Steamboat Springs residents start to see benefits from new snow-plowing system |

Steamboat Springs residents start to see benefits from new snow-plowing system

A road grader clears snow from Lincoln Avenue in 2009. The city has returned to a snowplowing system that makes the graders the workhorse of the fleet.
Feature w/snowplowing

— Some Steamboat Springs residents are starting to find that their snow removal duties are less strenuous this year thanks to a new city plowing system that relies more heavily on road graders.

City Streets Superintendent David Van Winkle said he’s already received a handful of emails thanking the city for starting a new plowing system that makes the roads wider and leaves fewer windrows, or piles of plowed snow, in front of citizens’ driveways.

“They’re now getting one windrow versus five or six a day,” Van Winkle said. “The feedback has all been positive so far.”

The improvements stem from the city once again making road graders the workhorse of the snow-removal fleet instead of sand trucks.

The blades on the graders have more downward pressure and can remove more snow from streets than the sand trucks could.

The sand trucks are now being used as backup.

“It was very hard on those trucks running them 24/7,” Van Winkle said. “We weren’t able to keep up with the maintenance on them.”

The city also said the sand trucks weren’t as safe as the road graders. Sand truck drivers went off the road a dozen times in the winter.

In one of the most serious incidents, a truck nearly rolled down a steep hill off Amethyst Drive but was stopped by a lone pine tree.

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.

Van Winkle said because of the late arrival of winter weather, the city has still been giving out warnings as opposed to tickets.

But starting on Wednesday night, the city planned to ticket anyone who parked illegally in an area with winter parking restrictions.

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.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10

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