Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Disproportionately Stuck!

So here we are in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, in the grips of the a cold spell, complete with snow and ice that has three fourths of the country shivering to the bone!
We usually shut down the city during periods like this. We don't get a lot of practice with weather like this and with temperatures and wind chills the coldest they've been here since '96...well, most natives are just trying to persevere until June. 
With schools, businesses, most Super Bowl related activities ground to a halt in Sundance Square, you'd think that there would be every effort not to stoke collective paranoia to go along with weather imposed cabin fever...right?
Well, obviously not so 'right'.

It appears that there is a issue with the attention given to major highways in northern area of Dallas vs. those in the southern part of the city. It seems that highways and overpasses were sanded much earlier and more completely in the north than in the south. Now the Texas Department of Transportation says, 'not so'. But a quick look says they may be a little too fast in tapping the self defense button...
""Let me say this. The Dallas district has its forces spread out equally all up and down the district," said TxDOT spokesman Mark Pettit."
"But US 75 at the treacherous High Five interchange at LBJ Freeway looked well groomed around noon."
"We looked at cameras showing I-20 at Kelly Elliot; Spur 408 at Kiest Road; I-20 at Hampton Road; I-20 at Wheatland Road; I-35E at Danieldale Road; US 67 at Camp Wisdom Road; and US 67 at I-20."
"All are in the city's southern sector; all showed trouble spots."
"TxDOT says it committed any additional crews that were brought in to North Texas for Super Bowl week duty to the most heavily-traveled corridors: I-30, I-35E, Highway 183, Highway 114, and US 75."
""Once those start to clear and we get those roads clearing up, we'll move our forces to wherever we have the need," Pettit said. "If that's the south, at the time, then that's where we'll be sending them.""
Here's the thing: if you live in the southern part of the Dallas area, you can't get out without taking a highway or a bridge...all of which were covered with ice and snow. In the southern part of the city there are people who have to go to work, just as in the northern part. And while there are people in the northern and southern parts of Dallas who won't venture out of the house when we have weather like this (my mother lives in the north Dallas and I'm surprised she went to the front yard to get the paper!) all major highways should have the same attention for those who must travel. 
TxDOT says that the northern sector of Dallas didn't receive special treatment. Well, that means the southern part did...we received treatment that was specially insensitive and an explanation that was specially insulting.
Making a big deal out of nothing? Maybe. But then again, if the highways were sanded equally, we'd have something else to talk about, now wouldn't we?

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