Plowing Priority: How Crews Decide On What Streets To Clear First

7:04 PM, Jan 29, 2014   |    comments
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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- By noon on Wednesday, kids in a Greensboro neighborhood had already spent several hours sliding down a hill in front of their homes. The hill, covered in snow, is actually a city street, unplowed after Tuesday's snow storm.  

"The kids love being out in the snow," said Kimberly Clarke. What's fun for the children, on days like this, can be a headache for moms and dads. "We don't get shoveled, so that's a problem," Clarke said. Jon Sheroff, another neighbor, added: "It's unfortunate that we don't have the resources and the equipment to do it."

Talk to NCDOT and city road crews and they'll tell you preps for winter weather start way before a storm -- in the summer.

But some residents, like those who live here, say even with all the planning they aren't seeing results. Several roads leading to Fleming Rd. in Greensboro hadn't see much of a salt truck or plow since the storm. "What concerns me more is the slope in front of my house because cars come directly down that hill. I'm so afraid that somebody is going to drive right into my house," Clarke said. But road crews say it's about resources and priority. "We do the priority one streets first.

Those streets are like Wendover, High Point Road, Battleground, and then, we try to move into our priority 2 streets," said David Munoz, a Greensboro street maintenance supervisor. Between city crews and DOT trucks, residential streets are third priority. High on the list are interstates, then major roads that lead to those highways. "What we do is we treat the roads that carry the higher traffic volume first. For instance the interstates.

While we're clearing the interstates, we're clearing the major, primary roads throughout the county," explained Brad Wall, an NCDOT maintenance engineer.  "We just do not have the resources to get to everybody all at one time so we try to go about it an organized manner."

But for Clarke, it boils down to one question: "If you can't get to the primary roads and the arteries, how good is it?"

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