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Editorial: Put this rite of Schenectady winter to rest

Editorial: Put this rite of Schenectady winter to rest

Time to stop putting trucks through the ice

The genius whose truck fell through the ice at Schenectady’s Central Park yesterday might be forgiven if the exact same thing hadn’t happened a year ago. But it did, of course. And in the not-too-distant past, it used to happen regularly enough that in some circles it became known as a rite of winter. So the question city residents have to be asking themselves this morning is, will it ever stop?

The answer is, only when someone in a position of supreme authority — how about the mayor? — says, in no uncertain, terms: No more trucks on the ice.

Clearly, the time has long since past for the city to employ a different tactic to clear snow from Iroquois Lake. Ice skating and winter carnivals are wholesome, outdoor activities for kids and families, and the city is right to promote them, but it should do so carefully and cost-effectively.

Yesterday’s incident not only endangered the life of the driver, but the handful of men engaged in the subsequent rescue operation. It took them, the truck and the front-end loader sent to rescue it away from a more important task — cleaning city streets after the weekend snowstorm. If the relatively new truck that went through the ice isn’t a total loss as a result of damage from water and the salvage operation, it will surely be out of commission for weeks. The cost, even after insurance, seems likely to be in the thousands.

The city should use snowblowers or perhaps solicit trusties from the county jail for shoveling duty. But, please, no more trucks on the ice!

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