It seems appropriate to write about snow removal this first week of the meteorological winter. We certainly have experienced snow this last week, and I thank everyone for their patience. Snow events are never the same. We adjust differently to each one depending on how wet or dry the snow is, if there is ice underneath the snow, what time of day it is snowing, and even how long we anticipate the snow will continue. All of these factors make a difference. There are times when plowing on fresh snow just makes it slick and driving on a snow packed road is safer if there is ice underneath. When the snow starts also makes a difference.
In general, we will head out to plow your street once the snow accumulates to 4” or if there is a safety issue. We will take several passes on your road and we plow to the curb. I know that can create a problem concerning driveways but, should the snow continue and we need to come down your street again, we need space to put the extra snow. We plow and sand the hills and continue plowing until all the streets have been done, especially the schools, post office and other public spaces. Please remember that this can take a while. Depending on the snowstorm, it may even take a few days.
Plowing downtown is very important, and we try to get this done before the businesses open for the day. We work to get the streets clear and the corners safely free of ice and snow. Cars parked on downtown streets in the late evening can make this difficult. At times we may have to close off a block to traffic but we try to work quickly and may only detour you for short time. We do not plow alleys except for the ones downtown.
For the safety of all, sidewalks need to be shoveled as soon as possible. The city ordinance states it should be within 4 hours of a snowfall or by 10 in the morning after a nighttime snow. We’re a city of bike riders and walkers and our children are walking to school, so we need to make sure they are safe. The city must abide by this as well. The sidewalks around parks and other city facilities must be kept clear.
I like when folks ask questions about our snow plowing. One gentleman asked me why the trails are totally cleaned and the streets may still be snow covered. This is a thoughtful question. The trail can get cleaned at most any time. Neither parking nor traffic is a problem, and people don’t mind stepping aside for the plow. The trails get nice and clean because the sun melts off the snow and ice if we can give it a start with removing new snow. Even when the snow is falling along with the temperature, people are still using the trail system so it’s important to make it accessible.
Please feel free to contact the Public Works at (719) 539-6257. We appreciate all your comments. The beautiful winters are a big part of why we live here as well as all of the activities associated with the snow. Our job is to make it safe for you to enjoy. Season’s Greetings to you all.