"Progress Being Made" On Roads, Town Says

After ... side roads are made accessible, we will be coming back to clear the entire road width and clean up the intersections. Again, we ask your patience as we work around the clock to respond to this event.


This is the fourth update from the town of Madison on the Blizzard of 2013: 


Good afternoon.  This is your First Selectman Fillmore McPherson with the fourth update on the Blizzard of 2013, this Monday, February 11.  I thank you for your patience as we work through this historic event together.

The main thrust of the Town’s efforts has been to open the roads.  Since the start of the blizzard, the first priority has been to assist any E-911 calls, followed by any assistance needed by CL&P to help in power restoration.  The next priority has been to open the main collector and arterial roads, which were all open by Saturday night.  Included in that category were two state roads, Horsepond Road and portions of the Boston Post Road, which the State was unable to address in a timely fashion.  I should mention that by open, we mean enough access for emergency responders and for residents to get in and out.  Generally speaking, this means passable by two lanes of traffic at low speeds.

Yesterday and today, we have been working on the local roads, with a lot of progress having been made.  Our crews, made up of a combination of men and equipment from both our Public Works and outside contractors, plan to have the lion’s share of these roads open by tonight, but some will carry over until tomorrow.  If your road is still not open by tomorrow morning, please send another email to storminfo@madisonct.org, that’s s t o r m i n f o @madisonct. o r g so we can make sure we don’t miss anyone.

After these side roads are made accessible, we will be coming back to clear the entire road width and clean up the intersections.  Again, we ask your patience as we work around the clock to respond to this event.

On another matter, the Superintendent of Schools has announced that schools will be closed tomorrow, Tuesday.

Thank you, and good evening.

