Thirty years ago, every snowfall here gave rise to complaints about the inadequacy of our removal efforts.

The humorless joke of the day was that our official snow removal policy was, "Pray for warm sunshine."

In recent years, we have done much better at removing snow from our main streets. However, side streets remain under the pray-for-sunshine policy. As a Bethesda man puts it:

"A snowplow makes a straight run down the middle of a side street so that, on a two-way street, the plow leaves one semi-cleared path.

"That path, wide enough for one car, is lined on either side by walls of snow that have been thrown up against the parked cars.

"Before the plow passed, parkers had a chance to get away from the curb. Cars that approached each other from opposite directions had a chance to maneuver a safe passing.

"But after the plow has left only one trench down the middle and an impassable icy heap on either side, the street becomes unsafe for two-way traffic and unusable by cars that have become iced into their parking places.

"It appears to me that snowplows are often of limited value on side streets. A track distributing ashes or salt at intersections and on grades would be far more useful."

I think the comments are valid and I hope that the various governments in this area will weigh them and give some thought to revising their snow programs in residential areas. Just because "we've always done it this way" doesn't mean that this is necessarily the best way.