YOUR TURN: Grade The City's Blizzard Response

Are you satisfied or frustrated with how the city handled the area’s 5th largest snowstorm in history? Let us know by posting a comment below.

Now that things are beginning to return to normal, it's time to rate howthe DPW's plows handled the 2+ feet of snow that hit the city earlier this month. 

We wanted to ask our readers to give the city a grade - from "A" for excellent to "F" for failure - in the comments below

Fel free to explain your grading, give praise or thanks, express frustrations or offer up constructive criticism in the comments below - but keep in mind, the blizzard was the 5th largest snowstorm in New England history.

What grade would you give the city for it's blizzard response, and why? 

Bobby James February 19, 2013 at 01:58 PM
And to all the people that whined about the city having the parking ban and not going out and shoveling their own spots on the sides of the street - you're horrible people. Seriously. All of you that are parking pretty much in the middle of the street? Bite me.
robert wilson February 19, 2013 at 04:54 PM
My St. was cleaned early and often. B+, they need to hire bigger trucks though.
Northwood February 19, 2013 at 05:23 PM
@Jake...I agree 100% INSULTING... nothing better to do ???
ANZic Creative Outlets February 19, 2013 at 05:44 PM
"F" They had a contracting company narrowly plow 2 times initially and then no one plowed until 2 large tractors came Sunday Night/Early morning Monday between 11:30pm and 1:30 am. Problem is, this was after 2 days of shovelling our property to comply with the city ordinance of clearing the walk in front of our house. These 2 tractors proceeded (36 hours AFTER the storm) to push and throw all the snow back on the sidewalks and into the driveway.
fc February 19, 2013 at 05:59 PM
What I hate the most is that they will drive by at 30 or more miles per hour. That is not an exaggeration. They do not plow the snow, they throw it. How many times have we had 4 - 6 inches of snow and I have had to shovel a foot or more of tonnage thrown from the street onto my sidewalk. If they would just slow down they could plow instead of throw. Early in this blizzard they were full of excitement and adrenaline. They were really going fast and throwing so much snow onto the sidewalks. Even plowing can be done wrong. When cities owned their own trucks and had employees do the job it was much better.
Kelley February 19, 2013 at 07:58 PM
You're right. The early part of the storm seemed to be exciting. Then as it dragged on the plowing got more difficult and it seemed as if the plow drivers backed off. Also, who knows that they may have been asked to stay out more for the same money and the ones who contracted out either backed off or went to another town.
Margery Bagley Welch February 19, 2013 at 11:19 PM
During the storm - B. After the storm - F. Seriously. Am I the only one who thinks "curb to curb" acturally means they plow from one curb to the next? And what about the ginormous piles of snow IN THE STREET .... STILL! Dude, people have to walk and drive around these and in case you're wondering, they're not transparent.
Ann February 20, 2013 at 12:21 PM
I live on a street up on a bill off Salem Street, cannot believe that with all the self-congratulatory articles getting written by and about the mayor and the DPW that my street still looks the way it does. The city has turned it into a cow path. I thought they would try to do something a out it by he we one snow storm this weekend but two passes by the large city truck seems to their best effort up here. Pretty disgusted.
Amy February 20, 2013 at 01:21 PM
D again like most stated at the beginning we saw a plow several times. Then it disappeared until late afternoon Sunday. Barely creating a one car wide path. People with normal sedans and smaller cars could not make it up the hill, which is just a slight hill mind you! Forget trying to get 2 cars past each other. Cars should not be allowed to park in the streets during a storm and the plows should plow to the curbs. Streets of Malden are already narrow, 2+ feet of snow make them completely impassible.
Bobby James February 20, 2013 at 01:46 PM
The ginormous piles of snow in the street still are most likely b/c they lifted the parking ban too early and people parked in the middle of the streets, blocking the plows/front loaders from being able to effectively remove the snow. And on the mayor's blog it says the DPW workers worked 40 hours straight? I'm sorry, but that's a major public safety issue. I don't want somebody drunk in energy drinks and no sleep driving a plow or other heavy equipment ANYWHERE. I'm sure the DOT and OSHA will love seeing that tidbit.
CALB70 February 20, 2013 at 03:31 PM
I don't want to be negative, I really don't - it was a blizzard - but areas in Ward 1 specifically Madison, Green, Converse, Bell Rock and Medford Streets were complete gridlock most of last week during the morning rush hour because of the poor plow job. Only a narrow cut was made on Madison and it backed up traffic into Everett all week. It literally took 15 minutes for me to get to Main Street, I could not even get out of my driveway. The city can only do what it can during the storm to get the roads passable but it might have been helpful, especially reading the stories of other areas, if the city sent trucks out a few days after the storm to clear more neighborhood streets, not just the downtown and schools. Maybe set up a post-storm hotline or something for residents to call and identify problem areas. Looks like we are having another major storm this weekend, could be up to a foot more snow. It is NE, it snows, so city should think ahead to try to address concerns. The mayor just wrote in his blog that he traveled around the city during the storm to check on conditions. I am a supporter of his but I think it would be good to do that same thing a few days after a storm as well to assess and address problem areas.
CALB70 February 20, 2013 at 03:40 PM
By the way - I did call the DPW to let them know about the situation in that area of Ward 1 - they said they do not plow after storms.
Irishgirl February 20, 2013 at 03:47 PM
