Snow job: New Canaan plowing policies
Published 8:48 am, Sunday, December 26, 2010
With heavy snow in the forecast Sunday and Monday for New Canaan, the town's Department of Public Works will maintain this policy regarding snow removal:
Winter Storm Operations The Town of New Canaan Department of Public Works (DPW) understands that travel during a winter storm can be difficult and trying for many motorists. The Department of Public Works is responsible for sanding and plowing all town roads, commuter parking lots, and school parking lots. Town sidewalks are plowed and sanded as a courtesy to the public, however by town ordinance, they are still the responsibility of the adjacent property owner.
Department Responsibility The Highway Department is responsible for 120 miles of road, 21 parking lots, and Waveny Park. The town's roads are divided into 11 separate sections. Our department begins sanding operations in all 11 sections and parking lots simultaneously once snow, sleet or freezing rain begins to fall.
Snow Plowing When two inches of snow has fallen and more is expected the town moves into a plowing operation. Opening roads for emergency vehicles and routine traffic is our priority and we will continue with this procedure for the duration of the storm. Once the storm has abated the town must begin to push back the snow to the curb line and clear intersections. Our crews are well trained and will remain on the job for the duration of the storm. Crews will continue to monitor all roads for icy spots and where wind blows snow across roadways. A sand/salt mixture will be applied to assure that all riding surfaces and braking areas remain drivable.
Blocked Driveways All snowplows angle the same way (to the drivers right) and when plowing they will push the snow in front of a driveway. The property owners are responsible for access to their own driveway. The only way to avoid extra shoveling is to wait until all plowing activities have been completed.
Private Plowing The town prohibits snowplow contractors from plowing snow out of driveways and parking lots onto town roads. This practice is dangerous and impedes the town's snow removal efforts. If there is no other alternative to pushing snow onto the roadway, then the plow driver must plow off the windrow or pile left on the road by re-plowing until the road is safe. This may not necessarily mean bare pavement, but should be no worse than when the driver began work.
Parking Lots The Highway Department begins sanding and plowing parking lots in a order of priority starting with the train station commuter lots, town building lots, and finishing with recreational lots. The town understands that overnight parking in a commuter lot may be unavoidable, however we ask that all vehicles be removed from all parking lots as soon as possible so that the lot can be cleared for the next business day.
Snow Removal Snow removal will be performed when snow has accumulated from past storms, or after a storm that has left hazardous conditions due to the displacement of snow. Snow removal will take place in the early morning hours to minimize any traffic and/or business disruption. Priority is given to downtown locations first followed by parking lots. The town will also send crews to clear snow and ice from catch basins to ensure that melting snow will have a place to run off.
Sidewalks Per town ordinance, sidewalks are the sole responsibility of the adjacent property owner. In order to reduce any liability snow should be removed from sidewalks in a timely fashion. Sand and/or salt should be broadcast as necessary.
Mailbox Damage Please be aware that any objects placed in the town right of way are placed there at the owner's risk. The Town of New Canaan does not generally assume any responsibility for replacing mailboxes or posts that are within the town's right of way unless they are physically hit by our equipment. Mailboxes and supporting posts must be installed to withstand the rigors of snow removal, including the force of snow and slush being plowed to the roadside.
Parking Bans There is no overnight parking on any cul-de-sac (dead end) road from the time a storm begins until such time that all roads are cleared of snow and ice. Parking at the end of these roads is very dangerous for both homeowners and drivers, and at times becomes impassable for town's plowing, fire, and EMS equipment.
Helpful Hints We all know that winter weather can be stressful. Please remember that snowstorm operations take time. Our crews work long hours and do the best they possibly can to safely and quickly clear the roads.
Here are a few helpful suggestions to make winter storms more tolerable:
When you or your plowing contractor is plowing the entrance of your driveway please push all snow to the right side of your driveway (as you face the road); this will help minimize the amount of snow that will be pushed back into your driveway when a town plow truck is pushing back snow on the road. Do not throw or leave snow on the roadway when clearing your property; it is in violation of State and local codes by causing a hazardous road conditions. Violators can be held liable and subject to fines.
If you need to call the Highway Department about a legitimate hazard please do so (594-3704). We will get to your concern as soon as possible. Please be patient, repeatedly calling the department will not get the crews there any faster