Snowplow drivers rock when it comes to keeping city streets clearJan 05, 2023 11:23AM ● By Cindi Mansell
Public Works employees push snow during the worst weather conditions
Let’s show appreciation to the Kaysville City Public Works employees who are dedicated to keeping the roads safe during the winter season. They clear streets by removing snow and ice as quickly and safely as possible to maintain a safe and open flow of traffic throughout the city and for emergency responders. They often work during the worst weather conditions (early in the mornings and late at night) and spend all day performing their regular duties then come back out all night to plow.
Public Works Director Josh Belnap said crews will clear snow from primary roads first so the streets with the most amount of regular and emergency traffic are as safe as possible. “Many people do not realize that the city does not own, maintain, and is not in control of some major streets such as 200 North between 600 West and Main Street and Main Street between 200 North and Fruit Heights.”
The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) owns those roadways and is responsible for plowing and maintenance, said Belnap. Interested residents can visit both the UDOT and Kaysville City websites to view the location of snowplow equipment and track progress in their areas.
As plow drivers have continued to try to update their routes and processes, snow removal is still a long and challenging task. For the past three winters, each year has seen a decrease in the time required to clear city streets. At times, there can be limiting factors such as equipment condition, storm intensity, staff health/sleep that result in less-than-ideal response times or road conditions. Weather conditions also determine the number of plows and types of materials used for each storm.
Belnap offered other safety tips such as giving snowplows plenty of room, not tailgating or stopping too close behind them. He recommends staying behind a snowplow because the road will be safer to drive on but said if passing is necessary, use extreme caution. Other tips include slowing down for wet, snowy or icy conditions, when visibility is poor or when conditions are changing; allowing additional room between your vehicle and others; and driving defensively and cautiously.
Residents could help the snow removal process by parking all vehicles, trailers and boats off the streets. This allows plows greater ability to clear the roads edge to edge and reduces the risk of damage to vehicles/equipment. When cars park on the roads during this time, plows leave piles of snow along their shoulders. These piles can be dangerous, especially when they freeze solid, creating a significant risk to traffic and requiring special equipment to come back out and later remove.
Shoveling snow and ice from your sidewalks is important for the safety of residents. Pushing, blowing or otherwise depositing snow, leaves or other debris into the street is problematic, especially when a street has already been plowed. Residents are asked to please push snow shoved into driveways by snowplows into the area between your sidewalk and curb; not into the street and to aim snowblowers into front yards away from sidewalks and streets.
Residents often ask if plow drivers can keep snow out of their driveways. While they are not actively trying to put snow in driveways or on sidewalks, it is difficult to keep snow from doing so as the plows move down the street. When plows are not able to plow up to the edge of the curb (prevented by parked vehicles or other obstructions in roadway), this can interrupt both the mail carrier and garbage disposal process.
Mayor Tami Tran recently went on a ride along with Public Works employee Ryan Roberts. “My takeaway is absolute gratitude for all they do,” she said. “They work all night and day with limited resources and staff; they are definitely heroes.”
“There are approximately 20 employees tasked with pushing snow. Please remember these drivers are giving up a lot in their personal lives and missing family functions (particularly around holidays) so that others can attend theirs.” Contact the Public Works Department at 801-544-8112 to report any snow or ice control problems.