With temperatures predicted to be in the 50s and 60s through the weekend, it's easy to forget that we're heading into mid-November.
Mother Nature knows better, and she could just as well be dumping snow on us as giving us a tiny taste of Indian summer. The city of Joliet knows better, too, and has issued its annual reminder of snow removal policies so residents and business owners can be prepared.
The snow parking ban is already in effect, and remains so through April 1. That means when snow reaches two inches, parking along public streets is prohibited so snow plows aren't obstructed. Tickets will be issued to violators, and the police department can have vehicles towed, a city news release said.
The city requests that:
- Commercial property owners plow the parking lots, driveways and public sidewalks adjoining their businesses.
- Residential property owners shovel or plow the public sidewalks adjoining their homes, especially those that are frequently used by pedestrians and school children.
- Shoveled snow from driveways be placed on the parkway and not in the street. Shoveling snow into the street is a code violation and could result in a ticket.
- Property owners shovel out fire hydrants and meters to assist emergency personnel and city or utility employees.
- Mailboxes be cleared and a path to to the curb created to accommodate mail carriers.
- Neighbors help neighbors, espcially those who are older or have medical conditions that could be exacerbated if they shovel snow.
Also, because it is unavoidable that plows will push snow onto sidewalks at intersection corners, adjacent residential/business owner are expected to remove "snow berms" so that pedestrians can pass, the city's news release said.
The city's Street Division covers 500 miles of roadway with 36 snow plow trucks and 33 employees. The goal is to clear all streets within 24 hours after snow stops falling. Heavier snows often take longer.
While city crews plow most of Joliet's streets, there are a number that fall under the jurisdiction of other governmental agencies.
The Illinois Department of Transportation plows Larkin Avenue, Plainfield Road, Chicago Street south of Fifth Avenue, Jefferson Street west of Larkin, and Theodore Street east of Cedarwood. Will County is responsible for Caton Farm
Road and Briggs Street.
City street are plowed in the following order:
- Major Arterials, hospital routes, hills, and the bridges.
- Subdivision mains and collector streets.
- All remaining subdivision streets.
- Cul-de-sacs and dead ends.
- Alleys are not plowed.
Due to the cost of de-icing materials, the city uses salt only at the intersection and mid-block of major arterials and subdivision mains, the release said. A mixture of salt and sand is used at subdivision street intersections.
It should not be expected that streets will be immediately be clear to the pavement. Some snow is left on the street because allowances must be made for manhole lids and other above-pavement obstacles that could damage snow plow blades.
In order to fight snow accumulation and freezing ice, the city uses a combination of rock salt and organic liquids containing sugar beet juice, which is effective down to a temperature of 30 below. The mixture is easier on vehicles and vegetation but leaves behind a brown residue.
Before snow starts falling, the city also lays down a mixture of salt brine, beet juice and calcium chloride that allows for quicker snow removal and slows down the accumulation of snow and ice, the city release said.