Does your street take precedence in the snow emergency or plowing route?

WTHI Photo
WTHI Photo

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – It appears we haven’t seen the last of the snow and crazy freezing temps.
    
And with the impending flakes coming up this weekend, we decided to remind ourselves of proper snow emergency route protocol.
    
Some Vigo County residents wonder why their streets still aren’t plowed two or three days after a storm hits.

When severe cold follows a snow storm, it takes a little longer to get all city streets cleared.
    
That’s because they focus on the designated primary snow emergency routes first.

“The mayor or the board of works can declare a snow emergency, which means we can tow cars  off of those streets in order to get those streets opened,” said Duke Bennett, Terre Haute mayor.

But this only happens in the event of a city snow emergency.

“We only declare an emergency if emergency vehicles can’t access a street or a whole city. So fire trucks, police cars, ambulances can’t get somewhere, then we need to declare a snow emergency because the roads are impassable,” said Mayor Bennett.

The snow emergency routes are very similar to the snow plowing routes.
    
“That’s the first thing we do when a storm happens, those are the routes that we plow first because those are the roads, the primary roads to get around the city,” said Mayor Bennett.

Those routes include many streets you would assume.
    
Downtown includes Wabash Avenue and Ohio and Poplar streets.
    
The south side sections of College, Hulman and Margaret. The north side – sections of Fruitridge, Maple, Lafayette and Locust and sections of 3rd, 7th, 13th and 25th streets.

“I think sometimes the confusion comes from people, because they expect all the streets to look like the snow routes, well, typically, when you have a storm, we’ve got all of our trucks and all of our staff working on those roads first. When those are in great condition, then we move to the streets that feed those streets,” said Mayor Bennett.

And really, Mayor Bennett says as long as they can get the plows down both sides of the street to open up the lanes, moving the cars parked provides no significant benefit.

“Nobody can tell me of any time in the last 20 to 30 years where a snow emergencies been declared where all the vehicles were towed off of the street. We rarely have those kind of storms and it would have to be really extenuating circumstances,” said Mayor Bennett.

Mayor Bennett said they might revisit the snow emergency route ordinance to better reflect the needs of today’s city.

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