Reviewing the PlanThe Municipal Services & Operations Department's Street Maintenance Division conducts a practice of the Snow and Ice Control Plan (PDF) annually. Employees from Municipal Services & Operations inspect equipment, locate required gear, and travel assigned routes streets.
Readying the PlanRoutes follow a priority order from most traveled to least traveled streets. In general, winter operations progress from:
- Arterials, high-capacity areas of travel such as Iowa Street or 6th Street
- Collectors, low, to moderate-capacity streets that move traffic from local streets to arterials, such as Tennessee Street or Lawrence Avenue
- Areas around schools
- Local streets, such as residential streets and cul-de-sacs
How We Clear Snow and IceSnow plowing operations are generally not effective if there is less than a two-inch accumulation of snow. Crews follow the same routes for spreading sand and salt for icy conditions and small accumulations of snow.
Snow plowing: Parked cars and drivewaysWhen snow accumulations reach two inches deep, crews will begin to plow around cars that are left parked on the street. Persons should move them off the street prior to plowing operations or they will be responsible for digging them out. A windrow of snow is left at the curb when city crews plow snow. Residents and businesses who need access to those drives will be responsible for removing the windrow after crews have plowed the street. For more information, please contact Municipal Services & Operations Customer Service at (785) 832-7800.
Citizen responsibilitiesLawrence citizens should familarize themselves with the snow and ice removal ordinance. To make public sidewalks safe for pedestrians, the owner or occupant of property immediately adjacent to a public sidewalk is responsible for removal of any snow or ice accumulation on the sidewalk. Removal must be done within 48 hours after the ice forms or the snowfall ends. If removal of ice is impossible, the property owner or occupant is required to place sand on the sidewalk within 48 hours. If a property owner fails to comply with the ordinance and the Development Services Division receives a complaint, a citation will be written. Property owners will be fined $20 for each day the violation occurs, plus court costs if found guilty. Related: Please see the Safe Winter Walkways program for assistance options. During snow events, residents can greatly improve crews’ ability to remove snow by not parking on certain roadways. If you live in an area highlighted in orange on this map (PDF, 278 KB), please consider moving your car off of the roadway to allow snow plows to pass easily. This is not a mandatory step; just a request to make the process go smoother.
Be a good neighborResidents are responsible for the snow removal in driveways and maintenance of sidewalks adjacent to their properties. Think about neighbors and friends who do not have the ability to shovel snow from their own walks and drives. Let neighbors know ahead of time if you are willing to help. And remember, snow plows will create a blockage even after the drive has been cleaned. Related: Get the Facts: Snow Removal Ordinance - Who is responsible for clearing sidewalks, streets and more
Trash services during snow and ice removal operationsCity crews will operate normal residential and commercial trash services as conditions allow. If conditions become too hazardous to crews and equipment, operations will be suspended until the following day. In commercial areas and parking lots, owners need to remember not to block enclosures when having the lots plowed, or crews will not be able to empty containers.
Where to Get Snow Info:
The city utilizes the following tools to provide information about snow operations:
- City News Emails – lawrenceks.org/subscriptions
- Facebook - www.facebook.com/CityOfLawrence
- Twitter - @lawrenceks
- Hashtags - #kswx and #lawrencetraffic
- City of Lawrence, Kansas News Releases
- Local Weather Forecast (NOAA)
- Weather Channel Driving Tips from Road & Travel Magazine
What is salt brine?
- Salt brine is simply salt dissolved in water
- Because the salt is dissolved there are no salt particles to bounce onto cars or roadsides; the salt that is applied to the roadway stays there
- Pretreating pavements is 300 to 400 percent more effective than waiting for the ice to form and then applying salt
- It also helps with isolated icy patches from many different sources; such as frost or water leaks
Why does the City of Lawrence pretreat its roadways with salt brine on a warm and/or sunny day?
- If there is a forecast for temperatures below freezing with a possibility of rain or snow
- Salt brine is applied before a snow or ice event; it can be applied any time before the precipitation begins, even several days before
- On a sunny day it quickly dries on the pavement and when dry will stay on the pavement for quite a while ready to be reactivated from moisture
- Re-applications are made whenever visual observations or weather indicates that another application is needed to prevent pavement icing
- Salt applications may still be needed depending upon the duration and severity of the snow / ice storm, however a brine treated roadway will normally not require an application until well after the storm has begun