Dependable Erection

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


Schools are closed again on Wednesday?

Wonder what the total cost in lost wages, productivity, and sales happens to be from this little six inch snowfall on Friday?



  • Yeah, this is really effing lame.

    By Blogger hovercraft, at 8:17 PM  

  • Got my wheels turning...
    Last census, appx. 75,000 households with about 29% having children under age 18: 21,750 households.
    40% of those households were headed by married couples. Let's assume half have one work-at-home/ stay-at-home parent, and that only 80% of the households lose at least one income when kids are out: 17,400 jobs. Fine, factor in a 10% unemployment rate and call it 15,660 jobs.
    I'm not going to count vacation days, because really, that's just delayed loss of income, right?
    Per capita income is $22,500, or about $60 a day.
    Fifteen thousand jobs affected at $60 a day is $900,000. Times (hopefully only) three.

    Other cities have acknowledged that major thoroughfares are a priority, but also have protocol in place to plow/salt secondary and residential streets if snowfall exceeds 4". One place I saw has 70,000 households and estimates the cost of plowing/salting these secondary and residential streets to be $300,000 'per event'.

    As my husband told the kids today: when I was growing up in Alaska, if the schools had closed like DPS does, I wouldn't have learned anything.

    By Blogger girlnblack77, at 9:37 PM  

  • I think the error in your math comes form the use of per capita income, which is roughly total income divided by total population, including all those people who don't have an income.

    Median household income is roughly double per capita income at just below $48,000, or $120/day.

    Sixty bucks a day is minimum wage.

    By Blogger Barry, at 9:42 PM  

  • Hmm. I was trying to work with the assumption that only one of two adults in a home would have to stay out of work when schools are closed. Of course, this doesn't even take into account the employees of DPS who don't have kids of their own.
    Do we then conclude that _best case scenario_, lost wages per day are over $1M?
    ...and how often does it snow more than 4"? ...and what is the cost of total removal? ...and how much does DOT allocate for removal?
    If our 75,000 households each has ONE vehicle, then at the (arbitrary) rate (provided by another city) for total removal of snow of $300,000, then tax each vehicle an extra $8 a year so we can have snow removed twice.
    I'm just saying: I'd gladly pay an extra $10 per vehicle, per year, in order not to have everything shut down indefinitely once a year.

    Or maybe that's just the cabin fever talking.

    By Blogger girlnblack77, at 10:17 PM  

  • This is my 17th winter here. Certainly this doesn't happen every year, but there have been some years with two or even three winter weather events. Call it 15 times over 17 years. I think the point is, though, that unless the city is flat out lying about the number of plow-equipped vehicles it has, then that's not the problem. 37 plows working round the clock for three days should have had the damn roads cleared no later than Monday sundown.

    As far as i could tell, Leon Street in front of Brogden hadn't even been sanded as of Monday.

    By Blogger Barry, at 10:23 PM  

  • My Gripes:

    * Latta Road was plowed, Infinity was not; it's not as if they're geographically related, or anything.

    * The 2300 block of Elder St was plowed, the 2200 block was not

    * Neighborhood speed bumps/humps prevent snowplow access and make for interesting obstacles when coated in 2-4 inches of ice

    * All of the recently resurfaced streets that I drive on regularly (Fulton, Roxboro, Hillandale, etc) have been torn up by the snow plows, either at pavement seams or the former locations of cat's eyes.

    * There isn't a single surviving Cat's Eye on any of Durham's roads that have seen a plow. I thought the NCDOT had mandated embedded devices a few years back.

    * Brining a road three days before a storm doesn't do much good when a leaking hose/water main/whatever produces enough runoff down a driveway to wash all the brine away by later that same afternoon

    By Blogger Dan S., at 12:49 PM  

  • Correction: the 2200 block of Elder Street was plowed, it was the 2300 block, closest to Fulton, that wasn't.

    By Blogger Dan S., at 12:50 PM  

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