How Would You Rate Reading's Plowing During This Week's Storm?

Is the town off to a good start this winter?

How would you rate the town's plowing?
How would you rate the town's plowing?

The storm on Thursday and Friday dumped around a foot of snow in Reading, which meant there was plenty of the fluffy white stuff to clean up.

Now that this year's first snowstorm is in the books, it’s time for you to rate how the town's plows handled the two-day winter event.

Feel free to give praise or thanks, express frustrations or offer up constructive criticism in the comments section below.

Pat Kelly January 04, 2014 at 11:13 AM
We don't live in Reading, but just went thru there this am (Saturday) the roads were terrible!! Where is the sand?? Places where it is needed, nothing! Awful job!! Children are getting on buses on Monday, they need to get out there and do something else with the roads. Sun is not going to cut it with the cold weather we are having!
Ron Powell January 04, 2014 at 01:31 PM
Don't forget that the Town doesn't even have to plow Main Street or Lowell/Salem Street as they are plowed by the state. Those were the only two roads that were in good condition by noon on Friday -- they were both plowed down to the bare pavement and were even passable. Major town roads such as Woburn Street, Franklin Street, and Summer Ave were not safe for driving. Every car on the road -- even the four-wheel drive vehicles were sliding and fish-tailing. This was not the case in neighboring Wakefield, where Main Street, Pleasant Street, and Vernon Street were all plowed to the pavement. Neither was it the case in Lynnfield, where Walnut and Main were both plowed to the pavement.
rosie422 January 04, 2014 at 01:35 PM
The plowing , even on MAIN ST was terrible Thursday morning. Route 28 was the worst here than anywhere all the way to Salem NH....Even LAWRENCE was clear to the pavement. I'm sure our RE TAX can cover better snow plowing!!
Ron Powell January 04, 2014 at 01:35 PM
Roads could not be salted due to the low temperatures; however, the main roads could have been plowed better ... and sanded on hills. We need to hire the same contractors that Wakefield or Lynnfield are using. Those towns were done right. Sorry, Reading.
fred_willard January 04, 2014 at 01:49 PM
i don't know what the big deal is. we continue to pay outrageous taxes but in the kind gentler world everyone gets a trophy. so lets give those who are plowing a trophy and continue to pay pay pay... the more things change, the more they stay the same. keep beating that horse, it is still dead
Geo January 04, 2014 at 04:23 PM
I am wondering about snow removal and clearing of the sidewalk on Main St. You cannot walk on the sidewalk due to snow in front of all the business' starting from Calareso's on down in front of Doyans and most of the other business's heading into the center. Why is that not cleared for pedestrian traffic? It creates a very dangerous situation on a busy street.
Mr White January 04, 2014 at 04:45 PM
You folks need to start attending the Selectmen meetings and keeping up with their governance of our fair town. I believe it was a year or so ago, in an effort to save "us" money, they voted to hire a new Dir of Public Works from either Fargo, ND or Nome, AK, don't remember exactly, to institute the same type of snow management as they do in those cities. Has something to do with "snow pack" or actually leaving a layer of hard pack snow on the roads to actually improve overall traction. Those cities had found that if you try and remove all the snow and the sun comes out, what is left melts then turns to ice making it a skating rink and requiring significantly more salt, sand or other ice melting chemical. By creating the "snow pack" and maintaining it for the entire winter, the town ultimately saves money in reduced salt/sand/chemical costs as well as reducing plow-time and it looks pretty too. As some of you have noted, the need for overnight plowing during this storm was practically eliminated saving countless hours of double or triple overtime for our already overworked unionized town workers. While I'm sure there are still a few kinks to work out, I'd have to say that, so far, the BOS plan has been right on track last winter and this year, but they may need another term or two to completely educate all the town residents as to all of its benefits (and the necessity of FWD). Please remember this in the upcoming elections this year and next, I'd hate to see us revert to the old way of snow management, just trying and get rid of it all as fast as possible, seems like such a losing fight against Mother Nature.
Donna January 04, 2014 at 04:51 PM
