Insufficient snow removal

By Melanie Kasperek

Driving anywhere in Champaign has been next to impossible since the snowstorm on Tuesday, Feb. 13. Yes, it has been over a week and there are still streets that have not been completely plowed. Something is definitely wrong with the way this city handles street cleanup. In response to the article “Urbana still working to get snow off streets”, written by Jenette Sturges and printed on Tuesday, Feb. 20, the city is admitting that there has been an ongoing problem with snow removal.

As I was driving down Green Street yesterday, I was trying to turn onto Neil, but could not do this because a whole driving lane was still covered in snow. Not only is this inconvenient, but it is also dangerous.

Since the city of Champaign refuses to shovel the sidewalks, pedestrians are forced to walk in the streets. And when the streets are not fully plowed, pedestrians are then forced to walk in the middle of traffic. I do not see how this is acceptable in any city.

I am from Chicago, clearly a much bigger city, but still faced with the problem of snowstorms. I have not been in one snowstorm in Chicago without streets being plowed. I ask myself, with all of the revenue brought in from the mounds of drinking tickets or parking tickets given out on this campus, how can the city not afford proper snow removal.

According to the Champaign Police Annual Report, in 2005, there was $233,685 worth of fines issued for drinking violations alone. The Feb. 20 article states that the total cost of snow removal for last weeks storm totaled $169,800. The city can obviously afford the cleanup and needs to start thinking rationally about the safety of its citizens.

Melanie Kasperek

junior in LAS