Parked cars could block snowplows | ParkRecord.com
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Parked cars could block snowplows

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

Snowplow versus parked car: snowplow usually wins.

But Park City’s Public Works Department does not want contests like that. People who manage the city’s snowplow fleet say they frequently encounter parked cars on the snowplow routes even though there are rules against them.

City regulations prohibit drivers from parking cars in places that block the snowplows.

"That’s probably the most difficult thing to deal with for us, trying to get the snow off the road," Pace Erickson, who manages the snowplow operations, says about parked cars, adding, "Worst-case scenario, we can’t get a plow into a cul-de-sac or down a street."

He says the cars narrow lanes and sometimes block the plows from clearing a street.

But the crews are hesitant to tow cars and Erickson says he prefers that the car owner be found instead. He says it takes about 30 minutes for a car to be towed and, in that time, Public Works searches for the owner.

If a car is legally parked but in the way of the plows, the city pays for the tow, but if a car is not parked legally, the owner is charged.

"Towing is the last resort for us," Erickson says. "It does happen."

Meanwhile, as Parkites face late-season snows, a city brochure describes snowplowing and shoveling guidelines, including where the city is responsible and the places Parkites must shovel.

Clearing the snow on neighborhood sidewalks is the responsibility of the people who live there, City Hall says in describing the numerous rules and procedures regulating snow removal in Park City.

The local government previously sent the brochure highlighting lots of snow-removal issues, including the priorities for snowplow crews.

The homeowners or the businesses that sit off them must clear those sidewalks. People are not allowed to shovel the snow into the street and they could be fined if they are caught.

City crews clear the snow from sidewalks and stairs on Main Street and sidewalks on Park Avenue and Kearns Boulevard, which are heavily traveled by pedestrians all year.

The brochure also indicates the city plows bicycle paths linking Main Street to Prospector if the crews have the time.

Clearing the sidewalks and the pathways quickly, the city says, fits with leaders’ desire to assist pedestrians and reduce traffic.

Meanwhile, some of the roads snowplows are assigned to first include arteries like Bonanza Drive, Sidewinder Drive, Royal Street and Little Kate Road. Streets in Old Town generally are high priorities as well.

The snowplows typically reach secondary streets, on the edges of neighborhoods, last. They include those in Aspen Springs, in the outer reaches of Park Meadows, in Solamere and in the Oaks.

"Park City Public Works strives to ensure the safest possible conditions during and after winter storms. Plows will continue to clean, treat and widen roadways until reasonably safe conditions are met," the brochure says. "Please keep in mind that plows are still hard at work well after the snow has stopped falling."

For more information, call 615-5301 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. or to leave a message after 5 p.m., call 615-5346.


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