Snow removal rules have do's and don'ts
Courtesy also comes into play when moving mounds in coming months.
Snow may have come late to Valdez this year, but it's never too early to brush up on local ordinances regarding snow removal and other seasonal rules. From parking in snow, to pushing snow off your property, there is plenty to remember.
One of the more onerous tasks faced by city snow removal workers – and police – is getting parked vehicles off the streets, especially at night during heavy snowfall.
The City of Valdez recently ran its yearly notice in the newspaper, warning drivers that it is illegal to park on city streets during winter months.
"It's the ones that leave them out overnight," that are most problematic Larry Weaver, the city's public works director said in an interview late last season.
The city code specifically prohibits parking vehicles on city streets during winter months, but each snow season, dozens of violations of the prohibition add to the workload of both the police department and the hampers city snow plows.
Snow removal crews typically begin work at 2 a.m. and need plenty of room to operate effectively.
City resources used to try to contact owners of illegally parked vehicles – especially the police department - is considerable. While officials have said that considerable effort is made to contact owners of the parked vehicles prior to calling in a tow truck, it wastes valuable resources.
There are other snow problems that occur during periods of heavy snowfall that the city code also addresses. Weaver often refers to these matters as "snow etiquette."
Valdez Star photo
Parking on city streets during winter is illegal in Valdez due to the fact that vehicles impede snow removal activities, especially in the middle of the night when during active snowfall.
Snow removed from driveways and walkways to a home can be moved to a city street by residents – with a few caveats. You – or people you hire – cannot move snow to the middle of streets. Private residents are allowed to move snow close to curbs, but snow removal contractors are required to move snow to a city snow lot when clearing private property.
If a whole yard is cleared, the excess snow has to be taken to a snow dump, regardless of whether it is removed by you or a contractor.
Residents should also take care not to blow snow from machinery onto other people's property, especially in mobile home parks where space is tight.
People also need to be careful to avoid shoveling snow onto fuel lines. Hired hands should also be cautioned as to the location of such lines.
The city's full code regarding snow removal can be found on the city's website.