In Rochester, the pickup below is the kind of thing we’d have hired to plow our driveway. The City of Rochester put huge plows on the front of heavy dump trucks, and a fleet of trucks went up and down the main and side streets day and night until traffic could move safely — often within 24 hours of a huge storm, much larger than what we have. If the trucks ran out of space to pile the snow at the end of the street, they’d load it in the back and dump it in the Genesee River. That way, we avoided having huge lakes of melted slush at the street corners as temperatures warmed.
The City of Seattle is trying to clear the side streets with a small number of trucks like this. In fact, this is the only plow I’ve seen since returning to Seattle on Sunday — this one attempting to create a path for busses to the neighborhood middle school. Seattle schools are closed Monday and likely Tuesday as well, and perhaps farther on into the week. The main streets are pretty clear, at least the flat ones, but the side streets aren’t even remotely passable by school busses. A truck this size simply isn’t powered enough to move large amounts of snow in any kind of hurry. I think this guy is probably working very hard, but it’s a bit like trying to empty Green Lake with a tablespoon.