October 29, 2009
The fall season is in full swing but some already have their minds on winter.
The city of Charlottesville's Public Works Department has begun to check their equipment and their salt levels. For the past several months, VDOT has also been in the planning stages and has started to make dry runs.
The average winter snow season costs the city of Charlottesville about $300,000 and involves 24 vehicles for de-icing, anti-icing and plowing.
Both the city and VDOT say prepping has to begin early because of how unpredictable weather is.
"This gives them an opportunity to make a run across what they're going to be responsible for when the weather is good when they can see it and become familiar with it," said VDOT spokesman Lou Hatter.
"Well you have to check your equipment. You can get a freak storm any day, and if your plows and your spreaders and your chains, if those items aren't ready, then you're caught," said Charlottesville Public Service manager Steven Lawson.
The city also has these winter tips for residents:
Use off-street parking if available prior to and during a snow event. On-street parking slows the process of removal of ice and snow. Vehicles can be towed and ticketed if parked illegally.
Please wait until streets have been plowed before shoveling driveway entrances. It is unlawful to push snow or ice from private property into the street. Please deposit snow or ice from your driveway entrance or sidewalk on the down street side of the driveway so the City plow truck will not redeposit it in your driveway entrance. Please understand that when streets are plowed, some snow will be left in your driveway entrance.
Please do not call to request special plowing for your street. All streets in the City are on plow routes. Major streets are cleared first and then crews move into residential areas.
City ordinance requires property owners and/or occupants to clean sidewalks around homes or businesses within 12 hours after each snowfall. This is especially important to the elderly and children walking to school or bus stops.