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    emeryadmin · May 31, 2015 · Public Works · 0 comments

    The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan A Gloversville snow plow plows snow on Wooster Street in Gloversville on 2/5.

     Here are answers to the most commonly asked snow plowing and winter road condition questions. Please look through these questions first before calling. During storms, we are often too busy to take the time to give
    complete explanations. These answers will better inform you about our snow removal policies and procedures.

    Why can’t you plow my street now?

    We wish we had enough snowplows and drivers to take care of every street right away, but our resources are limited and so we must adhere to a carefully laid out system for clearing the streets. If we allowed our plows to be diverted each time a special request was made, our system would be destroyed and it would take far longer to get all the streets in the city cleared.

    To keep our snow removal operations as effective and efficient as possible, plows are not permitted to deviate from their assigned routes. The city has six (6) distinctive plow routes. Each of the routes begin by plowing one or more main (high traffic) streets. After the main streets are plowed, the city is divided into six sections of secondary streets which are then plowed. It typically takes about six (6) hours to plow the entire city once.

    The plow left some snow at the end of my driveway. Can you send someone to come and plow it out?

    There are over 7,500 driveways in the City of Gloversville. If we used all of our plows and spent just 60 seconds per
    driveway, it would take several additional days to clean driveways alone. One thing you can do to minimize the problem is to pile snow that has been shoveled from the driveway on the DOWNSTREAM side of the driveway. Then if the snowplow hits the pile, it will be moved onto the grass or sidewalk, not back into your driveway. The City crews do not come back and plow out any driveways.

    Can you tell me exactly when my street will be plowed?

    Under ideal circumstances, we can predict fairly accurately when we will have streets in various sections of the City
    plowed. As weather conditions change we often must alter our snow-fighting strategy in the midst of the snow removal operations in order to control drifting snow, ice or other special problems. We cannot give you an estimate of when your street will be cleared due to ever-changing weather conditions.

    The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan   A Gloversville DPW truck sands over the freshly fallen snow during a snow storm on North Street in Gloversville on 2/21.

    The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan
    A Gloversville DPW truck sands over the freshly fallen snow during a snow storm on North Street in Gloversville on 2/21.

    Is there a reason why you can’t pile the snow on the medians instead of putting it on the sidewalks?

    As we plow from curb to curb to provide for safe vehicular flow and mail delivery, snow may inadvertently fall onto the sidewalk. Unfortunately, there are a number of locations in the city where the terrace is very narrow and the plowed snow covers the sidewalks. Some have suggested that the plows should go through these areas at a slower speed so the snow will not be thrown onto the sidewalks. However, the plows must maintain a certain speed in order to keep the snow from  sticking onto the blades of the plow. We do not store the snow on medians because the snow can cause sight problems for traffic.

    I’m having a party tonight. Can you be sure to plow in front of my house before my guests start arriving?

    We wish we could comply with all requests, but equipment and manpower limitations do not permit us to deviate from our predetermined snow plowing system.

    Why do you sometimes salt instead of plow, or plow instead of salt?

    Different types of storms require the use of different snow-fighting techniques. The decision whether to salt or plow depends upon the expected weather conditions. For example, if the temperature is below 20 degrees and not expected to rise, salt will be less effective. But if the sun is shining and the temperature is 20 degrees or more and expected to remain steady or to rise, then salt will be more effective. The decision whether to plow or salt is made with great consideration and based on the latest weather information available. Plowing under the wrong conditions can create a polished street surface, resulting in dangerous glare ice. These decisions are made by an experienced crew and supervisory personnel. The City also maintains a supply of road sand. Under certain conditions, road sand may be applied either alone or with salt.

    I once saw a snow plow parked in a convenience store parking lot during a bad snowstorm. Why was it there instead of  on the streets working?

    Snow plow operators take pride in clearing the streets on their routes as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Driving a snowplow is demanding, tiring work. Common sense and good safety practices dictate that each driver should take a 30-minute break every eight hours. It is dangerous, both for the snowplow driver and the public, if a fatigued driver is behind the wheel of a snowplow. It is in the best interest of the all concerned for the drivers to take occasional breaks.

    Why do snow plow trucks sometimes just ride around when it’s not snowing?

    There are two reasons why you might see plows on the streets on snowless days. One is that every driver undergoes
    pre-season training. Skills must be sharpened and routes need to be learned and relearned. The second reason is that the trucks may be scanning the city for secondary cleaning (cleaning the streets where vehicles were parked during the plowing of the streets or where the wind has drifted snow into the street).

    I have a heart condition. Can you plow my street in case there is an emergency and an ambulance needs to get through?

    The POTENTIAL for a medical emergency does not warrant priority treatment. Anyone needing an ambulance in a medical emergency should call 911 where all necessary steps will be coordinated. The truth is that a POTENTIAL medical emergency is equally probable to exist at any location within the city, at any time.

    When is parking prohibited on city streets?

    Section 284-53 of the Codes of the City of Gloversville addresses winter parking on City streets. This section of the City code states: “From the 30th day of November at 11:00 pm to the following 31st day of March at 12:00 midnight, no person shall park a vehicle between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. upon any public street in the City without special permission, in writing,  to be granted by the Chief of Police or his designee.”

    The winter parking ban on City streets is utilized by Public Works crews to plow the entire width of the street, curb to curb, without the obstruction of parked cars.

    What should I do if my vehicle was ticketed and towed for being illegally parked on the street during the winter parking ban?

    The Police Department coordinates all towing operations. If you find that your vehicle has been towed, contact the Police Department at 773-4514.

    When I called the Department of Public Works number to find out about road conditions, the line was busy.

    Our telephone lines are understandably jammed during severe weather conditions. We advise limiting your travel, or staying off the roads entirely if possible. Listen to television and radio bulletins about road conditions. Remember that we can only provide information about streets within the city limits. Our phone lines should be used primarily to alert us if a street has been missed or if there is some special problem relating to the snow removal operations.

    Are there any restrictions that apply to clearing snow from my sidewalk or driveway?

    Yes. There are three (3) things that everyone should know:

    1.      Section 212-20 of the City code makes it illegal to throw or deposit snow on any street in the City of Gloversville.

    2.      Section 212-21 of the City code states: “No person shall operate a snowplow within the City of Gloversville without first obtaining a permit therefor from the City Clerk.”

    3.      Section 212-19 of the City code requires that all property owners must clear their sidewalks within 24 hours of a
    snowfall and 12 hours for an ice event.

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