Tonight's forecast calls for a bit of snow—a dusting, according to the National Weather Service—but what will the rest of the winter hold for New Canaan's Highway Department?
The Highway Department has posted its snow plowing policy on the town's website for those interested in preparing for the next major snowstorm to hit town.
A quick summary:
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. The department begins sanding operations in all 11 sections and parking lots simultaneously once snow, sleet or freezing rain begins to fall. Here's more information from the Town of New Canaan Web site:
- 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 a priority and the town 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. 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 crews will push the snow in front of a driveway. The property owners are responsible for access to their own driveway.
- 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 all vehicles should 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.
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
Any objects placed in the town right of way are placed there at the owner’s risk. The town 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.