Plowed snow blocking Bend driveways

Also re-buries sidewalks; some residents not happy

Bend driveways blocked

BEND, Ore. - More than a few Bend residents were none too pleased Friday when they looked out at the driveways and sidewalks they had spent a lot of time clearing.

As if it wasn't hard enough already to drive on the snow and ice, some people can't even get out their driveways after the plows come by their houses in the morning.

Plow crews have been working overtime these last few days, and with over 600 residential lane miles to cover, it's been tough sledding.

"We have to clear the street -- that's a priority, to get traffic through safely," explained Bend Street Manager Charles Swann. "The bad is, we have over 20,000 driveways that get blocked. To be able to clear every driveway would probably take us about five times as long to clear the streets."

Which left many Bend residents having to shovel out of their driveway -- and that plowed snow is often far heavier to remove than what was there before..

"I have an Astro van, which is four wheel drive," said Bend resident Dave Boynton. "And I had to get back, and make runs for it and everything today."

City officials said that it's nothing personal - it's all they can do.

"We don't discriminate on driveways," Swann said. "Personally, myself, my driveway is blocked when I get home tonight. So we just don't have the resources or the funding to do driveway clearing."

But not everyone is sold on that notion.

"I'd like to know why they don't have money to do it?" asked Boynton.

Boynton's wife brought up the possibility of the city clearing driveways for the elderly or disabled.

"I think that if they're not able to do it themselves, then that would be a possibility," she said. "It'd be something for them to consider."

One thing all Bendites might agree on is the idea of leaving your house and getting somewhere without too much trouble.

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