I have lived in Helena for over 40 years, having been a resident since 1974. I have lived in over eight different residential areas in the city. During this time I have enjoyed each winter season as a Montanan. I enjoy the challenges Mother Nature throws at me during the winter. I also believe that I am speaking for the silent majority in Helena who enjoy the winter time in Montana.
The city road crews are successful clearing the roads when the winters are not too bad. This year is one of the worst I have seen in Helena because of the amount of snow, and then the partial melting followed by freezing of the runoff, and then additional snow. They city crews do a good job fighting this battle, which can never be fought well enough with such terrible curveballs thrown by Mother Nature, and considering the hundreds of miles of roadways that are within the city limits of Helena.
The people I talk to do not complain about the conditions of the roads during this time of year because they understand that it is a battle that no one can win, especially against a winter like we are having this year. As a result, we the silent majority just do what we can to adjust and work and live around the conditions that Mother Nature throws at us, and are thankful for the help we receive from the city road crews to make the roads in Helena more passable within the equipment, staffing and funding constraints that they have.
As for the sidewalks, my wife wonders why people in walkers and wheelchairs try to go out in this weather. My wife uses common sense and stays inside until the weather clears. As a Montanan, when she does go out she walks carefully and understands that there will always be some walkways that will be slick and have packed snow, especially in a winter like this. For the thousands of people who live in Helena, things must be pretty good even in this bad winter, because only a minor percentage have any complaints about the streets or sidewalks.
With that said, spring is just a few weeks away and the snow and ice on these rugged streets will melt away. The result will be that the Helena road crews will be out again after the spring thaw that causes chuck holes. They will start working to fill these chuck holes as we prepare for a wonderful spring and summer. Because the city is prudent with their management of snow removal, they will have the resources available in their budgets to deal with the coming chuck holes.
For me and the silent majority, we will continue to live here and enjoy the four seasons along with the challenges sweet Mother Nature throws our way!