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10/27/2016

Plowing Through Snow Removal Procedures

Current Snow Plow Routes
Current Snow Plow Routes
Whether we want to admit it or not, we’ll soon have to bring out our snow shovels and settle in for a snowy Michigan winter.  For most of us, that also means preparing for prolonged commutes to and from work.  In the City of Brighton, our Department of Public Works labors around the clock to ensure safe streets and sidewalks. 

At last week’s Council Study Session, Director Dave Blackmar and Assistant Director Patty Thomas led a conversation about the City’s current snow removal procedures in comparison to peer communities.  Brighton’s snow procedures have the City responsible for primary, secondary, and residential streets, as well as the public parking lots and commercial sidewalks.  Snow removal procedures are triggered for any snowfall, even if it is only a minimal amount.  In their review of how Brighton’s policy compares to other cities, the directors found that there is potential to make changes and free up funds for other purposes.

Changes discussed included limiting salting operations to primary and secondary routes and plowing secondary routes, dead end streets, and cul-de-sacs during regular hours unless there is 4in+ of snow accumulation.  There was also a discussion of returning the responsibility of clearing downtown and Grand River sidewalks to the owner or occupant, since the sidewalks take a considerable amount of time and labor. 

Council directed staff to follow-up with additional analysis of projected cost savings and public safety feedback to better understand the impacts of the alterations to the policy.  Staff and Council agreed that primary thoroughfares, noted in orange on the map, would continue to be plowed as soon as possible.  At this time no formal changes have been formally proposed or recommended.  The goal is to evaluate if the City can provide more cost-effective snow removal, freeing up resources for other city maintenance needs.  

 

 

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