FFF--I live on a a wide side street off rt 60--Had 1 "plow" (Ford pick) up get stuck in front of my house late (2am) Fri pm -Sat am took them 1/2 hour to move and never put the plow down again and just left--until Sat night (7pm ish) we had 1 small plow width down the middle of the street- 20' from the end of my driveway--thank fully I have a snowblower-no excuse that cars were parked on the street either!!! Then Sat night the front end loader came and he did a fantastic job and he made sure he didn't plow in everyone's driveway --plowed to within 3-5' of sidewalk Just wish he were there sooner--he always does a great job.
JDD February 20, 2013 at 04:29 PM
F. Only ONE truck (without the plow itself actually down) came through during the storm Friday night (Starbird St/Mt.Vernon streets). The next time we saw anyone was 3pm Sunday when the front end loader came through. Ridiculous.
vm February 20, 2013 at 05:50 PM
Is the purpose of the parking ban to get cars out of the way so that the snow can be cleared and then they can park, or just so that the plows won't hit them? I understand driving is a privilege, but didn't people have to dig their own cars out of the emergency lots, and then they need to dig a spot on the street as well? I agree that you shouldn't park in the middle of the street, but that doesn't sound right - I'm lucky I have off street parking.
vm February 20, 2013 at 05:52 PM
So last night I saw a sign on Highland Ave outside the Big A for no parking on 2/22 for "snow removal" - I happily assumed that meant they were trying to do something after the storm, but now I'm not sure given Calb70's comment. This is the first blizzard I've been through, so I don't know what's supposed to be normal, but seeing people still having to walk in the street this much later is just wrong, not to mention unsafe.
Bobby James February 20, 2013 at 07:00 PM
The purpose of the parking ban is to get the cars out of the way so that the streets can be cleared. That normally means being able to park your car on the street. People whined about the parking ban enough that it was lifted prematurely. They then went and parked their cars on the main thoroughfares that had yet to be properly cleared with absolutely no regard for how far into the street they were leaving their car. If they wanted a space, then they should have dug it out - otherwise DON'T COMPLAIN. Doesn't sound right? So, you're telling me the people that complained the most, unlikely to be property owners that went out and shoveled their sidewalks and cleared their parking spaces got a raw deal? The world isn't fair, you've gotta work for everything you want - including a parking spot after a blizzard.
Andrew25 February 20, 2013 at 07:05 PM
Explain to me why I had to stay on the streets for two days again? F-
Andrew25 February 20, 2013 at 07:06 PM
Or off
Andrew25 February 20, 2013 at 07:07 PM
Chris- I need an edit button!
coldwaterdiver February 20, 2013 at 08:31 PM
D for the big storm, F for the little one last Sunday. Plenty of trucks driving around plow up both storms. My street is still only a plowblade wide. I live near the forest dale school, and the sidwalks all around there are STILL unwalkable, including in front of the city owned senior housing on the corner of Kimball street. Another storm Saturday I guess will mean no school Monday since they cant seem to handle it.
vm February 20, 2013 at 08:32 PM
I'm saying the people who got the raw deal are those who shoveled their spots out of the emergency lot, then had to shovel a new spot that should have been plowed while they were in the emergency lot. The city shouldn't have given in and lifted the ban if it was just because of people complaining, and I find it hard to believe that's the only reason.
Peg Connaire Crowe February 20, 2013 at 08:32 PM
CALB70- Ii am a little surprised at the answer you got about not plowing after storms. That is when they can clean things up! Please call me if we are running into the same issue this storm. We don't need more backed up traffic etc. Peg Crowe 781-248-4386 Ward 1 City Councillor
coldwaterdiver February 20, 2013 at 08:35 PM
If they drive around with the blade up the GPS shows that they are out there, but is saves them wear, tear, and gas.
coldwaterdiver February 20, 2013 at 09:33 PM
all the more reason to keep on top of it, its easier to plow 6" of snow a bunch of times than 30" once. Do the vendor plows still have to have signage saying they are plowing for the city?
linda February 21, 2013 at 12:05 AM
the second day they did a great job making our street wider and that was also due to the fact that the police came around and made sure all the cars were off the street. it made a big big difference.
coldwaterdiver February 21, 2013 at 11:55 AM
Forest Dale Cemetery is not cleaned by the DPW, it, including all surrounding sidewalks, are cleaned by the cemetery grounds crew.
Rev. Vincent Russo February 21, 2013 at 05:25 PM
D. At least in our neighborhood, we saw plows early. That was the good thing because at least it made the street passable. With the parking ban to get cars off the street, the expectation was that they were going to actually plow so people could park after the ban was over. If that wasn't the case, the City needs to reset expectations and let residents know what they can expect. What we got instead was snow was pushed to the sides of the street, and onto sidewalks/corners making it very difficult for the elderly to shovel. Plow packed snow is mush more difficult to shovel than fallen snow. I realize that some of that HAS to happen as a temporary measure - there was a lot of snow. I think that plan failed in that streets weren't plowed to the curb after the initial clearing. It should have been done before the ban was lifted. Why have a parking bad if the plowing is only going to be down the center of the streets to make them passable? On the plus side, the PDW and plows/sanders did do a lot of work and it is a very tough and thankless job. I think the problem was less with the actual plows and more with the "plan" and "post-storm plan" implementation.
M February 21, 2013 at 06:03 PM
OMG - YES, Bobby James! My sentiments exactly. you cannot just park in front of a house in a "space" that hasn't been cleared!! Don't you have to be within 12" of the curb? If they want to park there, shovel so they are within 12" of the curb... If not, ticket them for obstructing traffic. Or abandoning vehicle in the middle of the street.
Arthur February 22, 2013 at 12:45 AM
We need this guy to plow. Look up Dogg plowing blizzard 2013 on Youtube. Funniest guy ever.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something