Months after Spokane was paralyzed by record snowfall, the city has come up with a proposal that would potentially resolve problems of snow-clogged streets and sidewalks.
The proposal would be implemented as a temporary system this fall and winter, and could become permanent city policy a year from now as details are ironed out.
The city, which issued the proposal this morning, is asking citizens to get involved in providing comments and suggestions leading up to adoption of a permanent new plan for the 2010-2011 winter season.
Spokane last winter was paralyzed by heavy snowfall that began in mid-December and left a snow and ice layer so thick that schools remained closed following the holiday period.
Last winter season saw a record 93.6 inches of snow, and the winter of 2007-2008 saw 92.6 inches, the third highest amount on record in Spokane.
Mayor Mary Verner said in a press release that the proposal requires “both the city and its citizens to be more proactive when it snows” and that the public should be more pleased with the outcomes.
The proposal defines different levels of snow emergency.
A stage 1 event is called when there are 2 inches on the ground and 4 or more inches are anticipated to fall. A stage 2 event is called when there are 6 inches on the ground with more on the way.
Under a stage 1 event, residents will have to move parked cars off all arterials and Spokane Transit Authority routes.
Under stage 2, residents will be asked to park their vehicles on one side of streets in residential areas.
The idea is to create clear paths for plows.
Efforts are also being stepped up to get compliance on removing snow from sidewalks. A committee has looked at increasing enforcement with a possibility that tickets would be issued for not complying. Voluntary compliance is being sought this year, city officials said today.
The plan also calls for buying 11 new truck plows and enhanced snow removal efforts. Communication with residents during snow emergencies also would increase.
Citizens are asked to comment on the proposals by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the city with their comment at 755-CITY.