Reading Blizzard Update from Town Manager

An update from Town Hall.

The following was submitted by Town Manager Peter I. Hechenbleikner:

Reading received 24 +/- inches of snow in the blizzard of 2013.

All roads are passable thanks to the excellent work of our DPW employees and contractors, who worked over 36 hours straight to keep the Town of Reading operational. The driving ban and on street parking ban helped to facilitate the storm response, and we appreciate residents continued cooperation as we continue to address the impact of this storm..

While all roads are passable, most are still snow packed, and they are very narrow.  Most sidewalks are not yet cleared. Motorists and pedestrians need to use extreme caution. Remember, it is a violation of Town bylaw to place snow on a Town Street or sidewalk.

Next steps are:


  • Sanding all roads to take advantage of the warm weather and sun to meld off snow/ice      
  • Continued scraping of roads     
  • Sidewalk plowing on priority routes


Sunday night      

  • First pass at snow removal in downtown and commuter parking areas


  • Removal of snow at drop off areas at all schools   
  • Continued sidewalk plowing  
  • Continued scraping of roads   
  • Road widening in priority areas


Monday night   

  • Continue/Completion of snow removal – downtown and commuter parking areas

Rest of Week   

  • Continued scraping and widening of roads   
  • Continued sidewalk plowing
Ron Powell February 10, 2013 at 07:02 PM
Reading received 26.2 inches to be exact. Melrose received 28 inches, as did Wakefield and Stoneham. And while I have no doubt that DPW crews worked very hard, the fact of the matter is that the roads in that city and those towns are in far better condition than Reading's roads. This is the second storm this year where Reading's response has been less than satisfactory (you will recall the storm on the weekend before New Year's left many roads covered with snow more than 12 hours after the storm had stopped, and 24 hours after the heaviest snowfall occurred). I know that everyone is working hard, but perhaps we need to examine why this is the case, and see if we can't be more efficient with our road cleanup.
Rob February 10, 2013 at 07:53 PM
I agree, after being out and driving around - it seems Reading is behind the 8 ball and I have not seen one plow out in almost 24 hrs now anywhere in my area of town. Also very disappointing that school has been cancelled since they have not been plowed yet, looking at cancellations in the area, Reading so far is the only school in the area closed.
Doug Atoms February 10, 2013 at 08:48 PM
Ron, Great point, the corner of summer and oak is a train wreck! Only one car can drive in that area. I took a left onto oak and there was another car coming down and I had to back up onto summer so we did not collide. Can respect the amount of hours they put into plowing but with a 24 hour driving ban, the roads need to be better. Not really sure I would use the word "excellent" with describing the job done by the DPW. Lets just keep raising taxes and get subpar performance by the town when the citizens need it most.
Dennis February 10, 2013 at 09:21 PM
When a town dept (like RMLD) do a great job, by all means praise them. This "pat on the back" by Peter H is mind boggling. Let The Sun Shine.....our best means of "snow removal" in Reading, MA.
pomeroy41144 February 10, 2013 at 10:21 PM
Called the RMLD Thursday PM with a concern about a branch over the electrical supply wire to my house. Friday @7:30 AM there was a crew out trimming the branch. Great service !
resreading February 10, 2013 at 11:57 PM
The road/street conditions in this town compared to our Neighbors roads/street is unexceptable.... where were the plows last night and today???
SJ February 11, 2013 at 02:06 PM
I absolutely agree with Ron. Reading did a POOR job. My husband and I went out Saturday night in our pickup truck to assess the situation and yesterday afternoon. The roads in Woburn and Burlington were like night and day compared to Reading. Literally, when you crossed over the town border the difference was amazing. I am not impressed at all.
Fred Willard February 11, 2013 at 02:47 PM
The TM's statement about the roads being excellent is out of touch with reality and what the road quality really is..... he would have been better saying they are an embarrassment ... I don't know where he was looking... my area is nothing to be proud of.... ....
Mike Cashins February 11, 2013 at 02:59 PM
People traveling into Reading commented how bad the roads were compared to everywhere else. They stated it looked like no plows had touched the roads. Not sure why Reading's response to the storm is so bad. It is disappointing that the Town Manager is congratulating this performance.
Bruno Tataglia February 11, 2013 at 04:06 PM
Why did they cancel school if they are not using the day to do more cleanup? The piles at the corners of all intersections need to be knocked down and the roads need to be widened. Get to it people! This is why Readings taxes are so high. Aren't we paying for this to be done?
Kendrick See February 11, 2013 at 06:10 PM
I would clear the fire hydrant and storm drains if Reading would publish their location on the GIS maps. I don't find that info in any other department's website sections. I'm sure the info is already mapped.
Diane Sinatra February 11, 2013 at 06:29 PM
I cannot believe the condition of the roads in Reading. John St is almost impassible and the corner of Woburn and Bancroft is very dangerous. How is it possible that this can be deemed acceptable
Dennis February 11, 2013 at 07:03 PM
Maybe the Patch, as a source of News in the Community can followup with the Town Manager and get clarification of his delusional update from yesterday. June 30th (his retirement) is coming, maybe he's just having some fun with this ???
Charles February 12, 2013 at 12:53 AM
You need to look at the source of the praise - Peter H. This is a guy who forgot to check to see if the roof was included in the library cost, town appr. miscalculated our property taxes by 2M. Memorial Park - what happen to the lights???? He took 700K from a taxpayer and now we have less time to use the park. Hopefully, the next guy/gal will have a clue.
Ron Powell February 12, 2013 at 01:01 AM
I don't mean to make it personal. I like our Town Manager, I've worked with him in town government, and I see him all of the time at the gym. He's a decent enough guy. But I just think that the Town can do better here. We either need to stagger shifts, to find a new contractor, or to do a better job of targeting the key zones on the heat map.
Dave Miskinis February 12, 2013 at 12:56 PM
I saw DPW trucks drive by my house several times Saturday while I was shoveling. Many times, their plows were up. What about the smaller green town trucks that always have two guys in them. Again, they were not plowing either. In my opinion, this is how they extend their overtime hours. Reading roads are extremely dangerous right now for pedestrians. Please watch out for them.
Dennis February 12, 2013 at 01:07 PM
Not to beat a dead horse that has been beaten into submission, but does this town salt and sand anymore??? My street last saw a plow at 10am on Saturday. My street last saw a sander.....never in this storm. I put Calcium Chloride all around my trash and recycles ON my street so the guys throwing trash into trucks don't fall on their face. The street near the High School Oakland St has one lane on the hill/curve that is literally about 3 feet wide. Major trafic jam there this AM. Three days out from the last snowflake. I guess our taxes need to rise again huh???
Ron Powell February 12, 2013 at 04:06 PM
I saw the same thing. One plow practically drove me off the road heading the opposite direction with his plow up on Summer Ave on Saturday night. He was driving down the middle of Summer Ave, plow up, with about four inches of snow on the street. I had to pull off the road to let him by. He never moved over -- kept driving down the center of the road with his plow up. Really.
High Tax payer February 13, 2013 at 03:34 PM
I like to know when the corners of intersection will be pushed back? When is Route 28 going to be back to 2 lanes instead of 11/2. The hired contractors should be taught to plow on a staggered not one directly behind each other. The width of the roads could of been much wider you just need to push back from the start, imagine what the streets would look like if there where existing snow banks.


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