Isn’t there some other way…?
Posted: 22 February 2013 04:23 PM   [ Ignore ]
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... to handle snow removal from the side streets, besides chucking it all into our driveways?

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Posted: 22 February 2013 05:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Here’s one idea: the Henke “Hi-Gate”.

http://www.henkemfg.com/higate_video.html

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Posted: 22 February 2013 05:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I admit that one reason I don’t complain much that we never get plowed is because the few times we have, our driveway has been completely blocked in. They once plowed five minutes before my husband had to leave for work, and he ended up going in late because it took an hour to shovel it all away, so he lost pay and got into trouble. (It was the last time we had significant snow, so three Decembers ago I think.)

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Posted: 22 February 2013 07:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Great video, and maybe the city should look into this type of technology.  In the meantime it is just not practical to clear ever drive way entrance.  The good news is at least the side streets are clear.  My street was plowed tonight and I had to cut a hole in the furrow to get back in, small price to pay for a clear side street (did not need four wheel drive to get back in) and completely cleared major routes.  I think the city crews did an excellent job – with the 13 trucks on hand.

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Posted: 23 February 2013 11:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I have learned to avoid this problem by putting my car in the front yard.  This way I am guaranteed a run for the road.  The Buick has never failed to push right through that little wall.  I back up the length of the car, floorboard it, then fly into the street…kind of a rush.  We might do a little swerving, but we get out.  They are predicting 1-3” tomorrow night.  That has me scared…they are so accurate, we might end up with 20”. I hook up to three different weather sources and they all say different things.  I just make sure I have plenty of propane. The snow here this morning was glistening and attractive.  That is because it was colder than a well-digger’s ....uh…boots.
Our city engineer here in Hooterville is more efficient than Manhattan.  All of our many streets were cleared before the “storm of the week” had even finished…:-)
Stacia, Does your husband work for GTM?  Sounds like his employer is not too friendly…:-(

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Posted: 23 February 2013 12:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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The ‘Higate’ concept isn’t new.  I spent a winter in Pierre, SD and all their plows were equipped with a similar device.  To equip all the City’s plows would be a large chunck of money.  How much?  It would be nice to have the City Commission at least investigate what the cost would be.  Then, a decision could be made if the cost is reasonable, since we don’t see that many measurable snows in a typical winter.

I scooped our drive a couple of times, so I wouldn’t have the entire snowfall to remove in one session.  Then, the City plows filled the end of the drive.  But… like Wynn… I was extremely appreciative of the job City crews did in removing snow from side streets.  The issue with having the technology like HIGate in no way reflects on the great job the Street Department does.  It reflects on the ability to spend tax dollars for projects like a day care for the socially and politically connected vs. showing consideration for the average homeowner. 

One must understand the demographics of snow removal from private drives.  What percent of the homes in Manhattan are rentals/condos, etc. where snow removal is accomplished via a private contractor.  Next, how many homes are owned by those wealthy enough to contract their snow removal to a private firm.  Pretty soon, you have only a few that are adversely effected and they are the working class who don’t attend the same Country Club functions as to the parents of 15 kids we’ll spend over $100,000 to give them a City operated day care.

This City Commission recently backed a sales tax that will put millions of dollars into debt reduction and infrastructure.  The infrastructure money is supposed to be tied to economic development.  As potential employees of a company considering locating here would find the City even uses technology to show consideration for those having to shovel drives could be a postive.  Won’t happen, since it doesn’t assist any of those having their hands out for the money.

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Posted: 23 February 2013 08:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Michael Hadley - 23 February 2013 11:38 AM

I have learned to avoid this problem by putting my car in the front yard.  This way I am guaranteed a run for the road.  The Buick has never failed to push right through that little wall.  I back up the length of the car, floorboard it, then fly into the street…kind of a rush.  We might do a little swerving, but we get out.

This sounds fun(ny) - wish I could be there to watch that!

