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How you can help keep roads clear this winter

Alex Doty • Jan 11, 2018 at 4:00 PM

Our area has racked up mounds of snow over the past month, and all this powder has kept people busy shoveling their driveways and sidewalks, and plow truck drivers have been just as busy clearing off area streets.

While removing snow after a winter storm can seem like a daunting task, there are some ways to shovel that end up making cleanup easier for everyone in the long run, and cut down on the need for additional work after the plow drivers go past your driveway.

Here’s some information from the Ottawa County Road Commission about how residents can help keep their roads safe and clear:

How should I shovel/plow my driveway to help snowplow drivers?

According to the Road Commission, always shovel snow to the right-hand side of your driveway, and clear the area to the left of the driveway. By doing so, you will minimize the amount of snow that gets pushed back into your driveway from plowing.

Can I push snow into the street?

According to the Road Commission, never push the snow onto the road. State law says it is illegal to put snow from your property out into the road, as it can create dangerous conditions for drivers.

If enough people in your neighborhood shovel or blow their snow into a plowed road, then it can make your neighborhood roads more hazardous to drive. Help keep the roads and neighborhoods clear and safe by clearing and piling snow to the right of your driveway, and make sure it’s off the road.

Where should I put my trash can?

To help snowplow and other drivers — and to prevent your trash can from being knocked over — it’s recommended that it be set off the road. The Road Commission advises that a spot should be shoveled next to the driveway for trash cans.

When Road Commission trucks are out plowing, they are pushing up a lot of snow. This can make it difficult to see what’s along the side of the road. 

What should I do with other items along the road or near the end of my driveway?

Oftentimes, items are left on the road after the first snow, from small things like bikes and sleds to large things like basketball hoops. To ensure that plow trucks can properly clear the road, the Road Commission recommends that residents remove items in the road or directly on the road shoulder that could interfere with plowing.

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