Letters to the editor for Jan. 28
Recently on the Tribune’s Opinion pages, there has been much discussion about snow berms. After having read the articles, I have come to the conclusion that everyone’s letter has merit.
The city’s plowing equipment is leaving berms across driveways; however, there are many factors to consider. First of all, the primary function of snowplow operators is to clear roadways for emergency vehicles, residents and visitors. The much-discussed “gates” on the snowplows function to reduce the berm across your driveway – not eliminate them. The gates are properly functioning when the berm across your property is higher than the berm across your driveway. Without the gates, the berm would be the same height completely across, end-to-end. Simply put, the heavier the snow, the bigger the berm; the more snow, the bigger the berm. Berms are to be expected every time snow-removal equipment passes during their operations.
There are other contributing factors related to berm height, including driveway spacing, street width, street slope, visibility, moisture content, vehicles parked on the street and in the snowplow passway. The issue is then further compounded when driveways are not properly marked or maintained throughout each storm. City staff provides training to the operators, and the city is committed to providing the best snow-removal service possible. The operators work long hours in tough conditions. Because of tight timelines, conversations with customers are discouraged, but they are instructed to be polite.
Owning a snowblower or contracting an experienced snow-removal operator will help facilitate the removal of snow from your driveway. We do understand that this option is not feasible for everyone. Snow from your driveway should be blown or placed onto your property, not into the street.
The city has a Web site to assist individuals in preparing for and learning more about snow-removal issues. Please visit http://www.cityofslt.us for tips to assist you with mountain living.
We always appreciate hearing from the community on the job we do for you.
Director of public works
City of South Lake Tahoe
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