Prioritization of Road Clearings
As snow begins to accumulate, the City concentrates on certain roads. The first streets that receive attention are the major roads (or “Priority One” roads). As long as the snow keeps falling, the City’s first priority is to keep the main roads open and passable. In such instances, it is unlikely that many residential roads will be reached immediately, because the main roads must be repeatedly plowed and kept open.
High priority is given to the clearing of major streets in order to allow for school buses and emergency vehicles to gain access to all parts of the City. As soon as a plow driver clears all major streets in his or her zone, operations are extended to the remaining streets.
Under normal circumstances, cul-de-sacs are the last residential streets to be cleared. Cul-de-sacs are plowed last, because they carry the lowest volume of traffic among the different types of streets. Occasionally a minor street is plowed with the Priority One streets if it provides a connection to another Major Street or serves as a “turn around” for the plow truck driver.
Snow on State Roads
Although state highways are cleared by state snow removal crews, as a measure of courtesy, safety, and common sense, when a city plow travels along a state road, they keep their blades down to assist in the state’s snow removal efforts except when it appears this will plow off a fresh application of salt.
Salting & Plowing
There are two aspects of a snow operation - salting and plowing. When roads start to freeze from falling precipitation, salting operations begin on major roads and continue until all roads are completed or until it is no longer effective to salt, due to the depth of the snow. The more traffic on a road, the more effective the salt. As a result, some residential streets with small amounts of traffic may appear to have not been salted.
Please, keep in mind that as the temperature drops, the salt becomes less effective. Once the temperature drops below 20 degrees, salt becomes ineffective.
Plow Trucks can not push snow to the center of Cul-de-sacs. The weight of the snow is too great to push to the center, pushing it to the outside actually helps the truck make the turn around the cul-de-sac which is often at the limit of the truck’s turning radius.
Many times the Public Works Department receives calls regarding snowplow trucks depositing snow at the end of driveways or in front of mailboxes. This is a reality of snow plowing, and it cannot be helped. If our roads are to be plowed, the snow must be pushed to the side of the road.
Each property owner should check their mailbox front to ensure that it is the minimum of 6 inches behind the face of the curb, which is within federal postal regulations. Resetting any mailboxes protruding past the minimum measurement of 6 inches behind the face of the curb will ensure that the mailbox will not be damaged during the plowing operations. Any damage that may occur will be the responsibility of the homeowner, unless the plow truck was directly responsible for the damage.
Clearing Your Driveway
Salting and plowing are difficult operations to perform, residents are requested to park in their driveways when snow is anticipated rather, than on the street. Please note that the City has several “Snow Routes” where this is required by City Ordinance. Please, keep in mind that it is almost impossible to keep snow from being deposited at your driveway during plowing, as the plow cannot be lifted or stopped at each driveway as it passes.
If you have your driveway cleared before the street is completed, here is a tip that will help minimize the amount of snow left in front of your driveway. When your driveway is cleaned, clear an area to the left of the drive entrance (standing in the driveway, facing the street). When your street is plowed, the snow from the plow will be less likely to be pushed into your driveway.
Please, do not clear snow from your driveway into the street; this slows the overall plowing operation. Also, if snow that is placed in the street freezes, it can create a traffic hazard. If you have a neighbor who is unable to remove the snow from their driveway or in front of their mail boxes, please assist them. If you would like to volunteer to help elderly or disabled residents please call the Public Works Department at 636-695-4221.
Clearing Your Sidewalk
Residents and business owners are reminded that, by ordinance, they are required to clear sidewalks adjacent to their properties of snow and ice. Remember that it is easier to remove snow before pedestrians pack it down.
If you have a fire hydrant on your property, please clear the snow away from the area around it. This will assist fire crews in the event of an emergency.
Please, be patient, snow removal is a difficult and time-consuming job. Since City crews need many hours of intensive labor to complete snow clearing operations, please try to limit your travel during and immediately following a snowfall unless absolutely necessary. The less traffic on the roads during snow clearing operations, the quicker the job can be accomplished.