Saturday, December 15, 2007

Unintended Consequence of Progressive Ideas, No. 64,349

Kevin Fischer links to this report from Madison's Channel 3 on the difficulties of that city's snowplow drivers in negotiating around the numerous traffic islands that have been installed as "traffic calming" measures.
Longtime snowplow operator Todd Endres has been working 16-hour shifts, but he said the job is only getting tougher.

It's already a tight squeeze getting a 12-ton truck with an 11-foot plow through streets made skinny by record snow. But throw a lot of piles of cement right in the middle of the road and Endres said it adds up to a snowplow driver's nightmare.

"The traffic calming devices or pedestrian safety islands or roundabouts or speed bumps -- I, along with just about everybody that plows, hate them," Endres said.

The devices are meant to slow down speeders, but they also slow down snowplows as they carefully find their way around or over the traffic islands.

"It's a rocky road. You got to go slow because you can break the suspension on the truck," Endres said.
The report doesn't do it justice, watch the video.
"First of all, when you [...] don't see them, and you hit them and it jars the whole truck," Endres said.

He said that missing a traffic island can bounce a driver through the roof of his truck. He called that "teeth shattering."But he added that even those traffic calming devices that are plainly marked pose a challenge.

At one roundabout Wednesday, Endres demonstrated how his plow could not go around it correctly -- it wouldn't fit. He had to stop and back up, clogging traffic. He ended up making an illegal left turn in front of the roundabout just to continue his route.

"Traffic calming" is the term coined by Madison's anti-auto fanatics (you know, the ones showing their love for Paul Soglin) for the concrete obstructions they have planted throughout the city. They even have an official policy in this manual. These anti-SUV barriers are actually rather attractive in the summer, but like lite-rail, their proponents have not factored in Wisconsin winters.

Chalk up another one to the Law of Unintended Consequences.

1 comment:

Dad29 said...

Kate Bloomberg, the biggest mouth ever to occupy the office of Mayor of Brookfield, decided to allow developments with "bump-out" curbs--another complete pain in the ass for snowplows...

And to show you how utterly stupid she is, her OK came AFTER the City of Milwaukee had torn the same things out of Mitchell Street...