Wow I am in the minority here- but they did well. I wouldn't say GREAT but well. I drove through Stoneham and Wakefield for various reasons and they were NOT nearly as cleared. Also, my understanding is that salt and sand will not be as effective if the temperature or the sun is not at a certain point. Yes we pay higher taxes but I think they responded well. My block is not black top- but it is plowed enough for me to get down and the main streets were good.
Mary January 04, 2014 at 05:08 PM
Mr. White. I have Front Wheel Drive known as FWD. Do you mean 4WD? As far as snow pack is concerned. It will be almost 50 by Monday. So much for SNOW PACK. High Street is brutal. I could barely get out of my driveway this afternoon after it warmed to a balmly 23 degrees. SO, GIVE ME SALT/SAND AND PLOWED PROPERLY ROADS. This isn't the MID-WEST NOR IS IT ALASKA!! This is New England. Old saying here is if you don't like the weather wait five minutes it will change. You have people who lived and worked in communities where once it got cold it stayed cold. Doesn't work in New England. DUH!!! I sure will be voting OUT whom ever is responsible for this plowing debacle!
Mr White January 04, 2014 at 05:21 PM
@Mary, Were you just ducking at the exact time my comment went clear over your head? You may want to re-read it in the vein it was intended. Fyi, the number 4 is spelled F-o-u-r:) This is going to be a great year!
Paul MacKinnon January 05, 2014 at 01:28 AM
[Paul] Linden st, I thought they did a great job. where these people out there when it was snowing ,it was coming from every direction. I was out there 8 and 10 pm and I could not keep up with it. Snow Drifts every where and I also saw the plows come buy both times I was out there. Plus I drove to the Shell on walkers brook dr to get more gas and a coffee, And drove back no problem up the hill with my 92 Chevy caviler Front wheel drive. And I herd the plows go by why I was in bed.. Got up in the morning and the st was clear. These People that don't know how to Drive,4wheel drive, All wheel drive any wheel drive, Did not listen to Weather people do not Drive unless it was an Emergency.
Paul MacKinnon January 05, 2014 at 01:39 AM
Also when I went out the next morning it looked like I did not do any thing the night before. READING YOU DID A GREAT JOB IN BOOKS. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.!!!!!!!!!
Ron Powell January 05, 2014 at 03:09 AM
What Geo said. Not only are they not plowing their sidewalks, but Doyens is dumping its snow on the pedestrian side walk, and so is Calareso's . Shame on you, Calareso's. I shop from you all of the time, but shame on you, still.
Ron Powell January 05, 2014 at 03:20 AM
Save money AND look pretty by leaving the snow there on the road -- is that how they are packaging this, Mr. White? There may not be enough salt and sand in Reading, but we seem to be good with the manure.
Mr White January 05, 2014 at 04:09 AM
@ Ron Powell Please help me understand, is it that I've lost my touch or have those Reading residents who read the Patch completely lost their sense of humor? Do me a favor and re-read my original comment with your sarcasm glasses on and then let me know what you think:) It's already been a long year.....
joan January 05, 2014 at 06:37 AM
Horrible job. Skidding around corners, Secondary roads are dangerous! But the latest tax bill did make it to my snowy mailbox!!
Mary January 05, 2014 at 08:06 AM
Mr. White. FWD means Front Wheel Drive. 4WD means Four Wheel Drive. Your comment states FWD! Maybe you should not try to aim higher than you should. I work in the auto industry and only a newb would make that mistake.
Mary January 05, 2014 at 08:10 AM
Tried to go out yesterday at 2PM. Couldn't get up High Street out of my driveway. Sat there spinning my wheels with traction control on for 2 minutes trying to get through the SH*T left by the snow plows. Stop trying to save the blades and put the dang things to the ground and plow this. Now we have freezing rain coming in today and not a bit of sand/salt on the ground. GOOD JOB DPW!!
Mr White January 05, 2014 at 09:23 AM
@Mary, O.M.G.! FWD, 4WD, AWD, Full-Time 4WD, Part-Time AWD, LSD (the Limited-Slip Differential kind, sorry), Posi-Traction, traction control, ESP, DTSC etc......WHO CARES!!! Please stick to your day job dealing with internal combustion horsepower and leave the mental horsepower to those better equipped.
Fred Van Magness Sr. January 05, 2014 at 09:34 AM
