Your snow plow questions answered - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Your snow plow questions answered

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A full-city plow takes four days to do. A full-city plow takes four days to do.
SPOKANE, Wash. -

City of Spokane crews are out in force plowing snow and clearing streets. We asked the city what the plan is, and what you need to know moving forward.

What is a full-city plow?

A full-city plow takes four days to do. People are asked to move their cars and also shovel their sidewalks. The city has a map of where you should park depending on where you live: https://my.spokanecity.org/streets/maintenance/snow-removal/

Could it take longer than 4 days?

For now, no. The city of Spokane is testing out a boot on one of its graders. The boot is a metal device that an operator can put down by the blade when they drive by a driveway. That minimizes the amount of snow that goes into the driveway. But, they’re only testing this right now. What they’ve seen so far is that using the boot slows down the snow removal process. So, if the city decided to put a boot on all of their graders, it could double the amount of time to do a full-city plow to 8 days.

Why aren’t residential streets de-iced?

The city has 250 miles of arterial miles and 700 miles of residential streets. Right now, they have purchased about 1.5 million gallons, or about $1.2 million worth, of de-icer solution. That means, if they decided to de-ice the residential streets, the budget would need to increase, not only for the solution, but also for additional man hours to plow those residential roads in order to put the de-icer down. The city says they wouldn’t be able to keep up with the amount of crews they have right now.

How’s the budget doing?

The city streets budget runs from January to the end of the year. The earlier months of winter were lighter, so they have enough money to cover the costs of the storm.

Why does snow get into people’s driveways?

That’s how the city’s equipment works at the moment. The city says they’re not purposefully doing this. Their main intent is to clear streets and make them safe for travel.

What happens if people don’t move their cars or shovel their sidewalks?

The City says it’s voluntary compliance, but if a neighbor reports you, you could get a ticket.

For more information, you can visit the City of Spokane’s website: https://my.spokanecity.org/streets/maintenance/snow-removal/

For information on Spokane County, you can visit this website: http://www.spokanecounty.org/engineer/content.aspx?c=2443

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