This month, I am going to take the opportunity to answer some frequently asked questions about snow plowing, parking, sidewalks and overall winter safety.
Q: Why at times do I see plows out on the main streets but none in my neighborhood?
A: Many years ago, the Flagstaff City Council approved a community snow policy that sets priorities for plowing as well as some target time frames. The City’s goal is to keep first priority streets open at all times. First priority streets consist of the following:
1. School Bus Routes
2. Transit Routes
3. Main Arteries
4. Major Hills
All other streets are considered Second Priority Streets.
With the City’s goal in mind, the policy also sets the following target plowing time frames based on the amount of snowfall received:
* 0 to 3 inches of snow – First priorities only
* 3 to 8 inches of snow – Second priorities within 12 hours
* 8 to 12 inches of snow – Second priorities within 18 hours
* Over 12 inches of snow – Second priorities within 36 hours
Snow plowing crews operate on 12-hour shifts and work around the clock plowing, cindering and picking up snow during and after a storm.
Q: Why does the City plow the snow to the sides of the street instead of the middle of the street?
A: The City does not have enough equipment or snow dump areas to haul off all the snow plowed to the middle of every City street. Also, snow plowed to the middle creates a significant liability in terms of traffic and safety hazards, as well as limiting the width of the street. It also creates an ice problem, as the snow melts onto the street and re-freezes each evening.
Q: What is the Winter Parking Ordinance?
A: The City of Flagstaff’s Winter Parking Ordinance went into effect on Nov. 1, 2011. There is no parking allowed on city streets or alleyways from midnight to 7:00 a.m. for more than one hour. This parking restriction is enforced whether it is snowing or not, through April 1, 2012.
This ordinance allows our streets crews to thoroughly plow streets for your safe travel and it also aids street sweepers. Please help yourself, your neighbors, and our crews by parking off of City streets – snow or no snow. Our police officers do enforce the ordinance.
Q: It’s really hard walking around Flagstaff when the sidewalks aren’t cleared of snow and ice. Is there anything that can be done?
A: Yes, there is! Property owners are responsible for removing snow and ice from sidewalks around their homes and businesses. City ordinance requires property owners to remove snow and ice from their sidewalks within 24 hours after accumulation. The ordinance also prohibits moving snow or ice onto city streets. Shoveling snow onto streets after plowing compounds ice buildup.
Please be considerate of your customers or your neighbors…clear off your sidewalk following a snowstorm.
Here are a few other suggestions for a safe winter season…
Slow down and be patient when you drive. Allow more time to get to your destination during or following a snowstorm.
Be considerate of other drivers and your snow removal crews.
Keep children off of snow stacked in cul-de-sacs and other temporary locations until it can be removed.
I hope you have a safe and enjoyable winter in Flagstaff. If you have questions about snow removal in Flagstaff, call your Public Works Office at 779-7660. FBN