Motorists: Here's why to stay off the roads in Round 2
The Kansas City Star
Here is some excellent advice from a plow driver, given in response to a KC Star story today on the web.
I have talked to city officials in recent days, and the single most important thing they want people to do this time around is STAY OFF THE ROADS.
That will protect drivers from being exposed to the possibility of being stranded in the snow.
And it will help the plow drivers clear the streets of Kansas City and other cities.
Here’s the advice:
Ok, here we go again! IF the snow comes there’s a few things you can do to help us out while we’re out plowing and salting.
If you see us coming down the middle of the road please move over. We drive right down the middle sometimes so we can find the yellow line. Then we know for certain where the lanes actually are and can clear them so that two cars can pass each other safely or can travel side by side on a 4 lane road.
If you’re behind us and we stop, please be sure to leave a lot of room between us because most likely we’re going to back up and go right back the way we just came. It’s easier and faster than having to circle the block, change directions, etc.
Please set your trash and recyclables on the CURB and NOT in the street.
If at all possible please park in your driveway. If you cannot do so then please do not park directly across from your neighbor’s car. Some of the residential streets are so small that if you park directly across from each other we cannot squeeze the blade between the cars. If you must park on the street then stagger your cars. We can weave through them. If you DO park directly across from your neighbor’s car then don’t complain if your street doesn’t get plowed or if you end up with a pile of snow directly in front or behind your car. We don’t have any place left to push it.
If you live in a cul-del-sac and must park on the street please park PARALLEL to the curb and NOT straight in parking. Cul-de-sacs are hard enough to turn around in while pushing a blade full of snow. Cutting down the radius with your cars makes it all but impossible to navigate the turn. We can’t plow straight in because there’s no place to push the snow and we don’t have time to back all the way in and push the snow out. If you live on my route and you park straight “nose to curb” I don’t even attempt to plow your street. I’ll come back later if I have time.
If you MUST walk your dog at 2AM please walk on the sidewalk and wear bright clothing. Plow lights are not the best in the world and we’re usually not looking all that far ahead anyway. If you must walk on the street please move to the opposite side of the street as we come by. It would also help if you’d wave at us so we’ll know you’re there and be looking for you when we come back up the street.
If at all possible, when you see us sitting at an intersection waiting on a long line of traffic to clear so we can make a turn and keep going, slow down and let us in. Sitting at an intersection for 3 minutes may not sound like much but when you consider that I’ll sit at 40 intersections that’s 2 hours of lost plow time. That can also transfer over to your street not getting plowed because the shift is over and we’ve spent 2 hours waiting to make a turns. This will help speed thing up a LOT!
If you’re stuck on a hill and see us behind you. Instead of sitting there spinning your tires and blocking traffic. Back down the hill slowly until you get traction then move over and let us go by. We’ll have the blade down and we’ll drop some salt for you.
Please don’t stop us to complain about the windrow of snow we just deposited in your fleshly cleaned driveway. There’s really nothing we can do about that and the snow has to go somewhere. Besides, we don’t make the rules, we just drive the trucks. If the windrow really bothers you then you need to call city hall.
Please don’t stop us and ask us if we can plow your driveway for $40. Most of us would do it for free but city policy prevents us from doing so.
Please don’t stop us and ask us to pull/push your vehicle out of the ditch. We’ll plow a path for you, we’ll drop salt for you, we’ll call someone for you but we’re not allowed to use city equipment for anything other than that. Like your driveway, we would if we could but we can’t.
And FINALLY…. Give us time to get there before you start calling city hall and saying we’ve missed your street. We can’t be everywhere at once. We have to start somewhere and not every street on every route can be at the beginning of the route. If you live at the end of the route you’ll be the last street plowed. The good side of that though is when we we turn around and start running the routes in reverse to widen them out, you’ll now be at the beginning!
A plow guy
P.S If you want to stop us to say “thanks”, that’s allowed and appreciated. turn around and start running the routes in reverse to widen them out, you’ll now be at the beginning!