Is the City of Sioux Falls violating ordinance when plowing streets?

It doesn’t fail, when you run a city blog as long as I have, whenever it snows I hear about the removal. I have come to the realization that most people are being nit-picky, but the latest blowback is concerning.

SNOWGATES. By ordinance the city has to use them, unless they decide not to. I know, seems like a pretty big out. During and before the petition drive, Staggers and especially Stehly did extensive research on them, and unless the snow is super wet they work well up to almost 20 inches. The city continues to use a mulligan on them, but they could have been easily used the last two times, which brings us to another problem;

CLEARING INTERSECTIONS. One of the benefits of having snowgates is clearing intersections when the north/south and east/west streets are cleared, instead of creating a massive windrow they can be alleviated immediately.

But one of the glaring problems is this;

Looks like the city is supposed to be clearing snow curb to curb.

I have also heard the city has scaled back on private contractor use. I am not opposed to that, and would rather see city union employees getting the OT instead of a private contractor, but you wonder why this relationship has changed?

Isn’t life so wonderful that the only thing we have to bitch about with local government is how they take the white crap away?

I have often looked at things like public transit and snow removal as basic economic development. When people can safely get to work and make wages that’s a good thing. You kind of wonder how many folks were either terminated or reprimanded during this past storm because they couldn’t make it to work?

Local government is easy. Collect taxes, provide essential services.



22 comments ↓

#1 Memory Lane on 01.07.23 at 2:02 am

How many, who read this blog, remember the winter of 68/69 around here, where the snow was so tall at intersections, that you couldn’t see the other cars unless they put an orange ball on their radio antennas, which were supplied free from the local Union 76 gas stations?

Our current snowy situation isn’t a 300 or 500 year event, but rather a 54 year event. 😉

#2 D@ily Spin on 01.07.23 at 8:58 am

Winters had been mild. Not this year. The city should be commended for keeping roads open. However, they have a half billion budget. Primary transportation services are expected.

#3 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 01.07.23 at 10:30 am

I’m worried about Taupeville. How are they handling the snow?

AND, is it true that all of those people who moved here because of Noem are now leaving because of the snow?

#4 ### NON GERMANE WARNING ### on 01.07.23 at 10:32 am

Why did I know that Matt Gaetz would buy in before the 18th vote?…. I heard he prefers the middle teens…. (But 15, really?)…..

#5 ### FURTHER NON GERMANE BABBLING ### on 01.07.23 at 10:52 am

Were you watching CSPAN last night or CNN, and did you see Dusty grab a quick selfie with McCarthy as soon as it became apparent that Gaetz would vote present on the 15th? But would Karl Mundt have done this with Dick Nixon? I don’t think so. It may be different times, but when we only have one congressman, it would be nice if they weren’t star struck….. And to answer Dusty’s question to McCarthy… the answer was: DisneyLand!

#6 Donald Pay on 01.07.23 at 1:43 pm

Memory Lane,

I was a senior at Lincoln High that winter. Yeah, the orange balls were a thing. Can’t do that with most modern vehicles. We got ONE snow day out of that winter, but the rural districts got lots of snow days. UNFAIR. We got lot sof sore muscles from shoveling snow. We did get out of school during the spring to put sand in sandbags for the flooding.

#7 scott on 01.07.23 at 3:07 pm

how many people remember when cars had antennas, instead of nubs on the roof?

#8 D@ily Spin on 01.07.23 at 7:25 pm

I experienced winter in ‘68. Left here for jungle in Vietnam. BLizzards before bullets. My HS sweetheart got married. I questioned about everything. Nothing was answered

It’s probably time to turn this site into a pod cast. There’s no longer a media that protects freedom. There’s many who read here. Probably most at city hall It seems there’s a transition. Hopefully, it will happen before we must learn Chinese.

#9 ML on 01.07.23 at 7:52 pm

One of my older brothers was a senior at Lincoln that year and I remember him getting out of study hall to sandbag the river never 41st and Cliff.

#10 Further Fear & Loathing on 01.07.23 at 7:53 pm

Those are “nubs”? I just thought it meant you were pro-shark.

