Adam posted some great information over on the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition blog about how the Minneapolis Public Works Department handles snow removal on bike facilities during the winter. I thought it was pretty interesting – it seemed to “pull back the curtain” somewhat on how decisions are made within city hall. For example:
- Workers are staffed throughout the city day and night. As one might guess, fewer are on duty at night and on the weekends, and additional workers are typically called in during a snow event of at least 2 inches.
- There are 2 employees assigned to maintaining the 11 miles of trail managed by the City’s Public Works department. Plowing the Midtown Greenway, its ramps, and LRT Trail can take from 16 to 24 employment hours for a single snow fall event.
I think public works departments need to make information like this more readily available to the general public. It’s all simple information that any public works employee would be happy to provide anytime someone asks. Maybe there needs to be an official City Public Works blog? Understanding how and why public works departments make the decisions they do is an important step towards building trust.