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Streets - Snow Removal

Frequently Asked Questions:

How does the City manage snow removal?

The City is divided into four zones consisting of eight districts, the central business district, and the state expressways within the City limits. Each district has designated primary and secondary routes.

Primary routes receive priority attentions during snow and ice control operations. These routes are treated so as to achieve bare pavement as soon as possible following the conclusion of a snowstorm. The department's objective is to have all primary and secondary routes treated and/or plowed within 24 hours following the conclusion of a snowfall.

During snow and ice conditions, emergency calls from the Police and Fire Departments regarding accidents, medical or other emergency conditions are given priority. Requests for treating non-priority streets during a snow event generally cannot be honored. We ask all citizens to recognize that snowfalls do not discriminate in the creation of treacherous road conditions.

When does the City decide to begin plowing?

The City begins plowing when two (2) or more inches of snow are on the streets and more is expected. The City does not chemically treat or plow private property and does not shovel out ridges in driveways caused by the snow plows. Snow removal from driveways and sidewalks is the responsibility of the property owner. It is illegal for property owners to shovel or plow snow out onto the streets.

The plow routes will follow the same routing as the primary salting routes. Depending on the road conditions, as well as the number of plowing units available, two units may be assigned to each of the primary salting routes.

Who do I contact to have my street plowed?

The conditions that prompt a call about poor road conditions probably exist throughout the City. Rerouting equipment in response to such a call disrupts the pattern that is designed ultimately to clear the entire City of hazard. It is the responsibility of the City Street/Sewer Department to provide an adequate driving surface as soon as possible following the onset of a snowfall.  Accordingly, calls from citizens will have little to no effect upon the snow removal plan during any major snow event.

There are nearly 900 lane miles to plow in Canton.  Main arteries and emergency snow streets are cleared continuously, with snow plow drivers often working straight through, often for 24 hours or more. Once the snowfall ceases and the main arteries are cleared, the snow plow drivers begin to clear secondary streets.

At the onset of a snowfall, the efforts of the department are initially directed toward priority routes. The department treats priority routes so as to achieve bare pavement. Upon completion of the designated priority routes, the department moves on and begins treatment of secondary streets. Flat secondary routes are spot salted with emphasis at intersections and stop signs.

Streets in residential areas are considered lower priority and are spot salted after priority and secondary routes are completed. Alleys, as a rule, are not salted. The department will, however, salt alleys that are hazardous, for example, those that are on hills and empty out onto primary or secondary routes. The department will also respond to requests to salt alleys as time and conditions permit.

My street needs plowed.  What if there was an emergency?

During continuous snow storms, all snow plows (roughly 30) are on the roads.  In emergency situations, paramedics and firefighters will make their way down snow-covered secondary roads. However, a public safety crisis would ensue if emergency vehicles were not able to manuever the main arteries, which lead to the secondary roads.

I usually park on the street.  What will happen to my car?

Section 357.04 of the Codified Ordinances of the City of Canton prohibits parking on Emergency Snow Routes. The parking ban is instituted when four inches or more of snow is on the streets of Canton and the Street/Sewer Department is actively involved in the removal of this snow. Designated Emergency Snow Routes are marked as such by signage.

When the Mayor or Service Director declares an emergency and invokes the parking ban, such notice shall be conveyed through local radio stations. Vehicles parked on designated Emergency Snow Routes during the ban will be towed at the owner's expense. The parking ban remains in effect until the Mayor or Service Director lifts it.

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