New Report: City Used "Archaic Systems" in Snow Storm Response.

By Josh Feit April 29, 2009

The City Council just issued a report (a follow up to SDOT's own report on itself re: the City's response during the snowstorm in December.)

Man, this story keeps getting more embarrassing. How did the City keep track of what streets had been plowed? According to City Council staff findings: On a dry erase board that got, well, dry erased after every shift. The report states: 
    SDOT does not have a modern work order tracking system to allow for clear documentation of field assignments.  During the snow event, tracking of deployment decisions, route assignments, staffing levels, road conditions and overall operations were conducted on dry-erase boards at the Charles Street and Haller Lake maintenance facilities.  The only place where documentation of snow plow deployment decisions can be found is in the hundreds of hand written crew reports filed at the end of each shift.  The reporting found on these forms is inconsistent and unclear.    

    ... the reliance on the memory of individual staffers, archaic systems, and undocumented verbal reports and communication for real-time decision making appeared to present many challenges for orchestrating an organized, cohesive and coordinated snow response effort.  As a result, prioritization of plowing efforts were largely left to the discretion of crew chiefs and supervisors.  The lack of a more sophisticated tracking system also presents obstacles for achieving accountability during and after the event.  Lastly, without a more robust system for tracking information, it was difficult for SDOT to attain complete situational awareness on road conditions and monitor feedback from drivers and crews out in the field. 
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