The City Street Maintenance Division has developed a Snow Removal Priority Plan, as shown on the priority map.
The plan divides the city streets into three categories, Priority 1, Priority 2, and Priority 3 streets. The priorities are selected on the basis of traffic volumes, steepness of hills, public transit routes, proximity to schools, access to businesses, and low-volume residential streets. On the total 319 miles of city streets, 76 miles (24%) are Priority 1 routes. Priority 2 and 3 routes equal almost 114 miles (36%).
A pick-up mounted plow and deicer system is dedicated to plow and deice the full length and width of all Bike Lanes adjacent to Priority 1 streets. Snow is not to be deposited on bicycle lanes. The routes used by commuter bicycles are shown on the bike lane map.
The goal is to have all Priority 1 and Priority 2 streets and school and public transit routes plowed and deiced or sanded by 7:30 a.m. prior to the morning rush hour traffic. This goal is contingent upon the magnitude and duration of any snow event. The secondary goal is to have all remaining priority streets plowed within three working days. Non-priority streets are typically low-volume residential streets, which are only plowed if 4" of snow accumulation is present upon completion of priorities.
City crews will also perform winter street cleaning when temperatures rise above 32°. The process divides the city's streets into four priority categories. Priority 1 streets will receive cleaning first at the beginning of each occurrence of a temperature change of about 32°. If Priority 1 streets have been swept within one week prior to the most recent occurrence, then sweeping can proceed according to the next priority.
During the month of March, the city will clean all four winter cleaning priorities before proceeding to clean all non-priority routes.