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A snowstorm’s long lasting existence and complications

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By Kevin Mercado

Opinions Editor

opinions.asp@gmail.com

March 10, 2015

In recent weeks, Albany has received tons of snowfall and the retaliative efforts plowers have made are futile.

   Albany has gone through a series of snowstorms over the course of its winter season. And, while not completely behind the winter season, the constant snowfall has seemed to lift for a while. Students can bask in the glory of sunlight finally beaming down at them and not having to brace the flurries.

   However, while the snow is no longer falling from the skies, we still have to face the mountainous piles of snow and ice blocks that is left behind. Many shortcuts and easier routes have been blockaded, walking over mounds of snow that sticks to the ground makes it harder and more tiresome to walk, and the cold, icy winds slow people down.

   It’s very well expected that Albany will have rough winters: it has never had a good track record when it comes to weather. But, there could be a better source of action taken during this time.

   Not only has walking become an issue, but driving has too. There have been several warnings that the roads in the Capital District are or have been covered in snow and ice. Seeing as the university has ceased to cancel class in the case of potential snowstorms, students who commute to campus or live on Alumni Quad have had to suffer delayed bus schedules and slower traffic to avoid slipping and sliding on the ice.

   The university has issued out several notices regarding the slow traffic and the delayed bus schedules indicating that the commute will be a bit slower due to the “inclement weather conditions.” The snow affects the students’ travels to class, especially the commuting students.

   Walking around the campus has been an issue as well. Travelling from the university apartments becomes an issue when, after several days of sunny skies and no snow, the sidewalks have yet to be completely plowed, or it was plowed and the plow trucks moved other snow piles and put it back onto the already plowed spot. Either way, students are being forced to dodge the mighty piles of snow on top of avoiding the sidewalks that are too icy or slippery to walk on. This leaves students to walk on the side of the streets and keep on the lookout for possible passing cars that are trying to go in the same direction. The cars are also trying to drive slowly to avoid spinning out of control and getting into an accident.

   This snow has been extremely detrimental to travelling times as well. Trying to predict an ordinary 10 minute walk to campus gets harder in the snow. Usually walking from a campus apartment to the podium takes 10 to 15 minutes. When factoring in the possible snowfall, the wind, the cold air and whatever flurries are falling from the roofs of buildings, you have to add a couple more minutes. You also have to add on a few minutes to accommodate all of the shortcuts that are blocked off and having to actually turn every corner. It becomes harder to count on buses, as it is now unpredictable as to when they will actually arrive.

   The podium itself is also unplowed. Trying to open the already heavy doors to any of the academic buildings becomes intensely difficult. One has to now keep a steady balance on the snow to pull the door that pushes snow out of its way.

   Although, the snow is an issue in many ways, it does help to give plowers a job to do. The one good thing about the snow is that it gives more money to the people who are forced firsthand to brave the storms in order to protect everyone else.   

   Snow is out of any of our control, but plowing still needs to be much more of a priority. It is still rather difficult to get around even when the streets are “plowed.” People cannot be reliant on the ice melting away on its own. Pushing all of the snow over to one side doesn’t remove the issue either: it creates more complications. Perhaps more salting of the streets will wipe the streets clean, at least until the next snowstorm.

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