Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Please try not to die today.

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As usual, Ann Arbor is sucking at being a city in Michigan. We had an OMG SURPRISE SNOW party, and it's like the Washtenaw Road Commission didn't even bring the wine.

Since moving to Ann Arbor, I've been amazed at how bad she is at clearing snow off the roads. The main roads are attended to, sure, but unless you live ON one of those main roads, you're pretty screwed. Just yesterday, I was able to have a people-watching feast; there were six different cars stuck at six different times on our block. I actually did leave home at some point (slow clap), so there could have been, and probably were, many more.

We're not in some podunk area outside of the city proper. We are less than a block from Liberty Street, two from Huron and four from Main. We're in the Old Westside, a neighborhood of nuclear families, for the most part, mixed in with a handful of rentals. Stalkers take note.

It isn't just our block either, as plenty of Ann Arborites can attest. I spent the good part of my first winter here eroding my brake lines every day, since my Kerrytown apartment only had street parking. If that road ever was plowed, it was done a whole day after the fact. Result: Risking my life just to get to work everyday, all because the streets either 1) were plowed after most people already have to be to work, 2) were never plowed at all or 3) were just covered in salt so that my brakes actually did erode. No joke.

I have a hard time looking at my youth in Traverse City as a snow problem-free haven; the pinky gets a ton more snow than Ann Arbor. Yet every morning, the plows were out and about before my alarm went off so that students and workers could get to work. It wasn't crazy; it's just what we had to do to get to work and school on time. Ann Arbor is in Michigan, and I just can't understand why this problem hasn't been solved yet, considering the fact that snow has existed in Michigan forevah.

I wrote an opinion piece in The Washtenaw Voice about the problem, and I have to admit that it's pretty exciting that this piece, written before I could have known about the Sunday/Monday storm, came out right in the middle of this mess. I hope the piece creates some discourse, not just to promote my own name (ok duh to do that) but to get people to realize that almost dying on their way to work is not acceptable, and is worth getting worked up about.

Photo credit to Simply CVR.

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