The threshold for plowing residential streets at two inches better aligns the City’s snow and ice control operations with best practices among peer communities and significantly improves resource management and effectiveness of the entire operations allowing for quicker response to treat all streets so the treatment can be more impactful sooner.
From a practical standpoint, trying to plow less than two inches of snow on residential streets can make conditions worse. There is usually quite a bit of snow packed to the pavement on residential streets and plowing can remove top layers providing traction which then makes conditions more slick.
For snow events that end with less than two inches of accumulation, salt can be applied on all residential streets much sooner. The reason for this is that it takes much less time to treat residential streets with salt, than to first plow and then treat residential streets. Faster salt treatment should help with melting and improved conditions on residential streets.
Because crews focus on plowing all primary and secondary roads prior to plowing residential streets, a two-inch threshold for residentials compared to primaries and secondaries will not delay plowing of residential streets for events over two inches whatsoever.