SPOKANE, Wash. — With a Winter Storm Warning in place for much of eastern Washington and north Idaho, the city of Spokane has released its winter operations response. The response includes plans for plowing, parking and communication with residents.
The forecast calls for a foot of snow or more for areas near Spokane. The snow is expected to start overnight on Tuesday and continue into the afternoon on Wednesday, meaning travel may be difficult for both the morning and evening commutes.
Winter operations started in Spokane on Nov. 15 and are expected to continue through March 15. For Wednesday's storm, crews will be out overnight Tuesday and in the early morning Wednesday.
“Our Street Department team is prepared for this week’s forecasted weather,” Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward said in a statement. “We are committed to delivering on our snow response plan, and as always, ask for the patience and teamwork of our community.”
Here are the main components of the city's winter operations response:
When it snows four inches or more, city crews move to 24/7 operations to complete a full-city plow. Crews work to complete the plow in approximately three days.
Utility crews will supplement Street crews for larger plowing efforts, and more equipment will be available on a regular basis for plowing.
The city has a Plow Progress Map available online. To view the map, click here.
Snow Corridor Plan
When snowfall is so high that city crews can't plow all major arterial routes, the city will enact the Snow Corridor Plan, which includes routes drivers can use during intense snowfall.
Those routes include:
- Maple/Ash: I-90 to the north city limits.
- Cedar/ High Drive/ Hatch: I-90 to SR-195.
- Division/ Newport Highway: I-90 to the north city limits.
- Bernard/ Grand: 3rd Avenue to High Drive.
- Hamilton/ Nevada: Trent to the north city limits.
- Freya/ Greene/ Market: I-90 to the north city limits.
- Freya/ Thor/ Ray/ Regal: I-90 to 57th Avenue.
- 29th Avenue: High Drive to Havana Street and 37th Avenue. Bernard Street to the east city limits.
- Sunset Boulevard/ 2nd and 3rd Avenues. West city limits to East city limits.
- Mission/ Maxwell/ Trent: Ash to east city limits.
- Wellesley Avenue: Assembly Street to Freya Street.
- Francis/ Nine Mile: West city limits to Nine Mile Road to Havana Street.
Driveway Berms & Sidewalk Snow
The Street Department has outfitted 19 pieces of equipment with “gates” that allow plow drivers to avoid placing snow across a driveway or alley access. The gates will greatly reduce driveway berms in residential areas, but berms are still possible, especially on arterials that are plowed frequently.
Crews will plow away from the curb a bit to help keep snow away from driveways and sidewalks. Snow also may be pushed to center medians in some cases.
Property owners remain responsible for clearing the sidewalk adjacent to their properties. The city is asking residents and businesses to clear a 36-inch path to allow school children, disabled individuals, bus riders and other pedestrians to move safely through the community. The goal is to complete that work by 9 a.m. after a snowfall.
Residents are asked to park on the odd side of the street in residential areas for the snow season, which runs from Nov. 15 to March 15.
Residents must move recreational vehicles, boats, and trailers off the street to winter storage locations. These vehicles are subject to towing. At all times, these vehicles are limited to 24 hours of continuous parking on the street. Passenger vehicles are limited to 72 hours of continuous on-street parking.
Downtown when it snows, announcements will be made to prohibit on-street parking between midnight at 6 a.m. so parking bays can be plowed out. Nights with downtown parking restrictions will be announced on the city’s web page and social media pages. Residents can also call 3-1-1.
Signs are installed in downtown, indicating this rule within the boundaries of Maple to Division and I-90 to the Spokane River. People can park at meters under the freeway during such times. Off-street surface parking lots also are an option as is parking outside the downtown snow event boundary. Vehicles parked during prohibited times are subject to towing.
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