Wynn, for some people it is not a small price, especially my neighbors with a history of heart problems and high blood pressure, or who are just getting too old to do much, and shoveling snow is very strenuous for them.  I’m not quite in that bad of shape yet, but this isn’t getting any easier as I get older.  I don’t know how much you got, but I had a 3-foot high mound of large, heavy ice chunks, many of which were too big for me to move with my shovel.  At first, I wasn’t even sure I’d be able to get out until it all melted, or I got someone to help me clear it.  I finally decided to get my garden hoe out and see if I could break it up some, and that worked, but it was a good hour later before I was able to get out again.  Fortunately, I only missed an appointment.  That would have been a really bad time to have an emergency.

Besides, what about cross walks and intersections, where young kids, handicapped and elderly would have difficulty climbing over one of those mounds.  Doesn’t that pose a safety threat?  The city expects us to go out and clear snow from their sidewalks for safety considerations, but then they go and dump it back wherever it suites them.

Another consideration I see, since traffic had already been moving up and down the street with no difficulty since noon, I’m not sure we even really needed snow removal, at least not badly enough to “pay the price”.  Maybe in some cases, they could just throw down snow melt and be done with it?  Just a thought.

Larry, I’m well aware of the politics.  And you’re right.  I just can’t help but wonder if there’s a cheap and easy solution if we would just put our heads together and start barfing out some ideas.  (a.k.a. “brainstorming”)  We’ve always assumed this is how it has to be because the people doing the work told us so.  They have no incentive to find a better way.  Maybe some of us do, and it’s incumbent on us to come up with a better idea.

Anyway, in the mean time, if everyone just blows this off again as usual, I’ve at least found something I can try that might help a little.  It’s pretty clever.  Looks like I’m going to get a chance to try it on Monday, and in the mean time, frantically lifting weights and running up and down the stairs to get in better shape for more shoveling!  :-P

http://weblogs.wxmi.com/news/traffic/dirty-windshield/2010/02/how-to-avoid-getting-your-driv.html

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Posted: 23 February 2013 08:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Kate,
It offers me a chance to relive my youth as a reckless driver.  No kidding though.  It works.  They pile snow in front of the driveway, but, usually the mounds are less on the curbside away from the driveway, and much easier to plough through. I will be parked in the yard tomorrow night…:-)

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Posted: 24 February 2013 04:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I’d just like to be a worry wart for a second and remind everyone to be careful when shoveling. I lost a good friend a few years ago from a heart attack after he shoveled some snow for his elderly neighbors.

I’d also like to warn everyone away from Hadley’s yard between the months of November and March…

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Posted: 24 February 2013 06:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Quick story.  Don’t read if you have just eaten….

Many years ago, I was in a position to work with some emergency responders.  An older gentleman in the small town where we lived, came home from work and shoveled his drive.  He returned to the house and sat down to a supper of chili.  About halfway through the meal, he fell out of his chair onto the dining room floor in cardiac arrest.  Two of us began CPR and this was long before we worried about putting any kind of a shield between the victim and the responder.  My partner took the chest and I took the mouth.  (Still don’t know how I drew that short straw.)  On about the third attempt at breathing, I was the recipient of ‘projectile chili’.  It was years, before I could look at a bowl of chili again.

Flip to this week’s snow.  I shoveled our drive from garage to street.  Not nearly as young as I used to be, I survived but was exhausted.  Yep.  What did my wife have available for lunch?  Chili!!!!  Wonder if she was trying to send me a message…......

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Posted: 24 February 2013 09:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Well, I was going to make chili today.  Thank you very much Larry.  Now I will have to figure something else out.
A note of clarification regarding cars in the front yard.  It might not be safe for most of you to try this.  You see, here in Hooterville we have very wide streets, and very little traffic. I can see traffic coming from a long way off. So please don’t try this in Manhattan.  I don’t want Brad blaming me for 100 accidents…:-)

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