Photo by David Rauzi
A Grangeville public works snowplow works its way toward Main Street Dec. 16 to clear recent snowfall.
As of Tuesday, December 26, 2017
GRANGEVILLE Have a pet peeve? For Grangeville Public Works, one stands out at this time of year.
“People shoveling every ounce of driveway snow into the freshly plowed road,” said Bob Mager, public works supervisor. Among the more egregious examples, he continued, was earlier last week when a property owner pushed off a 50-foot driveway of snow into the road.
So, to keep traffic moving and avoid additional work by city crews, public works asks property owners to keep that shoveled snow on their property and out of the street.
Why is this a problem? Mager explained crews make it a priority to get recent snowfall off the roadway.
“Streets are for transportation. We try to keep the traffic moving,” he said, specifically, for emergency traffic with fire, police and ambulance services.
Snow shoveled off driveways and sidewalks into the road can restrict travel and be compacted into icy mounds. When a chinook weather pattern blows through, Mager said, this then melts and freezes over, and crews have to apply sand and de-icer, and run equipment over these areas to clear away ice and snow buildup.
And it doesn’t take much. One homeowner earlier last week pushed the entire contents of their 50-foot driveway into the street, Mager said.
“It costs a lot of money to go out and keep these roads open,” he said. Besides it being inconsiderate to both the public and in hampering emergency service traffic, “you’re wasting taxpayer dollars pushing that snow into the road, because we then have to take care of it.”
For fiscal year 2017, the City of Grangeville has budgeted $16,000 for snow removal, of which about $5,300 has been spent so far.