Plow Drivers Work to Clear Residential Roads, But Who Gets Dug Out First?

By Dave Franzman , Reporter

A snowplow clears 19th Street SE on Wednesday morning, Jan. 30, 2012, in southeast Cedar Rapids. Five inches of snow had fallen as of 9:30, with travel not advised on most highways in eastern Iowa.(Liz Martin/The Gazette-KCRG)

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By Dave Franzman

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Cedar Rapids Streets crews expected to have every residential street plowed at least once by 7 or 8 o’clock Wednesday evening. But some residents still wonder who gets plowed out first and why.

As usual, plows in Cedar Rapids concentrated on the main roads first—especially the ones marked as “emergency snow routes.” The city extended the snow emergency until noon Thursday. That means people parking on the marked routes need to move vehicles until then.

After clearing the main roads, crews will usually tackle side streets with hills and other slick spots next. But after that, it’s up to the individual plow driver to run the residential routes in any order.

Some drivers didn’t move vehicles off the marked snow routes right away. But Megan Lewis was one exception.

“It was important for us to get up early this morning (and move the car) so they can gets those streets plowed. Not only that, but it makes it easier to park later on,” Lewis said.

With no residential snow emergency in effect, residents weren’t required to move vehicles to the “odd” or “even” sides of the streets. But streets crews were hoping for a little voluntary cooperation to help the plows clear out side streets earlier.

One supervisor said complaints were relatively few. But some people always wonder why their area appears to be last on the list. Several neighbors in an area just off Highway 30 say that’s a common feeling in their neighborhood. But not everyone feels that strongly that it’s a problem.

One resident, Ken Carroll, said “they eventually get here and they do a good job. We don’t really make a big deal about it.”

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