'Tricky Snowstorm' Leads to Frustrating Morning for Foxborough Commuters
The timing of Wednesday morning's snowstorm made for a slow and frustrating ride to work for many commuters.
A morning storm covered Foxborough with nearly three inches of snow, making for a long and frustrating ride into work for many commuters.
“Took 50 minutes to get to Dedham by way of Route 1 at 6:15 this morning,” said Andrea Brown on Foxborough Patch’s Facebook page.
Other Foxborough Patch readers described the roads as “slippery” and “wet” during the morning commute.
“Took an hour to get to Milford [on 495],” said reader Shannon Hodge.
Reader Jenn Emery added it took over two hours to get to West Roxbury because of the slow-moving traffic.
Other readers expressed frustrations that plows were not out sooner clearing local roads.
“Were all the Foxborough plow drivers sleeping in?” asked Patch reader Raquel L. Auriemma. “Didn't look like any had been out and it was coming down hard and heavy at 6:30 a.m. and there were already several inches on the ground.”
Said Michelle St Clair: “What happened to the plowing in this storm?”
Foxborough DPW Director Roger Hill explained the frustrating commute was a result of the timing of the morning storm.
“The storm was kind of tricky,” Hill said. “I got called at 4 a.m. and it was snowing but it was just pinpoint flakes and there wasn’t even an inch at that time but we got the sanders out and salt down because we needed to condition the roads underneath the snow. … At about 6:15 a.m. the storm changed. We really started getting fast snow with big flakes. I had called all the plow operators in at that time.”
Hill said it takes about 45 minutes for plow operators to ready the trucks and get out on the roads. The heavy snow and plow trucks hit the roads at the same time as the morning commuters, making for a chaotic few hours.
“Our plows hit the road right when the traffic did, which made things a little hectic for awhile but we got through that OK and got all the main roads and secondary roads cleared by no later than 9:15 a.m.,” Hill said.
Once the plows were on the roads, Hill said there weren’t many issues other than the slowed traffic.
“It wasn’t a bad storm it was the timing that was the issue,” Hill said. “We were ready for snow but the snow was coming down so slow [before 6 a.m.] and just turned [after 6 a.m.] and bang, we got three inches in about 45 minutes. That’s a surprise because you’re seeing these little pinpoint flakes come down and then all of the sudden it’s really snowing. I don’t think we got caught because we had the roads conditioned beautifully. They were really well done.”
Foxborough Public Schools opened without delay Wednesday but several Foxborough Patch readers questioned if that was the right decision.
“Kids waiting over 25 minutes for bus to Ahern, yet the elementary bus was on time … horrible,” said reader Robin Naughton DelGreco.
Said Denise Reissfelder Downing-Foley: “Should have been a school delay. Common sense goes a long way.”
Reader and Foxborough Public Schools bus driver Pat Larkin shed some light on the situation.
“The [DPW] crews were heading out between 6 and 6:30 a.m., but the on-call guys may have been in before that,” Larkin said. “Most of us bus drivers are heading out between 6:15 and 6:45 a.m., depending on what schools we drive and the main lines (Main, North, South, Cocasset, Mechanic, etc.) were just getting treated then.
“Unfortunately, like someone said, if the snow starts accumulating quickly there is little they can do to keep up with it. They only have so much manpower and equipment and it just takes time to get it done. It just makes it that much more difficult for everyone when people go out on the roads when they could really avoid it and help us all out … highway workers, bus drivers, police, etc.
“Too many people were driving their kids to the high school and we couldn't get our job done, so it made everyone even later. I was in traffic backed up South Street to and around the Common. We can only go so fast when the road conditions are bad and unnecessary traffic makes it worse.
“We all have a 10 to 15 minute-window after the Ahern run, so it helps us to get back on track for the elementary schools. I know it's frustrating, but just think how it is for all of us who have to be out there. Help us out a little.”
After clearing the main roads, Hill said the DPW has spent the majority of the day clearing subdivision roads and back roads they don’t frequently plow. They will clear the school parking lots after students are released.
“After school is let out we are going to go in and give those parking lots a good shot,” Hill said. “It’s impossible to do it with all the cars there right now. Right now we are clearing up the subdivisions. It’s just a matter of cleaning up the slop.”
From a financial standpoint, Hill said Wednesday’s storm will not have much of an impact on the town’s snow and ice budget.
“This one is not going to cost us too much money,” Hill said. “It will be under $10,000.”
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