Every municipality addresses snow and ice management in its own, unique way. No matter where you live, though, the one constant is this: it takes a lot of work to stay on top of nasty winter weather.
To help ensure the safety of motorists in your community during the snowy and icy winter months, Meyer Products strongly recommends that municipalities have Snow Plans in place.
If you need help developing a Snow Plan, want help updating an existing one, or aren’t sure how you should be communicating your plan to residents, you’ve come to the right place. Check out the list of Snow Plan tips below.
Building or Updating Your Snow Plan
When putting together or updating your municipality’s snow plan, it is helpful to consider the following:
- Determine your top priority streets. Consider traffic volume, speed limits, and road safety concerns (such as hidden driveways) to make this determination. If your municipality has bridges, make sure those are on the top priority list as well.
- Determine the scope of services provided. Aside from roads, are you clearing public parking lots or sidewalks? Are you providing basic road repair services, such as filling potholes? How will you handle other road hazards caused by winter storms, such as downed power lines, fallen trees, or flooding?
- Institute a preseason vehicle maintenance program.
- Institute a preseason snow plow maintenance program.
- Establish standards for when snow and ice management services will begin. When do you start anti-icing? How much snow must be on the ground before streets are plowed?
- Set snow and ice removal goals. For example, the city of Naperville, Illinois has stated their goal is to remove snow and ice from city roadways within 15 hours after a winter storm has stopped.
- Establish warming centers throughout the city. Malls, libraries and administrative buildings are ideal places for people to go if residents must seek emergency shelter during extreme cold weather.
- Institute a Winter Operations center. Establish a phone number or web page that residents can use to get the latest updates about the winter storm, as well as updates about the municipality’s progress.
- Create tools to help educate residents. People may not fully understand the implications a winter storm can have on them. It’s important to educate residents about certain elements of your plan – such as why municipalities won’t plow residential driveway - to further ensure their safety during the winter months.
Communicating Your Plan to Residents
Equally as important as having an effective Snow Plan is the communication of that plan to your municipality’s residents. Here are some ideas that you can use to help spread the word:
- Include all information on the municipality website. A great example is the City of Naperville’s Snow Removal website.
- Mail an informational brochure to residents.
- Distribute these brochures in public buildings throughout the municipality.
- Have an article written about the plan in the local newspaper.
- Ask local news stations to publish articles about the plan on their websites.
- Ask local TV news stations to do a story about the plan.
- Detail the plan at town hall meetings.
The Result: Safer Motorists
If you follow these tips, you will be more effective at managing snow and ice and motorists will be safer as they drive through your municipality.
Have any more tips? Leave a comment below!