Plowing policy debated

When the snow flies, and as residents bundle up in their homes, plow crews head out in the cold to clear the way.
Alex Doty
Mar 11, 2013


But deciding what gets plowed first and what streets may have to wait a day is not done willy-nilly.

Grand Haven Public Works Director Bill Hunter said there is a process in place for getting crews out on the roads.

“The directors of public works and public safety determine if the conditions on the roadways warrant trucks to be called out or not,” he said. “The public’s safety is our No. 1 priority.”

Hunter said the call is based on the event, weather and what the weather will be the next day.

“It all depends on the conditions and special events that are taking place," he added.

Grand Haven plow crews start with major high-traffic roads such as Robbins, Waverly, Columbus and Sheldon, and go from there. Hills and restricted parking areas will be cleared before side streets.

“We clean around the schools and hospital areas, and work our way out from there,” Hunter said.

Hunter said the city has six five-ton dump trucks that it can split between each side of the highway, doing both salt and plow duties.

“We’ll have a small salt truck out for the hills and little nook-and-cranny areas,” he said. “And we’ll have a loader out, taking and piling snow in the business district. Your business district can’t have snow that’s thrown to the side.”

Hunter said there are four or five trucks that deal with city parking lots and dead-end streets.

“On top of all that, we have three sidewalk plows that are out,” Hunter said. “That would all be a typical snow event.”

Hunter said he often gets calls from residents who are concerned that their street isn’t plowed, or that they see trucks taking care of one street and not another.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.




Along many township roads are signs which state "Environmentally Sensitive Area" (as no salt/chloride areas). These signs are normally adjacent to commercial properties with blueberry bushes, etc... somewhat near the road. However, I have noticed that some of these signs are placed nowhere near commercial properties... or properties any more sensitive than my property. Hmmm... . In front of my house, trucks drop the chloride and shortly thereafter, a plow truck flies past at 50mph and throws 70% of the chloride slush onto my lawn. Do I want an icy road in front of my house or a lawn where grass will grow? I, like many others can actually have both. Please, slow the plow trucks down.


Is it really that hard to understand plowing priorities? Is this the first snow season (well, what it was anyways) in Michigan? Just because you have purchased a property in a nice location doesn't mean you get a priority service. But then again, this could be another "emotional" beat up by the Tribune.


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