Steamboat Springs city manager addresses snow removal complaints
Steamboat Springs — Steamboat Springs City Manager Gary Suiter is attributing a recent flurry of snow-removal complaints in the city to a combination of frequent, heavy snowfall and small private contractors not following plowing rules.
“Most of the problem comes from private contractors pushing snow into the public right of way or snow storage that is reserved for us,” Suiter said. “They can just pile it up or push it over a berm, and then our plows catch it.”
Some of the complaints stem from that snow piling up on someone else’s property or on city streets.
Suiter recently took a tour of snowplowing operations with Streets Superintendent David Van Winkle
The city manager said some of the snow woes can also be attributed to some residents parking their cars where a windrow of snow would normally be deposited.
On a second pass, a plow then pushes that built-up snow into a neighbor’s driveway.
“It’s just neighbors being inconsiderate of one another,” Suiter said.
He compared the situation to someone polluting a river and having the trash show up on someone else’s property downstream.
“It’s the same thing with the snow,” he said.
Suiter said his takeaway from the tour is that the city can do a better job of educating citizens about plowing etiquette.
He said he would like the city to focus more on education rather than beef up its enforcement of snowplow rules by issuing tickets.
The city is responsible for clearing 152 miles of streets, 6 miles of alleys, 37 parking lots and 105 cul-de-sacs. They also must dig out 1,100 fire hydrants.
Residents and visitors can help make sure snow-removal operations run smoothly by not parking in restricted areas overnight.
Residents also cannot move snow from their property into a public right of way.
Suiter said he saw someone recently blowing snow from a driveway onto a city street, which is against the rules.
No parking is allowed on Lincoln Avenue or Ski Time Square from 3 to 6 a.m., and no parking is allowed on all city streets in the winter from 2 to 8 a.m.
Parking also is not allowed on the streets in the Anglers Drive area and south to the city limits from midnight to 8 a.m.
A ticket for violating the city’s parking rules costs $50.
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Steamboat Springs has produced nearly 100 winter Olympians, more than any other town in North America. That fact is everywhere, plastered on websites and informational boards across town.