Road and Snow Woes
When the big snow hit central Ohio last week I happened to be in Whitehall. I was there for reasons that are unimportant.    But that's where I was when we were inundated by the big snowfall. I weighed my prospects for returning to the luxurious digs of the Free Press. After much mental give and take, I ventured forward.    I was pleasantly surprised to find the roads clear, even the side streets. By the time I reached Broad St. at Hamilton Rd. I thought I was in the clear. Traveling West toward downtown everything was fine until I reached the Whitehall/Columbus border.    That's where the plowed road ended and a mountain of snow began. Columbus had not deemed Broad St. plow-worthy apparently. Traffic slowed to a crawl as motorists made their way through the ever-darkening sludge.    Things did not improve until I reached Gould Rd. which just happens to be where Bexley begins. That municipality did take the trouble to plow Broad St. Later I learned that there were lots of places in Columbus that had not been plowed. Whitehall and Bexley managed to clear their streets, but not Columbus.    But that didn't stop the local news outlets from singing the praises of Columbus city workers. No, these “Snow Warriors,” as they have been dubbed, were getting constant kudos for their hard work. You couldn't tune to any of the local television newscasts without hearing about them.    Really?    When Whitehall is outperforming Columbus in the snow removal category, that is not the time pin medals on the chest of these “Snow Warriors.”    Speaking of Columbus city workers, some of you may recall that I dressed down some of them back in September.    The valiant laborers had “repaved” the alley behind the Free Press. At the time I had made mention of the fact that they had done a simply awful job of it.    No doubt some of you thought I was exaggerating in describing the shoddiness of their work.    As it turns out, the “repaving” job the City of Columbus did was even worse than I described.    To refresh your memory, I described how a crew came through one day and scraped the surface of the road. The purpose, I suppose, was to create an even surface.    A day or so later another crew came by, plopping down puddles of asphalt that the workers spread out in haphazard fashion. There seemed to be no rhyme nor reason to where they applied the asphalt, as some spots that needed filling were left unfilled, and spots that did not seem to require attention received a healthy portion. I watched the crew for some 30 minutes and could not deduce any method to their madness.    A few more days on and another crew came through, spreading an oily mess from edge to edge, upon which another crew spread a layer of gravel and dust.    The dust remained with us for some time, covering everything in the area for over a month.    As I look at the alley today, I am feeling nostalgic for the dusty days of Autumn. The gravel has long since stopped adhering to the oily goo that was meant to be its adhesive. There are now gaping potholes from one end of the alley to the other. The snow and ice are carving even more ruts into the surface and by Spring, I judge, our alley will be a road hazard of the first order.    As it stands right now, I can honestly attest to the fact that our alley is far worse off now than it was before repairs were made to it.    For more than one reason am I eager to see the thaw come. For one, although I like snow, by now I'm pretty much over it for this year.    For another I can't wait to see the true extent of the damage to the alley.    Congratulations Columbus, that's some mighty fine road work.

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