jill jones February 11, 2013 at 11:42 PM
Not all roads have been cleared Juniper Lane has a snow barricade in front of it! Every street surrounding it has been plowed but not this one. Emergency responders can not get to any of the houses on this street which is not a private road. I'm very disappointed in the town and there is no excuse for this, there are several elderly people living on this street. I pray that there are no emergencies.
jazzgal February 12, 2013 at 12:21 AM
Hunters trail has not been cleared. Never saw a plow since Friday. Again with several old people on the road this is at best disappointing...
Michael LeCompte February 12, 2013 at 12:59 AM
This is typical of a government monopoly that everybody is forced to pay for at the point of a gun. Wall Street was still a mess a short while ago when I was walking up it. Government does not have incentives to do well. With more snow on the way, the town and state plows have their work cut out for them. Granted it was an unusual storm, but mediocre service is something that the political class does not even strive for.
Jay D February 12, 2013 at 01:04 AM
Pem, can you do a story about whose street is still impassible; maybe list the streets? Or are you afraid of the results? Don't want to look bad for McPherson??
stu gotz February 12, 2013 at 04:03 AM
My fundamental problem with the slow response of snow removal is where were the crews late Friday/early Saturday. Yes I get it there is a lot of snow but, no part of the town is in good shape! Were crews out during the storm, and if so where the hell were they. Down town is a mess the roads are hardly wide enough for two cars. There was clearly a miscommunication between the state and town. Regardless the town shot callers should of chosen there battles. Having the smaller plows plowing short distance loops so we had a few battles won! Unfortunately no battles were won, traveling Wall street will land you in physical therapy, people are stuck in their houses and Schools cant open because of mismanagement of our resources!
Pem McNerney (Editor) February 12, 2013 at 04:05 AM
yeah ... I'm just finishing up work and I'm going to go walk the streets right now to see which are cleared and which are not ... NOT! But if you're interested, there is a discussion on our Facebook page which provides some of that information. About 30 people have weighed in with information relating to that. https://www.facebook.com/MadisonCTPatch/posts/535772606445333?comment_id=6114578. That information is not currently available from the town and so I cannot post it. What I do know is that I've had many bitter complaints from people, until the plows hit their streets. Then I get those same people telling me the town is doing a great job. That's because they're paying attention to how much work it is to clear this much heavy snow and ice. It was historic blizzard. If there is an emergency that isn't being dealt with, I'd be interested in hearing about that. As far as people being inconvenienced by streets that have yet to be cleared, join the club. That includes people in Madison, Guilford, Clinton and all along the shoreline. I've seen huge plows stopped dead by this snow and ice. By dead I mean transmissions gone and equipment ruined. I've never seen that before. I've never seen this much snow in Connecticut before.
Pem McNerney (Editor) February 12, 2013 at 04:06 AM
Here's some information sent in via email from Linda, who was paying attention when the crews were cleaning her streets: I took the first photo of the plows on Windsor Court at 1:05 pm and the last one as they were preparing to leave the street at 1:42 pm. It must have taken them at least that amount of time to clear Beekman Place and then St. James Court. They were very careful not to block the driveways that people had spent many hours clearing themselves. They had to make a number of passes to get down to the pavement. They also had to find places to move the snow to. It was not a quick and easy drive through the neighborhood. My estimate is two hours of work with three pieces of heavy equipment for our one small neighborhood. Our driveway is normally cleared by our private plow company in a matter of minutes, but it took them 45 yesterday. I don't think it is reasonable to expect everything to be back to normal quickly after an historic storm like this.
Pem McNerney (Editor) February 12, 2013 at 04:15 AM
And that sign above, made by a 9 year old and a 10 year old who have been paying attention to town public works crews, police, ambulance, and volunteer firefighters doing their job night and day since this job began. From their mother: "We are surrounded by seniors, on all sides and the crews have been checkin on them, and using all kinda of equipment to make sure they can get care. The State, local crews and private plows have been driving by 24/7 since Friday. [The signs were] put up by my 9 and 10 year old kids, and I. Just want to share a nice message, since we can't pass along a smile:)" If it's something that a 9 and 10 year old should grasp ... that the people out there working are doing the best they can, the rest of us should be able to as well. As for an objective measure as to whether our town is better or worse than surrounding towns, I've heard--absolutely anecdotally--that some are better and some are worse. It depends on who you talk with and which road they live on ... But there is no school tomorrow in Guilford, Clinton or Madison, so that should tell you that all three towns are struggling with this. In fact, the entire Northeast is struggling with this storm, http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2013/02/09/northeast-new-england-blizzard-nemo/1904347/. Again, if there were emergency situations that were not addressed in a timely manner, that's a problem. Give me details. Other than that, the rest of us just need to deal with it for now.
Jay D February 12, 2013 at 04:37 AM
I am not asking you to walk every street in madison to see whether or not it has been plowed. What I suggested is a forum for people to make comments if their streets have been plowed or not. If you don't understand how this would work, you can look at the surrounding town's patches and see how those editors started such a forum. Here is an example: http://durham.patch.com/articles/tell-us-is-your-street-plowed-f366bf03
Jay D February 12, 2013 at 04:38 AM
God forbid you did a story that made the town and the 1st selectman look bad!
Pem McNerney (Editor) February 12, 2013 at 09:54 AM
@ Jay ... If you'd like to weigh in on our Facebook page, that information will be used in a story (of course, you would have to use your real full name on facebook) ... and I do like the way Durham is doing that, we can do that here too. Thanks for the suggestion.
Pem McNerney (Editor) February 12, 2013 at 09:57 AM
You are also welcome to weigh in here ... http://patch.com/A-1Q1S
Paul J Coppola February 12, 2013 at 01:46 PM
Pam, I think you have done a great job of relating whats going on in town and creating a forum for information. Too bad we have people with such negative perspectives in the face of both the town administration and maintainance crews doing and absolutely herculean task with this historic storm. Keep it up.
Cathy Marsh February 12, 2013 at 03:32 PM
I join Paul in thanking you for your efforts on keeping us informed on Patch!!! Thank you!
Pem McNerney (Editor) February 12, 2013 at 03:37 PM
You're welcome! =) JD ... check the front page for story you suggested. Let us know how your street is doing. You are welcome to use your full real name, if you'd like.
Claiborne Clapsnyder February 12, 2013 at 03:45 PM
Me too.
BL Davis February 12, 2013 at 04:23 PM
Pem: Enough with the PR. Madison residents need facts so they can plan how to manage their lives. There are hundreds of people in Madison who are still snowed in and who cannot be reached by emergency vehicles. It may come as a big surprise to you, but not every house in town is occupied by a 40 year old couple with a top-of-the-line snow blower and generator. Perhaps you could publish the order in which the Town plans to plow specific roads and neighborhoods. "Secondary" and "side' doesn't help anyone. There is such a plan at Public Works, isn't there? Does the town have a list of elderly residents, some of whom live at the end of 100 foot or longer driveways, who have no chance of walking out to a plowed road to access a senior bus if there is one.? Let's have a serious discussion about how to handle emergencies, because clearly the Town's "plan" is woefully inadequate.
Gus R. Horvath February 12, 2013 at 05:06 PM
What ever happened to the concept "an act of God"
peter vanstrum February 12, 2013 at 05:35 PM
Stop complaining and get out and help others. You sound like a spoiled little kid.
Wilson February 13, 2013 at 01:43 AM
Sorry Gus, Don't make "God's Act" sound like hurricanes, fires, floods, earthquakes and such. A blizzard of a mere 25-30 inches although record setting should have been something that was planned for. At least to have streets plowed some 4 days later. We knew it was going to hit for at least 7 days ahead. There is usually some sense of surprise in an "Act of God". At a minimum we could have done what so many other towns and cities did and contract before the storm with towns outside the storm area for their heavy equipment.
BL Davis February 14, 2013 at 05:12 PM
Thank you, Wilson. I hope this awful series of storms has finally taught enough of our leaders that last minute patches to the regular maintenace schedule is not a sufficient plan to keep the residents safe and the town functioning properly. It is long past time for some serious planning for public/private partnerships to develop non-recreational services (heaven knows we've got a full supply of recreational services) and maximize the quality of such services to our taxpayers. I fear a discussion will lead at best to yet another committee and another set of recommendations that is ignored. But, please, let's start to think about where Madison is headed.


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