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Snow plow update (could take 6-8 more hours to clear all streets)
Release Date: February 09, 2013

Just spoke with the highway department. We have 29 trucks out plowing the roads. The main roads are all open but many of the side roads are not. We had no reported power outages or downed trees. The snow is extremely heavy - --it's taking the crews a very long time clearing the snow from the roads. It could take the trucks between 6-8 more hours to finish the job town wide (it's now 8:10 AM).
Suggestion: You might want to wait until the plows finish the job to clean your driveway. It's possible that you'll spend alot of time clearing the snow from your driveway and then a truck will push more snow to the edge of your property again.
I asked Commissioner of Public Works Victor Carosi to provide us with a summary of snow removal operations. The following information may be helpful.
(cell: 438-1343)

During and after a major snow storm, the DPW fields concerns about our operations. Perhaps the following can help residents understand our operations and the impacts some of our operations may have directly to their own property.

Q. Why do the plows block my driveway with snow?
A: The primary goal of plowing is to remove snow from streets so that the road is open to vehicular traffic. Because snow plows are designed to push snow to the side, plowing pushes snow to the curb or edge of the street from the middle of the street. This results in snow piling up in front of driveways. The operator cannot stop or raise the plow at each driveway as this would leave a pile of snow in the roadway, in front of each driveway. Residents are advised to wait until the plow has been through their road prior to cleaning their driveway. The plows make multiple passes on a road throughout the storm to keep the road clear. At the end of the storm, a final push is made to clear any left-over snow and to re-apply salt. If possible, plow drivers will try to prevent excessive snow amounts at driveways but at most times this is just not possible. Snow piles at the edge of the driveway is a fact of snow plowing and in most situation simply is unavoidable. Residents must understand that the clearing of driveway is the responsibility of the resident.

Q: Why did the plow push snow up onto my shoveled sidewalk?
A: Pushing snow onto sidewalks occurs when the volume of snow is great and snow storage space is minimal. It is challenging to keep the streets open and as wide as possible for the entire snow season, while trying to remove the snow and not have it end up deposited in the sidewalks. It is not possible to avoid snow on the sidewalks. Please be reminded that e make multiple passes during a snow event and a final push at the end of the storm event. It may be necessary for the resident to clear snow multiple times from a sidewalk. Please do not push the snow into the street as our operator will continue to push snow from the street until it is clear.
Q: Why was a plow on the street next to mine but did not plow my street?
A: There are 26 routes throughout the Town; the plow you saw may not be the same plow assigned to your street.

Q: My street was not plowed! Why?
A: Plow operators have routes to follow. All streets do get plowed. Some are plowed before others as a matter of efficiency of the routing. In major snow events, it may take several hours between passes and the snow may accumulate significantly between passes. Please call 693-8121 for problems with your street.

Q: When does the Town start to plow snow?
A: As soon as snow begins to accumulate during any snow/ice event, Public Works will begin plowing the larger “arterial” streets to keep them passable and allow traffic to continue flowing. Generally, after an accumulation of about 2-inches we begin to plow, as salting is no longer practical.

Q: How long does it take to plow the entire Town?
A: The Town plows over 130 miles of roads. When there is 6” or less snowfall it would typically take about 6 hours to plow the entire Town. With snow falls over 6” it can take substantially more time to clear the streets. Once plowing is completed, we begin cleaning intersections and do a final cleanup of streets.

Q: Why does plowing take so long?
A: There are 26 plow routes throughout the Town which encompass 260 lane miles. The Public Works typically has 34 employees using 30 pieces of equipment and 4 front end loaders, plus 5 supervisors, 7 mechanics during a major snow event. Additional staff from Building Maintenance and Parks clears Town buildings and sidewalks.

Q: A parked car was in the way before the plow came, can the plow come back?
A: Yes, residents should call 693-8121 to report that a section of their street was not plowed because of an obstructing vehicle. The Highway Department will re-plow when time permits.

Q: I parked my car at the edge of my driveway, yet you still plowed me in.
A: Some residents park their cars parallel to their driveway. This greatly hampers the plow operator from safely performing snow removal operations. It also places your vehicle at risk for damage. The plow operator has no choice but to push snow up to the vehicle, depositing a large amount of snow adjacent to the parked vehicle. The vehicle is also noted and the Police are alerted to the situation. We urge residents not to park your car in such a manner that you obstruct the street and create a potentially dangerous situation. It is a fact of plowing that snow plow operations will deposit snow across driveways. It is unavoidable.

Q: My mailbox was damaged by the Town snow plow.
A: The Town plowing operations occur throughout the storm. At times, visibility is greatly diminished and occasionally mailboxes are damaged from the weight of the snow pushed to the edge of the roadway. The Town’s liability for damage is protected, but we ask you to call the Highway Department at 693-8121 to report the damage. We will try to make a repair as a courtesy to our residents, but have limitations on what we can repair.

Victor G. Carosi, P.E.
Commissioner of Public Works
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