During periods of snowfall it is a difficult situation that you and the City are in. Through this time all attempts are to keep lifelines cleared of snow and restore a sense of normalcy to the city. The City has snow removal procedures for use during the winter months of heavy snowfall. This information sheet is to assist you during these times.
1. A street’s primary purpose is to move traffic. Snow is cleared off the traveled way of a street so that emergency vehicles, mail, commercial deliveries, and public commuting can still occur. Every effort will be made to keep the streets free from snow, plowing as wide as possible. Your cooperation will help make this achievable.
2. The snow is first plowed on City streets when the Weed Police Department’s officer on duty perceives a danger to motorists.
3. Presently the City has 3 trucks available for plowing snow and they are also used to spread cinders. In low yield storms there are usually two trucks operating and the third is called on duty as needed. During heavy yield storms, our public works staff of 7 people operates all three trucks around the clock. If all plows are operating continuously and if all vehicles are off the streets, it takes from 16 to 20 hours to plow all the streets to make them passable.
4. Snow is plowed toward the curb and driveways, instead of plowing it toward the center of the street in residential areas. Snowplows are designed to discharge the snow to the right side of the truck. This allows the snowplow to travel with the flow of traffic. Many streets are too narrow to have snow plowed to the center and still provide for traffic on the paved portion. On wider streets, if the snow is plowed to the center of the Street, it would require that all intersections be opened immediately so that traffic can make right or left turns. To have loaders follow the plows to open intersections would slow down the plowing operations for the rest of the city. Extra personnel the city does not have would also be required. On wider streets, if snow were allowed to remain on the center of the street, daytime melting would leave a layer of water on the street that freezes at night and requires cindering operations. This adds to man-hours, cinder usage, and fuel consumption. Also, street surface damage can occur from the freeze/thaw cycle. Snow is plowed to the center of the street on Main Street only. If the snow was plowed to the side on Main Street, you wouldn’t be able to park along the curb or enter the stores.
5. Plowing often leaves a berm of snow across driveway entrances. Berm removal is the responsibility of the residents. The City will try to keep berm creation to a minimum. The City does not clean out driveway berms with a loader after plowing. There are over a thousand driveways in Weed. It would be a very costly and time consuming, and slow the process of snow removal. Also, there could be damage to driveways and equipment attempting to do this. Putting snow from driveways into the city streets is illegal and creates a hazard for drivers and a liability for the responsible party. Pile snow past the driveway in the direction of travel.
6. Those citizens with physical limitations (elderly, handicapped, etc.) who are physically unable to remove the berm of snow blocking their driveways can call City Hall at 938-5020, and ask to be placed on the PUBLIC WORKS LIST. After a storm has subsided and all street clearing has been completed, the crew will return to these addresses to clear the berm of snow blocking the driveways.
7. For any other individuals in need of help shoveling snow, a separate list, a VOLUNTEER LIST, will also be maintained at City Hall. Volunteers or those interested on a pay-per basis can contact City Hall for addresses on this list, and make contact with the individuals in need of help.
8. The schedule for plowing snow is as follows:
a. The south Weed commercial and downtown areas and the bus routes are plowed during the early morning hours before traffic arrives. This allows the intersections to be opened, to allow for downtown parking during the day, for business to continue with shopping and services, and to ensure that our children have safe streets to travel in the morning.
b. Major collector areas.
c. Residential areas on a rotating basis to ensure fairness, so one section of the city isn’t always the first to be plowed. Through streets are plowed first.
d. Clearing cul-de-sacs and dead-end streets.
9. Residential alleys are not plowed.
10. Your vehicle, including trailers, RVs, other non-vehicle items, etc., must be off the streets during snow removal. Obstructions in the street hamper operations and prevent complete clearing of the street. In some cases this can prevent an entire street from being cleared. The snowplows can only make one pass in each direction when vehicles are parked on streets. Two passes on wider streets can be made in each direction if owners will move their vehicles when snowplows are in the area. Taking the time to move your vehicle when plows are present will give you a place to park and save you from having to dig out. If plows are forced to go around a vehicle parked on a street, this creates a hazard by narrowing the street width. If the vehicle is moved after plowing, it leaves a snow berm in the street that another vehicle can hit. It can leave a street so narrow, that emergency vehicles are unable to travel them. In some cases, plows have caused damage to vehicles and to plowing equipment. The Weed Municipal Code 10.080.070(4) makes it illegal to park on city streets during snow removal and the vehicle may be towed and stored at the expense of the owner or person in charge. Section 12.16.040 of the Weed Municipal Code states that “The owner of any vehicle left parked in the street right—of—way during snow removal operations shall be responsible for any repairs to that vehicle that is damaged by way of reasonable operation of any snow removal equipment.”
11. When digging out vehicles, throw the snow back into your yard or toward the side of the street. Snow shoveled into the streets will be plowed back to the side. Mark your vehicles if they become buried and you are unable to move them from the side of the street.
12. If your garbage is normally picked up in an alley, you must take your garbage to the front street for your pick-up during the period of November 1st to February 28th.
13. Sidewalk clearing is the responsibility of the property owner.
14. Sidewalks are not to be used for snow storage in cleaning your driveway or parking area.