Rate Salem's Plowing During the Blizzard of 2013

Are you satisfied or frustrated with how the city handled the area’s fifth largest snowstorm in history? Let us know by posting a comment below.

Now that the snow has fallen, and started to melt, it’s your time to rate how Salem's plows handled the nearly two feet of snow that fell Friday and Saturday.

On a scale from one to ten, feel free to give praise or thanks, express frustrations or offer up constructive criticism in the comments below.

The blizzard dumped 25 inches of snow on Salem, according to a trained observer cited by the National Weather Service.

When you're doling out your rating, keep in mind the challenge those plow drivers faced: The blizzard is expected to rank among the top five worst Boston-area storms since records have been kept.

[Editor's note: The estimated snow total for Salem has been updated since this item was first posted.]

JstSayn February 11, 2013 at 06:50 PM
why are the streets in Salem plowed by the State so much better than the ones done by Salem?
Drew Meger February 11, 2013 at 06:54 PM
The frequency of the plows was great on out side street. On Friday it seemed like there was one every 15-20 minutes with larger city trucks coming on the hour. The issue, though, is that you can't just shove the snow aside. It needs to go somewhere, especially when you factor in the wind that undid a bunch of work on Saturday. So to improve, next time cart away more snow. That will help reduce the size of the curbside piles and mean less work for all in the long run.
JessS February 11, 2013 at 07:42 PM
2. and did anyone venture into the T commuter lot this morining? WORST plow job EVER!
Kristin S February 11, 2013 at 07:58 PM
I would say terrible - we drove from Salem into Peabody yesterday and immediately could tell where the town line was because Peabody's streets were plowed down to the pavement (or at least salted so they were). Salem's main streets were still pretty full of snow and the side streets are horrible. Not sure where everyone is going to park since we can only get a car up the street due to its width...I give them a 4 since they did actually plow the streets...and they are drivable (mostly)
Bob February 11, 2013 at 08:09 PM
Salem is directly on the coast and got the brunt of the storm. Much harder to plow. Peabody is more inland. I give Salem a ten because I like the no parking on the street due to no room.
SouthSalemCruiser February 11, 2013 at 08:39 PM
For the first storm ever the plows were going up and down Wisteria St. every half hour or so. I think they did a great job considering the enormity of the storm. I drove into Marblehead on Sunday...now that was a horrible plow job. All the streets in Marblehead were nearly impassible. I noticed the problems starting on Salem streets after the storm because people shoveled / blew the snow into the streets.
Liz C February 11, 2013 at 09:07 PM
Terrible rating for this storm! The City appeared to be well-prepared for this storm -- all residents complied with the off-street parking so plows would be able to clear the streets curb-to-curb. DID NOT HAPPEN on Japonica Street! Before the storm even began, there were plows seen on Japonica Street but then none for the day following the storm nor the day after that. The street is an awful mess and there definitely was NO CURB-TO-CURB plowing. The street wasn't even treated! Residents of Japonica Street cannot drive up or down the street. Cars are getting stuck and God forbid if there an emergency. Firetrucks will not be able to get down the street! If the City is going to enforce off-street parking for curb-to-curb plowing, then it should be done as specified. All the residents complied by promptly removing the snow from their property, sidewalks and cleared the hydrants but the City of Salem DID NOT clear the street curb to curb nor did they 'treat' the street with sand/salt. Whoever was hired for this blizzard, should be reprimanded. They did an awful job. Hopefully the street will be plowed curb-to-curb soon and the street will be treated properly so cars can drive without getting stuck.
shannon February 11, 2013 at 09:36 PM
did salem forget about the ferry parking lot..... so many people standing there 1 trying to find their car 2 scratching their heads not knowing where to begin....i saw a plow truck pulll in back up and leave.... i dont think salem did a good job with plowing in regards to the ferry
Bob February 11, 2013 at 09:42 PM
I blame the mayor for allowing the storm to dump 25" of snow. She should have prevented it from coming and disrupting our lives. I sure hope she can stop a earthquake !
john February 11, 2013 at 10:44 PM
After a year and a half of almost no snow,how long will it be before the mayor says she needs to find the money for the cleanup? I paid my share so don't tell me you didn't save it?
Chatcher February 11, 2013 at 11:16 PM
I have to agree that Japonica is a mess. There is only room for one car and its a two way street. The bankings are high because there was no where to put the snow and it was never plowed curb to curb. Not even close. They finally came late today and cleared a single path to bare ground. They also cleaned up the streets above that come in from tremont and school but its still dangerous.
Bob February 11, 2013 at 11:27 PM
I can't believe you people. Anyone who lived through the storm of 78 will tell you we had so much snow in the streets the national guard had to bring giant bulldozers to clean them. We had 1 week of no work, no school, and no power. And we also had a great time walking all over Salem with beer on the snowbanks and people were so friendly and each helping our nieghbor. Today it's a selfish generation of me 1st attitudes who don't have clue what a real disaster is.Just saying.
