1/09/2009

City of Lockport Snow Removal FAQ

Posted by MJ

(Image: Snow on Windshield - Clarence NY)

Well the LUSJ beat me to it ;). With the snow removal complaints pouring in over at the LUSJ after the late school closing on Wed. I wrote Mayor Tucker an e-mail about it and he replied to me late yesterday. Similar information was contained. I'll summarize both the article and the e-mail here as a City of Lockport snow removal FAQ.

  1. City streets are plowed in this order: main streets - around schools - streets on hills, next are secondary streets and finally are the many side streets. If snow is falling continuously side streets are put off to hit the first priorities over again.
  2. Crews of 20 to 25 men in five plow-wing vehicles and a dozen smaller trucks do the work. This is about half of the crew that used to be used a long time ago. I notice the Jeeps plowing around the grade school near me often.
  3. City plows do not contract the road surface directly. Small 1/2" blades elevate the plows off the street to avoid man hole covers that are located on the street. A legacy-issue that is not easily resolved. Tighter streets, curbs etc also come into play for city snow clearing.
  4. Salt is usually reserved for primary streets, intersections, bridges and hills. Sand may be used on secondary streets and most side streets are not treated (although their intersections are). The salt can take its toll on the city's older sewer system.
  5. It takes around 6 hours to hit every street when no vehicles are on the road. This is claimed to be a few hours shorter than it used to take with the larger crews in the past.
  6. There is an extra winter midnight weekday crew for routine street cleaning. On the weekends the police dept can decide if a streets supervisor needs to call in an overtime crew. Once the supervisor is alerted a crew can usually be put together in about an hour.

A bigger issue I think is sidewalk clearing in the AM when the children are walking to school. I know I have a few neighbors that put in the extra effort to walk their snow blower farther than their property. I personally shovel and salt before heading off to work in the AM.

As I've said over at LUSJ forums, the city speed limit is 30 mph. Travelling the speed limit I have no problems coming to a stop at intersections etc. There are no 45 or 55 mph arterials in the city were one needs to be concerned for drivers thinking they should still be driving at the higher speeds. Most people seem to drive way slower than needed as it is. The side streeets on hills though can be a little tricky the day of the snow though. Usually within 24 hours only the side streets are not showing pavement.

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