Franklin St on the East side of Main and all of Haverhill St. are great...down to pavement all along. Franklin St. on the West side of Main is terrible. Same thing for Grove St. It seems like there were two different people managing the plowing. Side streets are brutal. After the storm was over, we usually see a town truck or two doing final cleanup. This storm, the crews disappeared and never made final cleanup. I saw contractor plows with blade protectors that never had a chance to get down to pavement...they just rode on top of the snow. Where are our DPW supervisors seeing that contractors do not use things that keep their blades high? Who was supervising the Franklin/Grove area....? They need to be trained better. Overall, a light snow to move around and an overall poorer job than usual. I would hope the BOS does a public postmortem on this less than stellar effort.
Mr White January 05, 2014 at 10:06 AM
@FVMS I think you're a wee bit generous with your credit. The volume of cars traveling along Haverhill St and the Franklin St cut-over did most of the work. Franklin St west of Main and Grove St see about 1/10th the traffic. Though, I do appreciate your "more fly's with honey" attempt in engaging the BOS/DPW.
Fred Van Magness Sr. January 05, 2014 at 10:30 AM
Mr. White, While I understand your observation, with the small travel lanes of Franklin (East) and Haverhill, I would expect to see tire "ruts" of clear pavement, not what I have observed as clear pavement across the entire road surface. IMO, that probably isn"t a full result of higher traffic volumes but is more indicative of a better clearing effort.
Ron Powell January 05, 2014 at 12:13 PM
Mr. White, I do believe both of our attempts at humor went unheralded. It's not always easy to gauge the tone or intent of other commenters given the inability to read body language and facial expressions. I'm on page now, though. May this be your best year yet. Cheers!
Robert January 05, 2014 at 12:26 PM
Franklin was still horrible this morning from grove to 28 - like they forgot to plow it one last time - Grove was fine, 28 was fine and franklin from 28 to haverhill st was fine, but for some reason Franklin seems to not have received enough. Also the whole idea of leaving snow pack (I grew up in Canada) is ridiculous because this only works when the temp stays low enough not to melt and turn the snow pack to slush and then ice - this is NE and it will be raining and 50 tomorrow which will turn any snow pack left to slush and require removal. If it didn't rain, it would slowly melt on those warmer days and refreeze to ice at night making it dangerous. They need to clear as much as possible salt and sand and take it down to bare pavement - that is what works in NE.
Joyce Allen Nakhoul January 05, 2014 at 12:35 PM
Pine Ridge Road was great! Thanks to all the plowers out there!
Ron Powell January 05, 2014 at 01:16 PM
It is very hit and miss. Pine Ridge Road and Oak Street are fine; Oak Ridge Road (next street over from Pine) was a bit less than fine through last night. Avalon (off of Pine Ridge Road) is fine in some spots and not-so-fine in others. South Street (which intersects with Pine Ridge Road) is still a slushy mess, as is Walnut Street in most spots. All of these streets are in close proximity to each other. It is almost as if you know someone, your street gets plowed well; otherwise, good luck. You really roll the dice when you get out on the roads.
Mary January 05, 2014 at 11:18 PM
Mr. White, while my comment was to educate YOU on the correct usage of the terminology regarding FWD and 4WD. You sir decided to become abusive. So, any comments you have are belittled down to swill. Good day and please do not reply. I'm done with your insulting ways. Grow up!
Rohan Goodsir January 14, 2014 at 10:00 AM
I won’t cover Reading’s miserable effort of plowing, as it’s been covered here to death. But what gets me steamed, is that MBTA can completely clear their parking lots, platforms and paths at Reading train station, but as soon as you go over the property line into Reading territory – forget snowplows – the town couldn’t even SHOVEL A PATHWAY through the snow for commuters to access the MBTA property. I had to push my way through 2-foot + snowdrifts. Grade: FAIL
Pat Harney February 13, 2014 at 09:54 AM
As a plow contractor for another town I think reading does a bad job when I comes to snow and ice control.
Mr White February 13, 2014 at 10:18 AM
@Pat Harney, Can you offer any suggestions on how Reading could improve it's snow & ice control? There are lots of us complaining about the poor showings our DPW continues to produce but I'm a bigger fan of solutions on how to make things better. No one on this thread has offered any solutions and you are the first to acknowledge having any real experience who also thinks Reading can do a better job. I'd like to hear some solid recommendations which we could bring to the BOS during their next public meeting. TIA!


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