In some ways, snow removal is really about information and perceptions, and those perceptions vary depending on where you live (or where you came from) and the culture there. How else can we explain the fact that New Yorkers require 7.37 snow plows per square mile — a number the city reaches by arming 1,800 refuse collection trucks — while the good people of snowed-in Buffalo make do with so much less?

“I think the expectations are different in every city. What Buffalo can get away with is different than what we would do, or what Seattle or Jackson, Miss., would do,” [D.C. public works director William] Howland says.

* One catch here, as Badger points out in the story, is that it’d be far more accurate to compare snow plows per mile of road, but that data’s not always readily available.