So, Madison got a lot of snow on Wednesday. I went to work and school, but it was an adventure. The University of Wisconsin stayed open until 3:30 p.m., when Provost Patrick Farrell made an announcement was made canceling classes. I especially loved how Madison Metro was stopping service early, but no UW faculty could leave early without using a sick day. Come on, UW. Wednesday was just a series of bad decisions.
Of note was the sidewalk and stairs situation. It seems UW is known for poor execution of snow removal, though I’m sure the staff on hand were working hard. However, students really shouldn’t be forced to attend class when there’s a foot of snow on every sidewalk and none of the stairs were shoveled. I witnessed many students slip down the “stairs” by Van Hise; they were basically steep ramp of packed snow and ice. Given the number of hills on campus, walking to class was potentially very dangerous. Any students who are even slightly physically disabled almost certainly couldn’t have attended classes on Wednesday.
So that’s that.
How about some pictures? These first dozen were taken by some of my friends from The Badger Herald.

Jake Naughton/The Badger Herald

Jake Naughton/The Badger Herald

Jake Naughton/The Badger Herald

Jake Naughton/The Badger Herald

Ben Classon/The Badger Herald

Ben Classon/The Badger Herald

Jeff Schorfheide/The Badger Herald

Jeff Schorfheide/The Badger Herald

Jeff Schorfheide/The Badger Herald

Jeff Schorfheide/The Badger Herald

Ben Classon/The Badger Herald

Ben Classon/The Badger Herald

Ben Classon/The Badger Herald

Ben Classon/The Badger Herald

Ben Classon/The Badger Herald

Ben Classon/The Badger Herald

Jake Naughton/The Badger Herald

Jake Naughton/The Badger Herald

Walking home from class down University Avenue around 4 p.m., I witnessed at almost every intersection many cars stuck in a foot of snow. Groups of students were pushing cars across the street to allow traffic to flow, however slowly.

Ben Classon/The Badger Herald

Ben Classon/The Badger Herald

State Street was completely blocked several times due to stuck buses.

Madison Metro bus stuck

A stuck Madison Metro bus

I didn’t intend to do anything that night except do homework, but when I realized how crazy things were getting outside, I had to go take pictures. The Herald’s photographers were out around campus, and Mike G said I should check out East Washinginton Avenue, so that’s what I did. Here’s what I found:

Sledding on the Wisconsin Capitol steps

Sledding on the Wisconsin Capitol steps

East Washington Avenue

East Washington Avenue

Residents spread sand and salt from a stranded plow vehicle

Residents spread sand and salt from a stranded plow vehicle

Hopeless hill

Hopeless hill

When plows get stuck going downhill, you know it's not a good thing

When plows get stuck going downhill, you know it’s not a good thing

More sand!

More sand!

Perhaps it's time to plow?

Perhaps it’s time to plow?

Witnessing all these people dedicating their evenings to pushing stubborn drivers’ cars up the hill was very frustrating. I spoke to some of the students helping, and they said a police car was blocking the roadway up the hill earlier, but then it left. Why?! Almost every car needed to be pushed up the hill. The situation was ridiculous. Were it not for the good people spending their time pushing cars, the entire roadway would have been blocked, and the situation could have been very serious. Several ambulences made it past in the time I was there. If they couldn’t take East Washington, and all the side streets remained completely unplowed…

Almost there!

Almost there!

Why do cars keep coming up?

Why do cars keep coming up?

Metro bus tries to outperform the smaller vehicles

Metro bus tries to outperform the smaller vehicles

On my way back to the Herald, I saw another stuck bus on State Street. Green light means go, right?

Another bus fails to leave the stop...

Another bus fails to leave the stop…

Check out some Herald coverage:

See District 8 Ald. Eli Judge’s post: http://elijudge.org/2008/02/some_words_on_snow.html
For more coverage of the campus reaction to the snow situation, see The Critical Badger’s post: http://thecriticalbadger.wordpress.com/2008/02/07/uw-staff-and-students-lash-out-against-university-%e2%80%93-what-will-asm-do-about-it/