City to test equipment for clearing driveway berms



Posted on October 4, 2013 at 6:29 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 4 at 6:40 PM

Should snow crews be responsible for clearing driveway berms?

SPOKANE, Wash. -- City leaders confirmed Friday that they are starting a pilot project to better clear driveway snow berms. Snow removal teams will test equipment to remove berms created by plows.

Leaders said they ordered one boot which will be attached to a grader for the first time in decades. The grader pushes snow to the sides of streets, similar to a plow. The boot would be used to clear plowed snow from the end of driveways. It would follow a plow throughout the city.

Spokane had to make cuts to boots because there weren't enough graders. It slowed crews down from plowing others areas also. But residents could get them back if the results of the pilot project are promising.

One resident remembered when the boots were still around Spokane.

"For us, it made it easier to clear our driveways. It was a small, six inch burn to clean out," said South Hill resident Gerald Cox.

Neighbors who dread shoveling snow welcome the change.

"It's a lot of work for one person. If I could have help with that, that would be a great thing," said Sarah Drumheller, a South Hill resident.

Spokane Mayor David Condon said he hopes to test the process and find out how long jobs will take, or whether or not it will be financially beneficial to the City. Leaders also said that only one boot will be enough to provide data to see if it will make a difference.

"Simply a pilot project, simply one boot to see how we would be able to if possible to do this across the city," said Mayor David Condon.

City leaders will evaluate the project in March. They will decide then where the money would come from to order more boots. They did not say which parts of town the one boot will work during the pilot project, but residents said even if the boot slows things down, it's worth saving them the hassle.