Officials: Residents, contractors frustrate removal efforts
December 13, 2007
Steamboat SpringsSteamboat Springs — Jim Weber wishes some people would admit that it's winter. — Jim Weber wishes some people would admit that it's winter.
Steamboat Springs — Jim Weber wishes some people would admit that it’s winter.
Weber, of the Steamboat Springs Public Works Department, said recent snowfall and freezing temperatures have done little to dissuade some of Steamboat’s many builders. In some cases, Weber has had to disappoint those who want to dig across city streets.
“They want to dig across the pavement,” Weber said. “People seem to forget that we don’t allow open cuts after Nov. 1. I would have to assume their management and training skills need some improvement.”
Weber said construction projects have impeded the city’s ability to keep some streets clear, especially when materials are stored in the public right-of-way.
“We have a number of things that are ongoing with aspects of construction that are in the right-of-way,” Weber said. “The plows will tend to stay away from that, which decreases the travel width.”
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Weber said stacking materials near the roadway is “theoretically” illegal, but no one has been punished.
“The building department says you’re supposed to store all materials on site,” Weber said. “There are some enforcement issues that need to be investigated. : Historically, it has been a problem.”
Weber would not be specific about which projects are causing problems, but he said they include commercial developments and single-family homes.
“I can’t be specific about it,” Weber said. “I don’t think it’s fair.”
In Routt County, Road and Bridge Director Paul Draper is starting to distribute bright green warning fliers to those who plow snow from their driveway to the opposite side of the road.
“This is a particular problem this year,” said Draper, who noted snow from driveways should be stored on the same side of the road, and to the sides of the driveway. “When you plow your driveway, you can’t drive across the road. It would be like dragging a tree in the road for the county to clean up.
“What we want our citizens to do is: the snow on your side of the road stays on your side of the road.”
Routt County Commissioner Doug Monger said commissioners are supporting an informational approach to solving the problem, but stricter enforcement might be used if the problem continues.
“A big concern is the safety of our traveling public on our roads,” Monger said. “If it continues, we’ll see what we have to do.”
The county is particularly focusing on changing the behavior of contract snow-removal operations that may be new to the business and don’t know the rules.