A Church Street Dispatch by George Allan Tucker
This rant is not about any old Fence — chain-link, cedar rail, white-picket or otherwise; it’s about that long lost “Snow Fence!”
Where did they all go? Who decided that the snow fence should be replaced by fleets of $150,000 snowplow trucks, complete with spreaders. Did you know that Joseph D. Smith invented a snow fence making machine right here in St. Marys? Information about our illustrious inventor can be found at the St. Marys Museum.
More importantly and most recently, though, there has been a renewed interest in the cost savings and road safety advantages of properly designed and located snow fences. Check out a YouTube video titled “Effective Snow Fence.” According to this US study, it has been calculated that snow fences effectively keep snow off the roadway and eliminate white-outs at one one-hundredth of the cost of repeated snowplowing with trucks.
Unlike snowplow drivers, snow fences are “on duty” 24/7!
Now, I’m not saying that I’m against truck plowing. I was directly involved in that industry for over 25 years and knew companies that built very effective plowing vehicles. Obviously, within city limits, there is little room for snow fencing, thus truck plowing is a necessity.
However, like many of my fellow citizens who find it necessary to drive in winter conditions outside of town, blowing snow is a real safety issue, especially at night. Drifting on the roadway combined with reduced visibility can cause a driver to lose control, particularly when black ice is involved. Case in point: Cobble Hills Road between St. Marys and the old No. 2 (Dundas Street) Highway is notorious for dangerous driving conditions in winter, as is No. 7 Hwy. throughout our region.
Snow fencing can virtually eliminate most of these driving issues.
Locally designed and built snow fence structures would create jobs in our area as well as providing seasonal work for the installation and removal process. Let’s bring back the “Snow Fence,” eh!