, pls. be careful are they are coming off hills in yards and crossing streets throughout the neighborhoods.

3. Helping Our Citizens That Need Help ... Joanne Kearney reminded me this afternoon that we all probably have some neighbors that might need our help getting food and other necessities. I ask all of you to check on you local neighbors that may need some help with the basic necessities of life and offer your assistance. We pride ourselves with being family in Dunwoody and helping you neighbor is the family thing to do. Thanks!

4. Website ... For up to date information about city work schedules, meetings, etc. please monitor our city website ..... We update this website constantly. We will decide later this evening the status of tomorrow nights City Council meeting that was already rescheduled from the Monday night's cancelation .. again, check the website often. LATE NOTE ... The City Council meeting that was rescheduled for tomorrow night has been canceled due to safety considerations. The new date and time for this meeting will be announced tomorrow and listed on our website

5. Snow War ..... Yes, there was neighborhood "Snow War" in Chateau Woods on Monday. From the local reports, the best I can determine there were no causalities but a lot good ole fashion fun in the snow.

6. PCID Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) Public Hearing ..... The public hearing for the proposed 2010 PCID LCI Plan public hearing will be held next Tuesday - 18 JAN - at our Dunwoody City Hall.

7. That is all for tonight. Please pass the above information on to your friends and neighbors. For the next couple of days I recommend that you don't go out unless you really have to and if you do go out ... take your time and be extremely careful. Thanks for your support, understanding and patience during the trying times of this week.
Let Us Continue To Build Our City Together

Denny Shortal
Dunwoody City Council, District One, Post-1
Mayor Pro Tem
PH (O) 678-382-6700 (C) 678-246-9006

1 comment:

Chip said...

The major "post-event" problem is the cold temperatures that inhibit melting and evaporation. That's true enough.

The "real" problem is that cars were driven on the fallen snow before it could be removed. Every "compression" of the loose snow results in micro-melting and ice formation.

That's why it's absolutely critical to get the snow off the road, then salt and sand.

Trying to salt and sand your way through a snow storm is an exercise in futility. That's why Dunwoody should have a back-up plan for plows, like Suwanee.