Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Whatever happened to Snow Etiquette?

Snow Safety Tips & Etiquette from the Midwest (Many Midwestern cities and Vancouver BC have laws requiring citizens to shovel sidewalks).

Shovel the sidewalk in front of your house or business. Unshoveled sidewalks are impassible and force children and adults to walk in the streets.

Be a good neighbor. Lend a hand to those who may not be physically able to shovel or who may find walking to the store or bus stop too treacherous because of the snow or ice.

Keep your children safe - don't let them play in the snow piles or on the snow banks at the side of the road. Make sure sledding hills are safe. (Cars and children on sleds, toboggans, inter tubes or saucers do not mix).

When clearing snow, pile it on your property - it should not be shovelled onto the sidewalk or street .

Place your garbage containers and recycling boxes on a cleared area - do not perch them on the top of snow piles.

Help prevent street flooding and icing by clearing snow away from storm sewer catchbasins.

When the weather turns warmer and snow begins to melt it's important that the runoff water gets into the storm sewer. If the catch basin is fully or partially covered by a build-up of snow and ice street flooding can occur. Should the thermometer dip again the street can become an ice rink.

A few things you can do to help yourself:

Sometimes it takes several passes with the plow to completely clear the street. Wait until plowing is completed, and you will only have to shovel your driveway once.

When you shovel your driveway, place the snow on the "downstream" (right side) so your driveway won't be filled in the next time the plow comes by.

Things you can do to help the City crews:

Don't park overnight on City streets that are being plowed.

Don't push snow from a driveway or parking lot onto a City street or sidewalk.

Don't park your vehicle at the end of your driveway in a way that would impede the City plow. Don't park your vehicle in a way that impedes your neighbor's view of on-coming traffic.

To help prevent localized flooding, try to keep the catch basin adjacent to your property free from ice and snow.

Don't place garbage or garbage containers where they can be buried, damaged or interfere with snow removal.

Avoid unnecessary spinning of tires at intersections. This practice is dangerous and is hazardous to other motorists. It also tends to "ice up" the intersections.

Avoid installing mail boxes where they can be damaged by plowing operations. The US Post Office can provide guidelines concerning the proper distances mail boxes should be placed from road surfaces. Shovel snow in front of mailboxes to assist the post office in delivering your mail.

"DRIVE CAREFULLY" The City and County attempt to minimize the impact of snow and ice. However, it is each motorist's responsibility to drive according to the road conditions.

If it is slippery, slow down. This includes SUVs. Believe it or not, that SUV your driving is subject to the laws of physics. Don't drive 35 mph in a 25 mph zone on a icy road filled with snow shoveler's, walkers and children! You have a brain. Use it! (PS personal injury lawsuits are EXPENSIVE).

Don't flip off, honk your horn at or yell at walkers or bicyclists. People have a right to walk or bike to the store for groceries, medicine and other necessities.

They also have a legal right to use City streets and roads.

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