UTICA, N.Y.-- During Tuesday's declared snow emergency in the city of Utica, drivers were urged to avoid unnecessary travel, giving schools, senior centers and churches the day off.
Those for whom travel is essential for public safety or needed to stay in business make up the other half.
"We are an emergency response vehicle, we have to get to that scene," Dan Gigliotti, a paramedic with Kunkel Ambulance Service said. "Even if our lights aren't on, we still drive with caution. Even with our lights on, we still slow down and go a lot slower than we normally would be able to proceed in good weather."
While the Department of Public Works is responsible for clearing roads, private plow services rely on snowfall to make a living. They clear the driveways, parking lots and walkways used by everyone from emergency responders to pedestrian shoppers.
"There's only so many plows that can get out there and get it done, so it makes it tough," Richard Sterling, a plow driver with Donahue & Son Excavation said. "We watch the news and make sure all the trucks are up and running and everything is topped off and ready to go. Once it starts snowing, out we go."
Several people who obliged the city's request to keep cars off the road opted for more snow-friendly modes of transportation.
"This is great, I love it, it's white gold," Mark Flagg, a snowmobile rider said.
"I was born in Alaska, this is natural," Patrick Gaynor, a North Utica resident said. "This is just what I'm used to, we just plan accordingly."