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Pittsburgh Residents Complain Of Snow-Covered Roads; City Officials Defend Response

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The first snow removal effort of Mayor Ed Gainey's administration is getting some mixed reviews.

People in Carrick and Knoxville began digging out on Friday morning, cleaning off their cars before heading to work. Many were not happy about the conditions of their streets.

"Honestly, you can look at it and tell it hasn't been that touched at all," one neighbor said

"We pay our taxes and the roads aren't cleared," another neighbor said.

The winter's first storm hit around rush hour on Thursday when quickly dropping temperatures froze the wet snow, covering the streets with sheets of ice. Suspicions to the contrary, the city said it did pre-treat the streets, but the iced-over conditions made for treacherous driving conditions and posed a special problem for plow truck operators.

Snow streets
(Photo Credit: KDKA)

"We did pretty good through it. I know there were a lot of complaints," City Councilman Anthony Coghill said. "But people also have to understand the icy conditions."

Coghill said plow truck operators battled those conditions all through the night -- more than doubling the amount of salt per mile -- and successfully cleared main and secondary roads.

Still, by late on Friday, many side streets remained iced over and snow-covered. They'll be tough clear now without help from the sun.

But Coghill said it was not for lack of trying. He said he's working with the new administration to buy more trucks and hire more drivers.

"I could not be happier with this administration, the way they leaped into this problem with me," Coghill said.

On Exelcesor Street in Knoxville, the streets have undergone quite a bit of plowing. And some folks said the effort, and the drivers themselves, deserve a pat on the back.

"Looks to be pretty well taken care of. I'm pleased," said Jessica Goodnow.

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