The city of Columbus isn't ready to take another powder. That's the sentiment of some Northwest Side business owners, who are giving a resounding rebuke to the city's latest snow-removal efforts.
The city of Columbus isn't ready to take another powder.
That's the sentiment of some Northwest Side business owners, who are giving a resounding rebuke to the city's latest snow-removal efforts.
Portions of Bethel, Hard and Smoky Row roads remained pocked with ice craters Friday. Two days after the storm, motorists were moving at a snail's pace along the craggy thoroughfares. When major roads get bulldozed, crews create an icy barrier along neighborhood streets.
"I'm really disgruntled," said Kenny DiLorenzo, owner of Krazy Kenny's Custom Computers on Sawmill Road. "It's amazing to me they weren't able to get it done" in a faster manner.
Helen Louie, co-owner of Sun Tong Long in the Carriage Place Shopping Center at Bethel and Sawmill, said she's lost about 35 percent of her business over the last two days because of the road conditions.
"They need to get out sooner," she said of snow crews.
She gives the city a C- for its work.
"I'd rather they give me one lane that's all clear but we have two lanes with ice piled up in between -- and some ice isn't removed at all," she said.
Several storefronts down, Tropical Trends owner Wendy Rinehart is frustrated by the city's response to the snowfall.
"My parking lot was better than Bethel Road," she said. "We definitely lose business."
Rinehart suggests Columbus pattern its snow-removal efforts after cities that have effective programs.
Mary Carran Webster, assistant director of public service, said this week's storm was particularly difficult for the city because of its duration and temperature changes.
"This was like a three- or four-layer cake," she said. "We had snow, we had ice, we had freezing rain, we had snow. It has been extremely challenging to clear the roads, in part because this storm lasted quite a long time."
Still, she understands people's irritation.
"This was especially challenging and we understand some roads in some areas of the city ... were not addressed as quickly and thoroughly as folks are used to," she said. "We're very sorry about that. We've been doing the best we can."
Rosemarie Lisko, a neighborhood activist who lives on the Northwest Side, said the city's poor growth management leads to snow-removal problems and other infrastructure issues.
"They brag about how much they've grown, but they don't keep up with anything," she said.
Lisko lives in the Indian Hills subdivision, where residents pay a homeowners association fee of $75 per year, part of which goes toward hiring a private contractor to remove snow a few times a year.
She doesn't hold out hope the situation in Columbus will improve.
"They're probably doing the best they could with what they have to work with," she said. "Could it be better? Definitely. Could it be worse? I don't know how."
John Best, president of the Far Northwest Coalition, urges motorists to be patient but feels the city could hire more private contractors.
"There's always room for improvement no matter where you set the bar," he said. "I know people want instantaneous turnaround."