NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk Department of Public Works employees say they get it: You don’t like snow being plowed into your driveway after you’ve shoveled it.
Not much can be done, but acting Superintendent of Operations Chris Torre has a suggestion. Leave a foot of unshoveled snow at the end of the driveway until the plowing is over. It will act as a barrier, keeping the neighbor’s snow out.
That is just one of the comments coming out of a recent DPW press conference arranged by Mayor Harry Rilling. Hey, it’s been snowing, there isn’t much going on government-wise so seems like a good time to trot out more facts:
Once it’s done, it’s done:
“Our snow plow drivers feel like it’s a personal reflection on them when their route doesn’t look good the next day,” said DPW Operations Manager Lisa Burns. “(But) people intentionally park their cars out on the street so they don’t get a big windrow of snow right in front of their driveway. It’s just kind of how plowing works. … the next day people move back into driveway.”
That leaves snow in the street, but nothing can be done, she said.
“If they plow again it pushes windrow into people’s driveway again and then people complain. … There’s just going to be some things that cannot be done perfectly,” she said.
Be just a little lazy
“It’s advantageous for a homeowner to, if he’s going to shovel his driveway before it gets plowed, leave one foot at the end of his driveway that he did not shovel and he won’t get so much windrow in his driveway,” Torre said. “If you’re the only one on your street that shoveled your driveway and the plow truck comes by, most of the snow that the plow is pushing is going to go into the empty spot, right into your driveway.”
It’s a 10 to 15 season
“We average 10 to 15 events a season. A lot of our events now are snow mixed with freezing rain and sleet, whereas when I first started here 20 years ago we got a lot of snow storms – 4 inches, 6 inches, 8 inches,” Torre said. “The weather is changing. We’re getting heavier than normal rains. We’re getting snow- sleet- and freezing rain-events as opposed to heavy snow storms. They’re a lot harder to deal with than a typical snow storm.”
Big challenge: Cul-de-sacs
“There is nowhere to push the snow,” Torre said, of cul-de-sacs. “You’re talking about a truck with a 26,000-plus pound load, they’re not turn-on-a-dime vehicles.”
Catch basins are another challenge.
“We try not to push snow into catch basins because heavy rain after a snow storm will cause flooding,” he said.
It’s hard to imagine a more difficult cul-de-sac to plow than the Village Creek dead-end that Rich Sirois has on his South Norwalk route. Sirois likes to show that one off to the occasional visitor, as shown in the video below.
“This is Outer Road, my nemesis,” he said.