I’m all for progress, and am willing to put up with the construction necessary to make the Haymarket Arena happen, but when you come across incompetence of this nature, it’s too good to keep to yourself.

A few weeks ago, the dumptruck convoy mounted up and began the process of removing the contaminated dirt from the old railyard site. I would estimate one every minute or two turns left onto S street in front of my restaurant on their way to who-knows-where with their soiled soil. Trucks we can deal with. Granted, they are a little noisy at times, but we are used to big vehicles coming in and out of the post office. All a part of urban landscape. I get it.

What I don’t get is this guy, a so called street sweeper. I don’t understand his role. He made several passes on Saturday, creating such a cloud of dust, you could not see the building across the street.
  Frustrated to the point of action, I walked out in the middle of the street and stopped Pig Pen from doing his “work.” I asked the driver if this is normal, and in his brilliance replied, “I don’t know, I didn’t build the rig.”

I could tell I had a winner on my hands, but foolishly continued to pound on the thick skull with more questions. Similar answers. The only progress made was creating a headache from beating my head against his too many times.

But his last statement to me was so befuddling, I just walked away in disbelief. His words were:

“We’re not supposed to worry about the dust. We’re just supposed to keep the dirt from the trucks off the road for the EPA”

Somewhere, small children are having this conversation:

“What does your daddy do?”

“He’s a streetsweeper.  He drives around in a big truck and makes a huge mess where ever he goes.”
Now I’m no scientist, just a chef, but it would appear to me that the EPA is creating a new problem with its solution. Just keep the dirt, the contaminated dirt, from the trucks off the street, nevermind if you kick it up in the air. Its’ more important to keep in compliance than it is to see how compliance is not working. Its much easier to consult a policy than a person. That way PigPen can get off at five and go drink beer without interuption.

I feel sorry for this driver when he or she gets back to this mess.

Pig Pen reminded me that common sense easily takes a back seat to beaurocracy. I would hope that any driver, upon seeing smoke coming from the tires or the engine of his truck, would think to stop and take a gander at what might be going wrong and get it taken care of. If a streetsweeper creates more mess than it remedies, then shouldn’t someone stop and at least ask a simple question?

I don’t know where to begin my appeal, but on a Sunday morning, venting through the written word makes me feel a little better. Thanks to our faithful customers who are willing to put up with this inconvenience. I hope we can find a solution ASAP

The Peter Principle

4 thoughts on “The Peter Principle

  • July 10, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Thanks for the advice. Will try to make contact there.

  • July 11, 2011 at 12:44 am

    I was there for lunch on Saturday and sat outside as befuddled as you were, Kevin. It won't keep me away from the restaurant, but it was disconcerting. I agree that a call to the Mayor's office is in order. I'm happy to support your request for reasonableness (as in the street being swept once an hour, twice a day . . . )if it needs to be swept.

  • July 11, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    This is not berating "any" individual. This streetsweeper business is clearly maddening. Did you see the pictures? It's a gorilla on some heavy machinery!

    No one with "fine" dining experience will complain about portion sizes at B&C. (That information goes out the window if you think jtk or Dish is fine dining…coz it ain't!)

  • July 11, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    The problem has been reported to both Dan Marvin and the City of Lincoln Public Works Department. If you have any questions, or need other contact info, please let us know at news@lincoln.ne.gov or use the City's ACTION Center.

Comments are closed.