For those who like moderate temperatures, the past two weeks was a reminder the winter season is upon us.
Whenever there is a snow event here, our goal is the same: to clear all 230-plus lane miles of New Albany roadways within 24 hours after the snow event ends.
The number of trucks assigned during a snow event is dependent on snowfall and/or temperature severity. Prior to plowing, crews might spread salt and other deicers to defend against snow and ice bonding to pavement.
Emergency travel for fire, emergency-medical and police personnel is our highest priority during bad weather, so we begin with clearing highways and New Albany's most highly traveled roadways by traffic volume.
After that, we focus on the New Albany-Plain Local School District campus and second-tier streets that carry traffic in and out of residential areas.
Finally, we treat neighborhood streets, courts, alleys and other roads that carry the lowest volumes of traffic.
After roads have been cleared, the area of the street adjacent to the gutter will be plowed back to allow melting materials to run off and ultimately reach the gutter, lessening the possibility of icy patches.
Tips from the pros
With more than 100 combined years of service clearing New Albany roadways, our snow warriors have a few tips to keep you safe and make them more efficient:
* If possible, park in your garage or driveway instead of the street. If street parking is necessary, park as close to the curb as possible and try not to park directly across from a vehicle on the other side of the street. Our larger plow trucks often can't get between vehicles parked like this, causing delays.
* Place trash cans in your driveway, not the street. Anything in the roadway impedes our snow warriors' ability to thoroughly treat and clear your street.
* The yard area to the left of your driveway is the best place to shovel snow from your driveway. Any snow you shovel into the road likely will end up back in your driveway (or your neighbor's driveway) when snow warriors make future passes.
* Be patient and keep a safe distance between your vehicle and our plow trucks. Our snow-treatment crews are working as fast as they can. If you see a snowplow on the road, please give it the right of way and stay back, as drivers frequently make backing movements.
* Don't forget your sidewalks and mailbox areas. Clearing sidewalks is the responsibility of the property owner.
Brian Strayer is public-service operations manager for New Albany.