Kat Casey February 12, 2013 at 12:24 AM
It should be noted that during the storm of '78, people were already dealing with over a foot of snow BEFORE the storm hit. After 30 so years, you would expect our planning and technology to be better. I have to admit I am selfish, I want to be able to go to Salem State without crashing into other cars on the road, finding a parking spot where I won't get towed and being unable to walk to class.
Bob February 12, 2013 at 01:03 AM
Ms. Casey, the people in NJ and NY would like to have a car, a home, after there storm. A parking spot??? Thats it?? We go through a few days of discomfort. They are still after months still in lets say discomfort. I think you should call the mayor and tell her your upset with her for allowing a snowstorm to take away your parking spots.
Chris February 12, 2013 at 01:48 AM
Ditto on the difference between the same road in Peabody and in Salem, and one City being 'directly on the coast' doesn't explain the stark difference on the 'border' with Peabody. It's normal for side streets to suck the day after a storm, but not one of the major roads in and out of the City. Hopefully the City noticed and gets some advice from neighbouring towns. I expect that a lot of the reason for the poor response is that Salem is currently without a DPW Director, the last guy retired in November and the new guy starts Feb 19th.
Armand February 12, 2013 at 02:27 AM
My only complaint CURB TO CURB. When I plowed for Salem years ago we went CURB TO CURB or we wouldn't have a job. Reason for CURB TO CURB is back to back storms. This would also save extra trips after storm which adds to cost of storm. DOWN TOWN (9) SIDE STREETS (3)
RN1317 February 12, 2013 at 04:46 AM
I thought the small side streets in the historic district were difficult to plow but done well on Sunday. The main streets on sat were not as good as i expected once the ban was lifted
Harry Barker February 12, 2013 at 04:50 AM
The city did a great job. Keeping the cars off the street helped immensely. It was a very challenging job, so lighten up folks. We'll put you in charge for the next one and see how you big talkers do. Kudos to the mayor and her whole team.
Diane Wolf February 12, 2013 at 05:45 AM
I must say that I am unhappy with the state of our little one way side street as well as the ferry parking lot. I figured that they extended the parking ban those extra hours so that they could, after doing the major cleanup, then go back and complete curb to curb plowing on the secondary roads. I guess that was not the case. Not sure we'll be able to park at all, anywhere on our street until this all melts. Part of the reason that the ferry lot was such a mess was that people parked there in non-spaces once all the marked spaces were taken - thus blocking plow access and their neighbor's exit. Hopefully they were ticketed for that.
Bob February 12, 2013 at 10:29 AM
Finally someone with some real sense and not horse sense.
Bob February 12, 2013 at 10:33 AM
Like I said in previous post, people today are a me 1st generation who don't care about there neighbors. My complaint is the lack of tickets and towing by these scafflaws.
Jennarlee February 12, 2013 at 10:41 AM
The state maintains Highland Avernue
Jennarlee February 12, 2013 at 10:49 AM
Because they have 4/5 vehicles in a row and they do nothing except that one street.
Bob February 12, 2013 at 11:23 AM
“Any vehicles parked on a street that limits or impedes travel by emergency vehicles or others will be ticketed and towed,” read the email. “We are asking residents to use common sense when it comes to parking on street as many narrow roads and others with high snow piles may not allow for safe parking.” Another example of this. A truck parked all night blocking half the street. No Tow, no ticket. You can't ask people to use common sense when they have no sense.
Melanie Griffin February 12, 2013 at 02:21 PM
I think the city missed the boat with the opportunity given by the Governor during the transit ban. I'm not a curmudgeon and realize this was a major storm but just over the Salem-Beverly bridge on Sunday I was astounded by the fantastic job done by Beverly to clear ALL streets and not just to be passable. Down to the bare pavement with plenty of room on either side. Kudos to Beverly and perhaps Salem officials should take a page out of their book.
chester suchecki February 12, 2013 at 02:31 PM
thats just it the majority of the population of salem has no common sense.
Todd Doehner February 12, 2013 at 05:43 PM
That might explain the disparity in observations -- perhaps some sub contractor were diligent while others just did a "one and done" and sent the city their bill while they double- dipped by plowing out driveways.
ken February 12, 2013 at 06:31 PM
You think there should be better technology Kat? It's a very low-tech problem. There is no app for 2.5 feet of snow.
Ben Larrabee February 12, 2013 at 11:17 PM
2 feet is quite a large storm.......that being said, Salem dropped the ball when it came to taking advantage of the state wide travel ban and city parking ban throughout the weekend. I rate the overall job of clearing the city a 5 out of 10. Did the contractors knock off Saturday morning? Is there an existing city wide plan in dealing with clearing or roads and sidewalks during severe storms??? Is there someone who supervises and or or coordinates the overall effort. The MBTA did a HORRIBLE JOB on the commuter lot.
Alan Hanscom February 13, 2013 at 05:37 AM
I shoveled out my own spot on the commuter rail lot yesterday. It pays ($4.00) to have a shovel in your car, and getting there early enough to shovel enough snow to park your car in a real space.


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