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Snow Removal and Winter Parking Policy

Tuesday, December 6, 2016
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Goal

The City's goal is to achieve roads clear of snow in a reasonable time period. This depends greatly on the type and amount of snow.

The City's goal regarding slippery conditions is to apply a sand/salt mixture to main intersections, curves and hills, or anywhere that the plow operator deems it necessary. The City does not have a bare pavement policy and believes that drivers must drive according to existing conditions.

 

Boulevards

Residents are requested not to put landscape materials (fences, rocks, or other decorative materials) on their boulevards. Boulevards are designed for utilities purposes and snow storage and the City cannot be responsible for damage to these items when pushing snow back. Very often these items are covered with snow and plow operators do not know they are there.

Residents who have sprinkler systems with heads just behind the curb must take precautions to lower or remove those heads before winter. The plow wings often jump the curbs and can shear sprinkler heads off.

Residents are requested to not allow children to build snow forts at driveway corners or in the snow berms along the street. This could be very hazardous.

 

Complaints

Resident complaints and questions are taken by phone at 763-785-6165 or email at pw@ci.blaine.mn.us, five days per week, 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Complaints or questions are taken by the secretarial staff in the department. Many of the problems are resolved at that level. Complaints needing further attention are answered by a supervisor or the Public Works Director.

Some of these problems can be resolved or answered by a return phone call. However, many require a visit to the resident to see the complaint or problem. All calls are answered and logged during working hours. After hours calls can be left on the City Hall answering machine and are dealt with during the next business day.

Typical Complaint Calls and Responses

Complaint:        One regular complaint is, "You filled my driveway". This call is most often registered by a resident who is very angry.

Response:        The response to this problem is, "We are sorry, but we are not able to control the snow from going into driveways. All residents must be prepared to clear their own driveways."

 

Complaint:        Another regular complaint, "I have more snow in my driveway than my neighbor."

Response:        Normal answer. "We are sorry we cannot control who gets how much snow."

 

Complaint:        "The plow dug up my boulevard sod."

Response:          "Give us your address and we will look at the damage and possibly add it to our  boulevard repair list in the spring."         

 

Complaint:        "The snow plow knocked over my mailbox."

Response:        "The City will replace a mailbox or reimburse up to $50 if there is physical damage to the box by the plow and it meets proper setback and height. Most mailboxes are knocked down by the shear weight of the snow and a poor mailbox post. Please remember, you are responsible to clear snow from your mailbox so the mail carrier can deliver your mail."

 

Complaint:        "I can't see my fire hydrant."

Response:        "The residents are asked to clear snow from the fire hydrants. This could be a matter of life or death for your family or a neighbor. We request your help with this and thank you in advance for your help."

 

Complaint:        "I live on a Cul-de-sac residents and the City piles more snow in some yards than others."

Response:        "Most cul-de-sacs have limited snow storage space with driveways, mailboxes, and fire hydrants. Very often there are some cul-de-sacs where two or three homes have no storage room and all the snow has to go in the remaining yards."

 

Complaint:        "My street is slippery."

Response:        These calls are very important but it needs to be noted that Blaine does not have a bare and black policy. Intersections, curves and hills are salted for vehicle safety. Low volume roads may have intermittent areas that are slippery and drivers need to be cautious and drive per the conditions of the road.

               

Emergency Routes

Blaine has very few streets that would be considered snow emergency routes. Most of these would be county or state roads. Examples, Highway 65, 109th Avenue, 89th Avenue, Highway 242 or 125th Avenue, Lexington Avenue, etc.

However, most neighborhoods have a few streets that carry more traffic than others. Our drivers are instructed to see that these streets do remain open and get first priority when they get to their routes. 

 

Existing Policy

Full plow operations will begin after 2 or more inches of snow has fallen and the storm begins to taper off. A full plow event requires participation of all departments in Public Works including Streets, Parks and Utilities. Streets, cul-de-sacs, sidewalks, trails and lots will all be plowed at this time. Start times will very depending on the forecasted storm ending. This is because Blaine doesn’t have the ability to plow multiple shifts due to manpower limitations. We strive to be done plowing in 8 hours with a normal snow event but there may be times snow removal will not be done during high traffic times so residents are encouraged to plan accordingly.

In the event Blaine receives less than 2 inches of snow, limited operations will take place as to not shut down the regular functions related to the Utility and Park Departments. This could range from just the trucks clearing streets to only anti-icing operations. Cul-de-sacs may not be plowed at this time due to the low volume of traffic affected.   

 

Parking

Sec. 19-30 provides that no vehicles shall be parked on any street, highway, or alley within the city between the hours of 2:00 and 7:00 AM during the months of November 1 through April 1.

Sec. 82-152 states that it shall be unlawful to park or permit to be parked, or to continue to park or permit to stand, any vehicle upon any street after two inches (2") or more of snowfall, until such time as the snow has been plowed from the street, curb to curb.

Emergency parking permits are available by contacting the Blaine Police Department.

The Police and Public Works Departments ask everyone's indulgence in observing these wintertime Parking Ordinances. In doing so it will allow the streets to be kept clean and safe for all of us.

 

Sidewalks

By City ordinance number 17-2 residents are responsible to keep sidewalks cleared of snow and free of ice. However, by decision of the City Council, the Public Works Department does plow major snows from sidewalks as time allows with sidewalks close to schools getting first priority.

The Police and Public Works Departments ask everyone's indulgence in observing these wintertime Parking Ordinances. In doing so it will allow the streets to be kept clean and safe for all of us.

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