After the snow falls and the plows come out to clear it, cars parked on the street can affect cost and safety, according to New Albany maintenance-department staff members.

The city recommends parking cars in a driveway because at least once per shift during snow events, snowplow drivers must reassess their routes because of cars parked along streets, said maintenance supervisor Dennis Munsey.

New Albany's snow crews cover eight routes in eight trucks per shift, said public-service operations manager Brian Strayer. After a snowstorm has stopped, they are expected to clear all city roads within 24 hours, he said.

Although the Ohio Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining state Route 161, New Albany maintains all public roads within its corporate limits -- more than 200 lane miles, Strayer said.

However, residential neighborhoods don't have signs directing vehicles to park in driveways during snow-removal times, city spokesman Scott McAfee said, and although drivers won't be ticketed or otherwise penalized for parking on both sides of the street, "it really makes it very tight for that plow to get through."

When snow-removal staff members are out on the road and are blocked by cars on the street, drivers have to back up and call a smaller truck to the area, said maintenance worker Kenny Geiger.

"It could be a problem all night, all day," Geiger said.

Drivers who try to take their trucks over curbs to avoid parked vehicles could endanger themselves if the snowplows were to slide off the curbs, he said.

Because snowplows work curb to curb, trash cans left on the street also can inhibit the snow-removal process, Geiger said. If the street isn't completely cleared curb to curb, drivers have to return later to finish the job, he said.

Meanwhile, patches of snow that were unable to be removed because of garbage cans or cars could pose safety hazards to drivers, Geiger said.

How residents shovel their driveways also affects the ease in which roads may be cleared of snow.

Residents should pile snow from their driveways to the left of the driveway when facing their homes, Strayer said. Dumping snow into the road could cause it to freeze and create a safety hazard, he said.

ssole@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSarah