Snow Removal tips for Truckee
December 5, 2002
As temperatures dip below freezing and storm systems move into the Truckee region, the town is mobilizing its snow removal equipment to prepare.
During snowstorms, the town’s road department’s primary goal is to provide for the safe and orderly movement of emergency equipment and the traveling public.
Because the town maintains about 140 miles of roadway, support for emergency agency responses is the first priority, followed by plowing main arterial roads (i.e. Donner Pass Road, Northwoods Boulevard, Glenshire Drive and West River Street) and school bus routes, secondary residential streets, cul-de-sacs and, finally, high elevation areas subject to high winds, such as Skislope Way.
The town cannot economically justify removing all snow accumulations with each storm because of the diversity of each storm and the high cost of equipment and labor.
Pack is sometimes left as a drivable roadway surface requiring chains or snowtires. Like the berms, this method allows more area to be covered in less time.
A thaw event requires immediate clean-up attention. Pack removal is generally accomplished from the center of town so that cleared roads will be continuous to the business area or state highways.
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During storms of up to 18 inches, it takes fully staffed crews approximately 12 hours to plow every street in town.
After storms, clean-up is necessary, which includes cutting pack on the streets and pushing back berms to the full width of the street. Significant accumulation of this “pushing back” requires snow blowers with edge of street “walls” – sometimes reaching eight to 10 feet high. This effort can go on for more than a week.
When plowing is required, windrows of snow are pushed from the street surface to the edge of the street right of way, creating berms that front every property, including driveways, sidewalks or any access to the town street right of way.
Because each piece of equipment must clear approximately 14 miles of roadway, it is not possible to back up and clear private openings.
Town staff endeavors to cooperate with private plow operators and homeowners by providing predictable levels of service.
During a storm event, berms will be made at the edge of the town’s right of way due to the necessity of clearing the street in a timely manner.
Subsequent clean-up activity several days after the storm will aim to reduce the berms with a secondary pass – pushing the snow to one side of the driveway.
During the winter months, while snow removal operations occur, special attention is required by motorists and residents.
Here are a few simple guidelines:
* Per Town Code Section 10.17.030, from Nov. 1 to April 1, it is illegal to park vehicles in the town’s right of way. This code is strictly enforced by the Truckee Police department. Note that the right of way extends beyond the edge of the road pavement to the property line, which is generally several feet. Telephone poles are usually located within the right of way.
* Keep garbage cans and other refuse containers out of the berm on your pick up day.
* When removing snow from your driveway, do not put snow in the street right of way. It could be dangerous to motorists and pedestrians.
* Do not leave shovels, boards, sleds or other obstructions in the road or street right of way.
* Keep small children inside when snow removal equipment is in operation in your neighborhood. Also, stress the importance of remaining at the bus stop while waiting for the school bus when snow removal equipment is present. Running in the street or approaching the equipment is extremely unsafe.
* To allow drivers to identify your home, please leave at least one light on that is visible from the street. This is especially important for houses that are obstructed by landscaping or terrain.
* Do not let children build caves or igloos in snow banks in or near streets. Children playing in these caves or igloos cannot hear snow equipment approaching and can be buried in a matter of seconds.
* Emphasize to your children (teenagers as well as smaller ones) that snow equipment always has the right of way during snow removal and may back up an anytime.
* If you have any concerns about snow removal operations within Truckee, do not stop the operator. Call the public works department at 582-7707 to report your concern.
Snow Line: 587-6917
Road Department: 582-7707
Dial A Ride: 587-7451
Cal Trans Road Conditions: 800-427-7623(California only); 916-445-7623 (outside California)