THE WHITE DEATH RETURNS: WHEN WILL PEOPLE SAY ENOUGH?
We enjoyed a mild winter until late January 2007 sparing us the annual road salt blitz perpetrated on us by local and state governments. However, with the arrival of a few Alberta Clippers dropping several dustings of light snow; the salt trucks have dumped tons of road salt on neighborhood and city streets, county roads and state highways.
If a cost-benefit analysis of this annual ritual were done- the costs would far outweigh any benefits. The costs include: premature rusting of very expensive motor vehicles and deterioration of the exteriors of homes and buildings which, in turn, requires more costs for repairs, painting, etc.; premature death of street trees which erodes the quality of life in residential neighborhoods, more rapid deterioration of roads, highways, bridges which, in turn, require more expenditures for repairs...and most important of all...the untold health costs resulting from inhaling polluted air containing a mixture road salt, vehicle emissions and heating oil emissions from chimneys. Has anyone considered the synergystic effect? Is there any relationship to the growth of asthma and impaired lung capacity , other respiratory ailments and other health problems including high blood pressure, particularly among children, in urban places?
Look around neighborhood and local streets, highways, parking lots! Look at your deteriorating vehicles and home exteriors! Does this make any sense? Why? So, fools can continue to speed along neighborhood streets and highways when road surface and weather conditions require that prudent drivers slow down?
Road salt accumulation has exceeded snow fall accummulations, this winter.
Consider this entry posted March 8, 2005 on Lonerangeralbany:
WHO WILL SAVE ALBANY FROM THE WHITE DEATH?
WHERE IS ARCHIE GOODBEE WHEN WE NEED HIM?
Tons of road salt dumped on city streets, rotting our expensive motor vehicles, eroding roadways, killing street trees. Salt laden snow turns to a heavy, dirty slush. Speeding City snow plows create tsunami-like waves of grime which break over curb islands, burying tree trunks, sidewalks, lawns and driveway entrances in tons of heavy , grey-black slush.
Why? So, speeding traffic can continue to fly by. exceeding city speed limits, on main residential streets, like New Scotland and Western Aves.
When the snow and slush melt. Tons of white-grey powder are left behind on roadsides and roadways, becoming airborne with the passage of the speeding traffic. Salt laden March winds sandblast the exteriors of our homes, resulting in more, and frequent, painting and other expensive maintenance by homeowners.
Worse still, we are forced to breathe this deadly mix of road salt and vehicle exhausts. No doubt, increasing asthma, emphysema, high blood pressure and a host of other serious health problems. Not to worry, Hospice is just down the road.
Who will save Albany from this white death? Where is Archie Goodbee when we need him?
J P Sullivan