#11 Further Fear & Loathing on 01.07.23 at 8:11 pm

Okay, so I just returned from a daily vigilantly snow reconnaissance mission and my only question is: Why is 26th Street in better shape, than Minnesota Avenue? I thought Taupeville had some dominant pull, but right now the only pull they apparently have is from the feel of the passenger side snow bank pulling their SUV into the bank.
Plus, don’t the Lululemon mamas of our fine city need to be able to get home safely? While the working class really don’t need to head to the Grand Falls Casino right now…. that can wait…

#12 Moore Stench on 01.07.23 at 8:33 pm

“Blizzards before bullets”…. I experienced that one night after a quick stop at DQ and then on to the local taco shop….

#13 Fear Not! on 01.07.23 at 8:46 pm

After ‘O Tannenbaum’, ‘Blizzards before Bullets’ is my favorite Christmas song. I believe it was first sung by both British and German soldiers, while in their trenches, during their agreed upon holiday truce in 1916.

( ……”and before we start shooting each other again, let see if the Krauts want to sing ‘I Saw The Kaiser’s Wife Kissing Santa Claus”…. )

#14 LJL on 01.09.23 at 12:38 pm

Most residential streets are down to 1 lane due to these stupid Snow gates that are a wast of our taxes. Just utterly stupid.

#15 The Guy From Guernsey on 01.10.23 at 6:48 am

LJL,
I would be genuinely interested in the rationale that the plowed width of streets is limited by snow gates.

#16 SnowGate Patrol on 01.10.23 at 8:56 am

The snowgates are not the problem. The ineptitude of the mayor in not calling snow emergency and ordering the required curb to curb clearing is the problem.

The cheapness of the mayor’s policy of making the citizens suffer so his friends in high places and the self-help get rich quick church friends make room for more playthings. The mayor never has had to work for a living so he does not understand why basic municipal services are important.

The mayor will just pray away the snow problem and then prey on the people who are not able to afford to clear the mess on their own.

ElevenHaken’s preys on the less fortunate and it just so happens the he believes he is here for his higher placed friends, not us.

#17 Cheryl on 01.10.23 at 10:10 am

First world probz when we bitch about snow removal. Get a life.

#18 l3wis on 01.10.23 at 3:33 pm

LJL, the problem with your argument is that they haven’t used snowgates on the last two storms. I was a part of the petition drive to bring them and I read all of the research on them. The one thing street managers from other cities told us that have been using them for years is that the drivers have to learn how to use them, and the quicker you plow the street the better they work. Snowgates are NOT the problem, it is a lazy street director that isn’t enforcing city ordinance with his drivers.

#19 Very Stable Genius on 01.10.23 at 5:22 pm

Whatever happened to all of those signs we used to have in town that talked about 2 inches or more and snow emergency routes? When they got rid of them, I knew we were in trouble. There always was an attitude about April snow showers, too, but now that seems to be the attitude for any month. It’s time for the mayor, the council, and the directors to learn how to drive plows. It would help with the worker shortage. They say we haven’t had snow like this since 2009/10, but we had some wet years in the late teens. So, maybe now we are in for some snow years in the 20s, who knows? AND, for everyone who moved here because of Noem, have you shoveled your sidewalk yet?

#20 Mark G on 01.11.23 at 8:12 am

They have used the snowgates on our street every time. I would like the streets plowed curb to curb also. I just don’t think it’s feasible unless they haul the snow away. I live in the Hilltop neighborhood.

#21 l3wis on 01.11.23 at 10:26 am

If they used them in my neighborhood (Beadle Greenway) they must have been invisible. I have heard from different neighborhoods that they were used and some they were not. I wonder how the street department decides who gets them, and who doesn’t. The ordinance that refers to snowgates is pretty clear, if the city decides to use them during a snow alert, they should use them in the entire city.

#22 VSG on 01.11.23 at 11:43 am

My neighborhood: Snowgates for the late December snow fall, but not for the early January one (?). I also hate it when they use the snow gates – I live on a corner lot – but then they seldom drop them for the sidewalks which are perpendicular to the streets (?).