Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Snow brings chaos to Riga

Unusually heavy snow fell in Riga on Monday, covering the city in a 50 cm blanket of snow - a 15 year high. The storm caused chaos in the streets of the capital, snarling public transportation and stopping traffic. In response, a massive snow removal effort is planned in the city, according to Riga Deputy Mayor Ainars Slesers.
Riga Satiksmes (Transport) Department spokesman Maris Marsrut said "The process is simple. First, we select a committee of 37 snow removal experts, which takes a week or two. Then we collect 37 opinions on how many old pensioner ladies we should employ and what color snow shovels they should be forced to buy. Gradually, we narrow this down to 5 options, and do rock, paper scissors to pick the best choice. Next, we invite Mr. Slesers to attend a committee meeting, make a compelling and sophisticated multi media presentation to him of our final recommendation, which he discards out of hand. Then, we do whatever he thinks is best," said Marsrut happily, adding "that way we include everyone in the process. It's very democratic."
Asked for comment, Slesers' office responded via email that Mr. Slesers is confident of a rapid resolution, and isn't at all concerned about failure, as he travels the 1.3 km from his home to city hall by helicopter.


  1. Since it looks probable the pensioner ladies won't be on the streets before early autumn, they could also be trained to rake leaves with their shovels.

  2. Anon:
    We asked the Transport Dept. about that, and they advised that leaf raking is the responsibility of the Parks and Foliage Department, who have their own set of rules to follow, their own rake colors to select, and their own pensioners and unemployed to exploit.