As Hearst Connecticut’s media editor, John Schwing sends out interesting info coming directly from — or supplemental to — Hearst papers (including the Westport News).
There are 123 miles of streets in Westport maintained by the Department of Public Works (DPW). Snow removal can cost up to $2500 per hour, therefore, it is important for DPW to use its resources wisely with cooperation from the residents to provide the appropriate response while minimizing the cost.
PLOW ROUTES – The streets are plowed and sanded in order of priority. Main (collector) roads are addressed first with special attention to steep hills and difficult intersections. Side streets are done next, then deadend streets. A single pass will be made on side streets to keep them open, but primary emphasis will be placed on main roads until the storm has stopped. This may not seem fair to the residents of side streets or deadend streets, but main roads must remain open.
BLOCKED DRIVEWAYS – All snow plows angle the same way – to the driver’s right. When going by they cannot avoid pushing the snow in front of a driveway. The homeowner is responsible for access to his driveway. The only way to avoid extra shoveling is to wait until DPW crews have completed their final clean up on the street.
SIDEWALKS – Per town ordinance, businesses are responsible for keeping all sidewalks along their property clear of snow and ice.
MAILBOX DAMAGE – The town repairs or replaces only mailboxes and/or posts that are actually struck by a plow blade. Usually a paint mark or tire tracks supply evidence of a mailbox strike. The town does not repair or replace mailboxes and/or posts that fall from the force of plowed snow. Mailboxes and supporting posts must be installed to withstand the rigors of snow removal, including the force of snow pushed from the street onto the roadside.
PRIVATE PLOWING – The town prohibits plow contractors from pushing snow from driveways or parking lots onto town streets. This practice is dangerous and impedes the town’s snow removal efforts. If there is no other alternative to pushing snow into the street, the plow driver must plow off the windrow left across the street by re-plowing until the road is safe. This may not necessarily mean bare pavement, but certainly it should be no worse than when the driver began work.
Residents who have a question or complaint should call Public Works at (203) 341-1120.