Plowers reminded of winter road rules

Published 9:23 am Tuesday, January 19, 2016

With Dowagiac and its neighbors were pelted with another round of winter storms this past weekend, crews with the city’s department of public safety were again dispatched to ensure that local roadways remain safe and traversable for residents and visitors alike.

While the city’s fleet of plow trucks are more than a match for the white stuff that accumulated on the streets the past several days, citizens are urged to do their part to ensure that department workers can perform their duties in the most efficient — and safe — manner as possible.

Per the city charter, residents are prohibited from “plowing, shoveling, brushing, moving, depositing, or heaping up of any snow or ice into, or across, any public street.” A problem typically created by residents or private plow businesses removing snow from residential or business driveways and parking lots, the placement of loose snow onto roadways can put local drivers at risk, said Department of Public Services Director Jim Bradford.

“As snow freezes, it becomes a hazard to our drivers, especially at night,” Bradford said.

While an uncommon problem for public services, crews have noticed several streets that have plowed snow pushed into them recently, prompting them to remind residents of the city policy, Bradford said.

Residents are also reminded of the parking restrictions imposed upon residential and business district roadways during the winter months. From now until April, people cannot park their vehicles on public roadways within city limits between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m., Bradford said.

“This is so we can get our trucks out to clear the streets without having to go around other vehicles,” the director said.

Police actively enforce this policy during the winter months, issuing citations to violators, Bradford said.

With November and December months marked by unseasonably mild weather, the city has not ran into very many issues with snow removal this winter, Bradford said.

“We’ve been fortunate this year,” he said. “We haven’t plowed nearly as much as we did this time last year.”

People with questions about local snow removal can contact the Department of Public Services at 782-2800.