Butler County Times Gazette
Unintended consequences
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By Rick Holmes
Feb. 9, 2013 5:05 p.m.

I remember the blizzard of ’78, so I understand the idea behind Gov. Patrick’s travel ban. You can’t clear the roads when they are jammed with abandoned cars.  But every good idea can get carried too far.
Take the guy who, as I type, is trying to plow my driveway — except he keeps getting stuck. There’s too much snow for his big SUV.  He’d be OK if he had come by last night to get started, then finished today.  But he made the mistake of calling the Upton Police Dept., which informed him that if he was caught on the streets, he’d face a $500 fine.
So he’s stuck in my driveway, and 20 other families are stuck in their homes, because a state order intended to keep commuters off the roads on Friday rush hour sidelined a critical component of the regional snow-clearing operation.
Gov. Patrick keeps talking about how much they learn in their “after-action reviews.”  Review this, Gov., and exempt private snowplow operators from your next travel ban.

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