“After a storm the streets will not look as good in Madison as they will in the suburbs. That’s a good thing, and here’s why.”
It’s rare to hear an elected official use such frank language. I predict the candor will have a mixed response. Those with broken tail bones at the end of another hellish winter may see the mayor’s honesty as salt on their wounded asses. For those who come away from winter with nothing but close calls, the no-salt policy may seem like the only way to preserve the lakes we enjoy so much when it’s not winter.
And, we’re always looking for new ways to reduce the use of salt. We’ve found, for example, that mixing it with water and creating brine works pretty well. We’ve also looked at beet juice (too pricey) and a new product called “ice slicer” which uses less salt to achieve the same purposes (also expensive, but less is needed).
Although I do believe in the environmental arguments in favor of reduced salt, I think it’s imperative that the city use the salt that it does allow more wisely and focus it more on areas of high risk to pedestrians: especially cross walks. And for God’s Sake, salt the hell out of Bascom Hill. The number of times I’ve seen people, one after another, fall on one particularly nasty spot of ice, is unacceptable for somebody who’s only lived here three years.