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Norwalk DPW: What You Need to Know for Snow

In Norwalk, snow removal can cost the city over $5,000 per hour and everyone's cooperation will help DPW use its resources efficiently.

2012 snowstorm. Credit: Leslie Yager
2012 snowstorm. Credit: Leslie Yager

There are 255 miles of roadway in Norwalk. Snow removal can cost over $5,000 per hour. Therefore it is important for DPW to use its resources wisely and with cooperation from residents. Snow cleanup usually takes between 16 and 24 hours from the end of a snowstorm.

Plow Routes: There are 26 snow plow routes within the City; within each route, streets are plowed and salted in order of an established priority. Main (Major and Minor Arterials, Collectors) roads are addressed first with special attention to steep hills, and difficult intersections. Side streets are done next, then dead end streets. Side streets may remain unplowed if the main roads require repeated plowing. Although this may at times, seem unfair to the residents of side streets, dead-end streets, or cul-de-sacs, main roads must remain open for Emergency Service Personnel.

Vehicles Parked on Streets: The greatest hindrance to efficient snow removal is privately owned vehicles that are parked on the street. You should make every attempt to move your vehicles off the street during every snow event.

Blocked Driveways: All snow plows angle the same way (to the driver’s right) and will automatically push the snow in front of a driveway. Homeowners are responsible for access to their driveways. The best way to avoid extra shoveling is to wait until DPW crews have done their final clean up on the street and pile your shoveled snow to the right side of your drive as you face the street.

Sidewalks: Per City ordinance, Norwalk property owners are responsible for keeping all sidewalks along their property clear of snow and ice. The City clears only sidewalks that are not abutted by private property. Keeping in mind that snow plows will push street snow onto sidewalks, it is advisable to clear sidewalks after the plows have finished your street. Do not throw snow from sidewalks back into the street.

Private Plowing: The City of Norwalk prohibits private plowing contractors from pushing snow from driveways or parking lots onto City streets. This practice is dangerous and impedes the City’s snow removal efforts. If there is no other alternative to pushing snow across a street, the private plow driver must plow off the windrow left across the street by re-plowing until the road is safe. Such plowing should leave the roadway in no worse condition than when the driver began work. Private plowers who violate this prohibition will be cited and fined.

Mailbox and Fence Damage: The City repairs or replaces only mailboxes, posts and/or fences that are actually struck by a plow blade. Usually a paint mark or truck tire tracks supply evidence of an actual strike. The City does not repair or replace mailboxes, posts and/or fences that fall from the force of plowed snow. Mailboxes, supporting posts and fences must be installed to withstand the rigors of snow removal, including the force of snow pushed from the street onto the roadside.

Emergency Snow Routes: The City has designated a number of streets as  Emergency Snow Routes. These streets are marked with signs. When the Mayor  declares a snow emergency, it is illegal to park on either side of these streets. Vehicles illegally parked on these streets during a snow emergency will be ticketed and/or towed. The owners of such vehicles will be responsible for paying the towing costs, the fines and any other costs associated with releasing the vehicle from impound.

What you can do to help: Resident cooperation can be very helpful to the efficient and timely removal of snow and ice and the restoration of safe travel in the City.

Here’s what you can do to help:

• Remove all vehicles from the street during every snowfall.
• Clear snow and ice from all sidewalks and footpaths that adjoin your property.
• DO NOT shovel or plow snow into the street after the DPW snow plow has begun clearing the street.
• Remove soccer goals, basketball hoops and other such items from the sides of the streets.
• If there are no curbs on your street, you can place inexpensive reflectors at the edge of your lawn to help the plow driver determine where the pavement ends. 
• If at all possible, avoid traveling on City streets during snow removal operations.
• Refrain from calling Police, Fire, Public Works or Customer Service to find out 
when your street will be plowed. Such calls detract from management’s attention
to the task at hand. Crews are working diligently with available resources to clear 
all City streets as quickly as possible. 
• Call the Customer Service Center ONLY if you have a legitimate concern or 
complaint.

Residents who feel they have a legitimate concern or complaint should call the  Customer Service Center at 854-3200.
Peter brown December 15, 2013 at 08:52 AM
If snow removal is 5000.00 per hour, then way are the plows out many hours before there is even a hint of snow? Plows have been spotted when the sun is bright.

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