With lots of snow covered and icy roads Friday, the snow plows had a hard time trying to keep up. The DPW snow plows had both their day and night crew on duty clearing the roads. However, with the snow coming down around 1-2" per hour during the midday, it was tough to stay caught up.
While we were out in the field, we saw two snow plows stuck on the side of the road. Also, many other vehicles and large trucks had slid off the road. We spoke with the head of the DPW to understand how their snowplow operations work. The Commissioner of DPW, Mr. Dave Short, said "We let it snow for a little bit, try to get a few inches on the ground before we go out to plow. After a few inches that are on the ground, we send the trucks out. There are plowing and salting operations. We try to go around and do our one route. Our one route takes about 6 to 7 hours to do each route in the city. There's 13 plow routes in the city. So it pretty much takes us a full 8 hour shift to do one route." We learned that if the snow is continuing, his plowers have to go right back out to run through their 6 hour route again.
Mr. Short also said "During the day, we're fighting traffic, we're fighting parked cars, it's very hard to get a good job at the end of the shift. That sometimes means that you have to come back in and do clean up. Right now, we are just working our way around cars doing the best we can." To help the snow plowers clean the streets, don't park on the side of the road. Also, if you're going to shovel your driveway, keep the snow in snow your yard and do not throw it in the road.
With poor road conditions in some places and travel advisories, some people got creative in getting around. Not with cars, but snowmobiles on a Utica street. The roads were covered with snow and ice. With many cars getting stuck or sliding off the roads, some people figured it would be easier to travel by snowmobile. Friday, we've seen at least 3 snowmobilers traveling on the roads. And yes, this is legal. This is because a snow emergency was declared today. The snow was coming down at around 1-2" per hour, which made it easy to travel by snowmobile rather than car.
We spoke to one of these snowmobilers in Utica Friday, Mr. PJ Rotundo, who said "It's beautiful out, and you don't get too many opportunities to ride it you know. I mean they have a snow emergency. I thought it'd be the cool thing to do. I mean it's safe. Safer than riding in the vehicles you know what I mean." He certainly was having a lot of fun. We saw a few other snowmobilers out on the roads Friday as well. It may not be the safest means of travel, but it certainly is the ride of a lifetime.