The snow season can arrive at any time now and the Department of Public Works will dispatch a combination of Town-owned equipment and hired contractor equipment to clear snow from the roadways, sidewalks, municipal buildings, and parking areas. There are over fifty (50) pieces of equipment to perform this operation. In addition, we have six (6) sanding/salting units, which are normally used prior to, and following snow events.
Clearing of the snow and response time involves a number of factors including the timing of the storm, the type of snow, whether it is fluffy and dry or extremely wet, the amount of vehicular traffic on the roadways at the time of the storm which will affect how the snow gets packed along the roadways, and the time of the year that the storm occurs. Also affecting the snow is the duration of the snowstorm. Six inches of snow, which falls over a 24-hour period, will require more salt, sand, and manpower than if that same amount fell over an eight-hour period.
The Department of Public Works, with the much needed and appreciated cooperation of the Police Department, will respond to slippery roadway conditions as soon as possible.
The DPW plows approximately thirty (30) miles of sidewalks within the school and business district. This program is affected the same as the roadway plowing program. The sidewalk-plowing program has created problems for both the operators of the equipment and the homeowners that are affected by the program. Often times homeowners have shoveled their driveways only to find that the sidewalk plow has come through after they have left for the day, leaving a windrow of snow across their driveway. For homeowners who have a private contractor plow their driveways, the contractors often push large mounds of snow onto the sidewalk area in order to clear the end of the driveway. If shoveled or plowed snow could be kept off of the paved area of the sidewalk then it would minimize the amount of snow deposited from the sidewalk plowing operation.
Please be advised that it is illegal to deposit snow on the sidewalk and streets. Violation of this General Bylaw is punishable by a fine of up to $200--the owner of the property is responsible for a violation, even if a contractor hired by the owner or the tenant of the property did it.
The parking ban aids the Department in its snow plowing and removal operations. Snowplowing is difficult in itself due to the slippery conditions, but parked cars only add to the number of hazards and increase the time to remove the snow. Residents are requested to avoid parking on the streets during all snowplowing operations. Cars that remain on the street may be plowed in, damaged, ticketed, and towed.
The Department of Public Works does their very best to keep streets and sidewalks clear of snow and ice without causing headaches for homeowners. With your help, we can do an even better job. If you have any questions or comments that will help us improve this service, please contact the Department of Public Works main office at 781-438-0760.