City crews battle deep snow, cars

Published 7:53 pm Thursday, January 3, 2008

By By ERIKA PICKLES / Niles Daily Star
NILES – The message is simple: Please move your vehicles!
With more than 13 inches of snow in the area, street crews have been hard at work for the last two days trying to clear the roadways.
But the numerous vehicles parked on the side of the streets have put a serious hampering on the City of Niles Street Department's snow removal operations.
"This is by far the biggest problem at the present time. Snow removal crews are forced to go around these vehicles, which can be hazardous, slows down snow plowing operations and results in large piles of snow being left in the street," said Neil Coulston, Niles Public Works director.
To assist the snow removal crews, residents need to move their vehicles to off street locations as soon as possible.
Later today the police department will begin "red tagging" cars which have been parked on the street for an extended period of time and they will eventually be towed if they are not been moved. Please contact Capt. Jim Merriman (683-1313) and the police department for details.
Many residents make it a habit of shoveling or blowing snow into the street, which can create hazardous conditions for motorists and many times the plows will move the snow down the street and deposit it in front of a neighbors driveway. The practice of depositing snow into the street is obviously counter productive and violators could receive a citation (in the form of a ticket). Snow should be deposited on either private property or the boulevard area, but snow should not be piled so high that it creates a site vision problem for motorists.
Residents should keep the public walk clear of snow and ice at all times and snow should certainly not be plowed, shoveled or blown onto a public sidewalk. The sidewalk is to be kept free of snow and ice and a clear passageway is needed for pedestrians. Piling snow on the walk may force a pedestrian to walk into the street which can result in an injury or death.
If a fire hydrant is located near your home, residents are asked to please keep snow shoveled away from it. Keeping the hydrant visible and accessible to firefighters will improve their ability to respond quickly to a fire.
If you have an elderly or disabled person living next door, try to assist them with snow removal. Emergency crews (fire, police and ambulance) will have a much easier time in responding to an emergency medical call if the sidewalk and drive are kept clear of snow and ice. It can make a difference between life and death.
Snow ridges from streets in the downtown area and snow piles from city parking lots are hauled to an area south of Broadway along the river. This area is for city use only and is not to be used for private snow disposal.