Like many in the area, I awoke to the sight of a little surprise snow that fell overnight. Just a dusting. No big deal for we hearty New Englanders, right?

Apparently, the snow fell at such a rapid clip and was followed by an almost instant flash freeze, making walking and driving conditions extremely hazardous. It was a quick in and out event and over long before daybreak. So why were the roads still so crummy at 8:30 a.m.?

I suspect that someone at DPI gambled that the rising sun would make quick work of the ice, and therefore sending out the heavy equipment would not be necessary. Wrong! School kids and buses were on those roads by sun up, and conditions were pretty bad. Someone was trigger shy.

To be fair, there were skidding and sliding events all over the region, but somehow the roads in Acushnet and Fairhaven were in much better shape than those in New Bedford. Belleville Road was a disaster zone. Why were there salting trucks clogging morning rush traffic on busy streets? This should have been taken care of hours earlier while most were still asleep.

I usually have praise for the gang at DPI when it comes to snow and ice removal, but I think this time the response was inadequate.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. 

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