Did you survive the blizzard of 2014?

Craig Hall, Publisher
Craig Hall, Publisher

That’s right. I asked if you survived the blizzard of 2014. What blizzard, you ask? Obviously I’m referring to the storm that hit on Feb. 4 as the latest issue of the Business Times went to press. After all, just a quick perusal of Facebook would give anyone craving information all the evidence needed this was indeed quite the event. All 4 or 5 inches of snow, that is.

Now, I don’t want anyone to think I’m all for folks running off the road (and that is indeed what I’ll be labeled regardless of this disclaimer), because I’m not. As a matter of fact, I’m all for everyone taking it easy and getting to work, school and wherever their destination might be slowly and safely. And if, by chance, you didn’t, I hope things still ended up OK. The fact is, some folks drive safely and still get in accidents. Some folks drive like idiots and get into accidents or cause others to. And some other folks won’t leave the house during this state of emergency.

In other words, pretty much the same thing that happens every day regardless of the weather. People make decisions. And those decisions result in life happening.  Some of those decisions will result in accidents, some will result in a safe trip and some will not change a thing on our roads. But I doubt you can place blame on any of the decisions as someone trying to cause an accident. Although I would argue the idiot who pulled a U-Turn in front of me on 25 Road, not once, but twice, on my way to work might have been trying to wreak havoc.

Prepare to be shocked. But you know who I won’t blame this on? The City of Grand Junction. I seem to be in the minority, though, given all of the “Where are the snowplows?” questions I read this morning. Seriously? The snowplows? Where do you think we live, the snowfall capital of the world? This is Grand Junction, a city whose winters have been so mild I’ve played golf almost the year around. If anyone should be upset, it’s me and my ever increasing handicap.

Here’s the simple answer as to where the snowplows were: Plowing snow. Making the roads safer based on the plan the city has in place based on years of information, necessity, number of trucks and, oh yes, the weather. I just snicker at people who’re mad and cursing about why the roads haven’t been plowed. What they mean is: Why hasn’t their road or the specific road they need to drive on been plowed? Here’s why. There are other roads that are higher on the pecking order. There have to be given a realistic understanding of the situation.

Do folks really think the City of Grand Junction needs 50 snowplows sitting and waiting for the next big one? (Which by the way, this one wasn’t.) As a friend of mine who was once on city council quipped, “How do you justify that kind of waste of taxpayer money?” The city simply can’t win for losing here, as noted by a progressive (yes, make your judgments now) columnist who writes for another paper here in town proved with this ditty, “We keep saying we wanted less government.” As if all of the problems of society can be fixed by having the right ratio of snowplows per population and miles of roads in a given area. Then again, it’s a liberal posing an argument, so why bother with facts when a talking point will do? And let’s just leave out as to how that hints that people who would prefer government be smaller and less meddlesome love people being snowbound, getting in accidents and hope for general chaos. I would gather our city government has been pretty conservative in its spending of dollars on snowplowing equipment. Of course, I could argue the opposite on garbage trucks, but that’s for another day.

Quite frankly, other than declaring an “accident alert status,” what the heck do you really want the city to do that you shouldn’t do yourself?

Check the weather forecast the night before. If the forecast calls for snow, make plans to get up a little earlier. Allow for some extra time to get the kiddos to school. Drive slow. Be safe. Watch out for the other guy. The fact is, we all knew the snow was coming, even in this moderate amount. We all have experience driving in snow like this, even if you’ve only lived here. I realize that kids and other factors might get in the way of accomplishing all of this, but that doesn’t make the advice any less sound.

The fact of the matter is this, most of the snow is removed from our streets in one way — and it isn’t by plowing. It’s by warmer weather and cars driving on the roads. From the sound I hear outside my window right now, the roads are all the way improved to wet.

And isn’t doing proven things for removing snow from our roads and yourself being safe smarter than sitting in front of your computer and complaining as to why the intersection of Q.Z 3/8 Road and 357.5 17/63 Road hasn’t been plowed?