Should Tulsa plow residential streets?

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Reported by: Ian Silver
Updated: 12/12/2013 7:19 pm Published: 12/12/2013 5:18 pm

Another day of above freezing temperatures helped get rid of sheets of ice blanketing neighborhoods across Tulsa.

On Thursday a Tulsa city councilor proposed the city clean residential streets in future winter storms.

Jack Henderson said plenty of cities handle clearing all their roads, not just the main arterial streets.

The question is, can Tulsa handle the cost of plowing residential streets?

"I think the idea of having that for our city would be a great idea. However, I don't think that it's feasible, you know, to have that done for the entire city," said Karen Spradlin, a Tulsan.

She doesn't think most Tulsans would be willing to shell out the extra cash.

"It just depends on how much. From what I gather, I understand that it might be a little bit, you know, expensive," she said.

Dan Crossland is the director of the city's Streets Department and said he'll look into the numbers, but he already knows, "It's going to be expensive. There's just no way around that. How much money is it costing the city not to clean those streets? How many people miss work? How many people -- the kids stay at home ... how much money are we losing?"

Henderson said we've done it before.

"The last big storm we hired people to go out in neighborhoods, private contractors, and help clean those streets."

But Crossland said after the blizzard in 2011 contractors only cleared arterial streets, not residential, and the only reason the city could afford that $1.5 million cost was because the federal government paid the city back.

"Buying the equipment would not be the hard part. The hard part would be the personnel," he said.

With the city on a hiring freeze, Crossland is already dealing with about half the staff he used to have and he would need more than double the normal staff to get through the entire city.

Tulsa has a lot of streets. In fact, plowing all of them would be the equivalent of plowing from New York City to Los Angeles to Tulsa and still having 500 miles left to cover.

The only solution, he says, would be to hire private contractors.

Crossland said based on past bids it would cost the city about $400 an hour to hire contractors and even if they worked around the clock, it would still take several days to clear the entire city.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

Mayor Maynot - 12/13/2013 2:54 AM
0 Votes
KarlS hneider :-) You want someone to come over and play with your *** . King turd ain't ya.

Grammy - 12/12/2013 8:55 PM
0 Votes
And just how are we supposed to pay for it? Our taxes are already high enough and we can't even keep our streets in good condition!

carolsue1ok - 12/12/2013 7:44 PM
0 Votes
Of course they should plow the streets,all the streets. What are you doing living in the stone ages. Other states would be laughing at you right now. and the citizens should shovel their sidewalks. I did in Ohio and Virginia.If you don't want to shovel your walks then hire a teen to do it. Other states would not let that little bit of show stop them for more then a day or two.

carolsue1ok - 12/12/2013 7:41 PM
0 Votes
are you serious? If you lived in another state like Ohio or Virginia they would be laughing at you so bad right now. What are you doing living in the stone age? Of course they should plow all the roads. people should shovel their sidewalks. How else do you get to met your neighbors ? You shovel your sidewalk or move your yard. People met, talk about how bad the weather is. I can't believe how backwards Ok is sometimes. Snow doesn't always melt in 24 hours and yes people do walk especially if there is too much snow and they need to get to the store.

karlschneider - 12/12/2013 7:10 PM
0 Votes
YES. They should also send someone to make my coffee and cook my eggs benedict every morning. And wipe my *** too. I am a citizen and I am entitled to be treated like a king.

Mayor Maynot - 12/12/2013 7:01 PM
0 Votes
NO. The incidental problems that would be created from that endeavor would far exceed the benefit. In areas where they have a bunch of snow the drivers are trained to park on the correct side of the street on odd or even days. But there is just not enough snow in this area to warrant that. Then if one of those plows damaged a citizens car. Insurance would probably be high for those type of jobs.
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