Sunday, June 27, 2010

Water Clogged Streets In North Minneapolis--An Examination Of The Underlying Reasons

Contributed photo, blog post by John Hoff

I won't use the word "flooding" to describe what happened, a couple days ago, to a number of city streets in North Minneapolis. After you've seen the effects of real flooding it's hard to use the word "flooding" to describe what are merely water-clogged streets.

But however you describe it, there was a soggy mess Friday night in North Minneapolis, and elsewhere. Some of the water on West Broadway was so high cars stalled in it. It's a handy rule of thumb you should never go in water higher than your car's tail pipe, or your car will stall out from its own unvented exhaust. The problem is, of course, knowing how deep the water might be BEFORE you drive into it.

I do have two editorial notes to add about WHY this water mess took place...

First of all, many of the storm gutters were clogged with crap, and did not drain effectively. Leaves and sticks could have and should have been cleared by the city sooner, I'll admit, but it's hard to blame the city for all those (expletive) Flaming Hot Cheeto bags casually tossed into the streets by the perpetual litterbug thugs who pretty much live on the corner all day, eating junk food, and engaging in their independent recreational pharmaceutical sales to passing cars. Even the crews of kids in yellow shirts who go around picking up the litter can barely keep up with the waste stream. This stuff clogs up the storm drains.

And, honestly, what was the last time you heard of ANYBODY getting cited for littering ANYWHERE in this city? (I can actually think of one exception, click here, but I mean BESIDES Lamont "Litterbug" Nelson)

If the city needs revenue to pay city workers to unclog the storm drains, I would suggest CITING THE LITTERBUGS. And if the litterbugs can't be caught in the act, well, let's just assume they are the same no-accounts who walk down the middle of the avenues of our fair city as though the avenues were one big sidewalk. Litterbugs walk down the middle of the avenue, and avenue walkers drop their litter everywhere.

So if cops can't cite the litterbugs in the act, heck, just cite the "avenue walkers." (It's hard to call them "jaywalkers," since what they do isn't really jaywalking, and everybody knows a "street walker" is something else to be found on Penn Avenue North. So I propose the term "avenue walkers" and if somebody has a better term, feel free to suggest it)

Secondly, you have to wonder when Frito Lay and other companies are going to start using biodegradable corn starch polymer plastics for their packaging instead of the crap they're using now.

It's easy for me to vent at no-accounts who walk right in the way of automobiles and drop their Cheeto bags everywhere. It's much more difficult to hold big, rich, powerful corporations accountable for all their plastic packaging which is polluting the earth and--examine the evidence--clogging storm drains.

So, anyway, um...

There was some minor street flooding in North Minneapolis, and elsewhere in the city.


Kevin said...

Yes, the police do cite litterbugs. If you subscribe to the Mpls Action Alerts you'll see it. I must admit, the first time I saw a police report regarding a cop giving someone a ticket for littering on Broadway I didn't think I was reading the report correctly, but it was true.

I'm sure it doesn't happen enough, but it does happen.

Matt said...

In our neighborhood we all make sure the storm drains are clear of junk. The same way we make sure the crosswalks are clear of snow in the winter. This concept that the city workers are responsible for taking care of every little thing is the wrong mindset. They just swept the streets last week. There is only so much they can do.
After the storms we all picked up the sticks and branches from the street.
Good property owners take care of their house, sidewalk, and the street in front of their home.

Hans said...

If all the good property owners took care of "the street in front of their home" there would still be vast portions of Nomi that go uncared for.

There just aren't enough good neighbors to make up for the rest of the residents... which is where city workers come in.