Brookings’ snowplows fail to take action


Editorial Board

Issue: While Brookings has experienced a record-level of snow during this winter, vital roads and other features in and around the SDSU campus are still filled with snow that makes traveling by automobile hazardous.

We were excited when the first flakes of snow fell last fall. We loved our white Christmas. We, however, do not prefer fishtailing our car during a hurried rush to classes or work. A poor knowledge of plowing schedules traps our means of transportation in mountains of snow and ice. With a layer of snow covering important thoroughfares, safety features like lane markers cannot be seen by motorists.

This winter is – pun intended – a perfect storm. Our area has been smothered with the most snow ever recorded. Pierre reports a $134 million budget shortfall over the next 18 months. While we are immensely concerned with such heady topics as our economy’s imminent future, the fact that Sixth Street is still covered in snow to the point of non-visible turning lanes is a concern.

The schedule of our snowplows is elusive for some. For the uninformed, it could seem the city’s plowing plan is non-existent – especially when their car receives a $25 ticket for parking when the plow passes by. The city does offer an e-mail notification system, which is appreciated for us, a generation of technology. With the Snow Line ((605) 696-7669) and local T.V. and radio stations, the public has numerous ways to stay informed.

The sidewalks and other pedestrian features of SDSU are, in our opinion, adequately clear of snow and ice – in most places. Facilities and Services have done a commendable job cleaning the miles of paths across our campus. There are still essential sidewalks around campus that need more work. Most of us take for granted our ability to walk through a few inches of snow, but those with disabilities have wheelchairs that get stuck. However, there is one glaring plowing omission – the parking lots.

Parking a car on SDSU’s campus is a veritable crapshoot. The idea of organized parking spots seems antiquated. Around The Union, motorists have done a good job maintaining some sanity and order, but the dwindling number of parking spots is even more noticeable after this year’s parking changes.

Stance: Prevention can alleviate the large amount of snow that remain on our streets. The city offers snow removal information across multiple forms of media, but some may not know how to receive that information. With a recession and a record snowfall, the cards are stacked against the city and university. However, there must be a clear, safe path to our destinations.