We've been busy over the last couple of weeks with several sizeable snowfalls. Those big snowflakes may look pretty when they're falling, but heavy snowfall can cause a lot of concern for drivers.

That's why we do our very best to help keep the roads clear and passable for our emergency vehicles, residents and visitors. Our crews often work 12-hour shifts, around the clock, to treat streets and remove snow and ice. It's not unusual to apply upwards of 8,000 gallons of brine solution in a season and as much as 750 tons of salt.

This season is by no means over, and snow is still a possibility for the next couple of months. We want to remind everyone of a few great ways residents can help us with snow removal.

One of the simplest things you can do to help is to park your vehicles in the driveway instead of the street whenever possible. This helps us out because it allows us to plow the streets from curb to curb for drainage purposes.

Another way you can help is to make sure to shovel snow off the sidewalks, but never shovel or blow snow from your sidewalk or driveway out into the city streets. Shoveling or blowing piles of snow into the street is actually prohibited because it creates obstacles for emergency vehicles.

If you hire someone else to plow or shovel for you, please make sure to let them know not to push the snow from your property into the streets.

There are a few other things you can also do to help the process run smoothly. Shovel snow into small piles instead of large piles, because small piles melt quicker and are less likely to become ice banks. Also, make sure to clear the snow around mailboxes, fire hydrants, roof and sump pump drains and dumpsters. And always remember to help your elderly or sick friends and neighbors who might have trouble shoveling.

Every time we get a substantial snowfall, we will plow and salt the major roadways and arterial streets first, including Gender Road, Groveport Road, Columbus Street, High Street and Waterloo Street. Then we work on the collector streets and major streets in the subdivisions. After those are cleared, the plows will get to the secondary streets in the subdivisions, the cul-de-sacs and finally, the alleys.

We want to remind everyone that some of roadways in the area, such as Diley Road, are plowed by county or township crews and aren't in our jurisdiction. If you have questions regarding which jurisdiction plows and maintains your road, please contact our street department at 614-524-0163.

Once the roadways are complete, we are able to plow parking lots. We will work on the handicap parking spaces and the ramps first, then plow the other spaces. Sometimes, when we have more than 8 inches of snow, we try to go back and remove the plowed snow from the downtown area, but we're only able to do this after all of the other removal activities are completed, and only during normal business hours.

We're going to continue working hard to keep our roads cleared and we appreciate everyone's patience, help and encouragement. We're proud to be working for our friends and neighbors in our favorite city, Canal Winchester!

Shawn Starcher is Canal Winchester's streets superintendent. This column is provided to ThisWeek Canal Winchester Times by the city.