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Why Does It Take So Long To Plow Snow on Side Streets?

snow car
micah cawley

I have received a ton of questions about when the city will begin plowing neighborhood streets. Let me first say that I’m just going to explain our process for plowing streets with limited resources and not give my opinion on whether I think they are doing a good job or not. I’m almost positive if we get more snow that we may need to dip into reserves to pay the private contractors who are in the process of plowing neighborhood streets as I write these words.

Now for how it’s done. The City works off a grid system from 96th to I-82 and Hwy 12 to Washington Avenue. That grid takes city crews 12 hours to plow using all available staff. By the time you get from one end of town to the other if the snow keeps coming it erases all the work they just did and we have to plow it again.

Neighborhood streets are worse because there is more of them and no place to put the snow. When you plow snow it has to go somewhere and most people prefer that place in not in front of their driveway. Crews are working this weekend to plow most residential streets, but if cars and other obstacles are in the roadway it makes their job more difficult. In Yakima there are 25 square miles of ground to cover and it won’t be done in an 8 or even 12 hour day. We should get most streets plowed by Sunday, I hope.

Please leave your questions and comments below and lets hope for better weather so we don’t have to deal with this crazy snow.

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