Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Could you please move that snow? February 27, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 10:00 AM

By my house, earlier this month.

IT’S ABOUT TIME, I think, as I watch city crews remove snow at the intersection by my house Friday morning.

For months, high banks of snow have blocked drivers’ views of oncoming traffic. It’s been like a cat-and-mouse game with motorists creeping out, cautiously easing vehicles into the edge of the traffic lane, hoping to avoid an accident.

All over Faribault, except in the downtown area, visibility at intersections has been bad.

All winter.

And, perhaps because I live along one of the city’s busiest streets, the problem has been more noticeable to me, more worrisome.

So I welcome the beep-beep-beep of the loader backing up. I welcome the shudder of the house as the mammoth machine scrapes the pavement and lifts boulder-size snow chunks. I welcome the thunk of snow plummeting into the dump truck.

Yes, I’m happy that city streets will now be safer.

But later, I discover that my thankfulness was a bit premature. As my husband and I head out for the evening on Friday, attempting to pull from our side street onto the main road past our house, we note that the snow to the left is now higher, visibility more diminished.

We’re having an even tougher time seeing oncoming vehicles in the lane closest to us than before today’s snow removal.

How could this happen?

“They just moved the snow from the corner and piled it higher there,” my husband says.

He’s right.

“There” is directly in the sight-line to spot oncoming traffic.

For all the time city workers pushed and moved snow, I did not expect this. But I suppose, when you’re sitting high in a loader or a dump truck, your line of vision is skewed. A snowbank that appears low is really high, at least for the average motorist.

Now, I suppose, we’ll simply need to wait for sunshine and warm temps to reduce the hazardous snow piles. Unless, of course, city crews would like to return to my neighborhood and play in the snow again.




© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling