West Lafayette could be adding emergency snow routes

The proposed ordinance is something that snowplow drivers say is vital not only for their safety but also for the safety of the community.

Posted: Oct 31, 2019 6:41 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI)-The city of West Lafayette could soon have emergency snow routes added to the city. The proposed ordinance is something that snowplow drivers say is vital not only for their safety but also for the safety of the community.

"We don't currently have an emergency route-policy of any type on any of our roadways to make sure that they are clear of vehicles," said Ben Anderson the West Lafayette Street Commissioner.

The community of West Lafayette has grown considerably in the last few years. That growth has forced more cars to park on city streets. The ordinance currently being proposed would require all vehicles to not be parked on the street during a snow event. Plow drivers say that would make their job easier and more efficient.

"You know if there are cars parked we can't get the snow all the way out of the road," says Mark Hassett a snowplow driver with the city of West Lafayette.

If cars are parked on narrow roads plow drivers aren't able to clear the streets in a timely manner making them less safe for drivers.

"Depending on the type of snow we have, we really have to be careful about how it pushes against the cars,” added Hasset. “We have had instances where it's kind of icy and it creates chunks so then it could possibly cause damage to people's vehicles."

Since the weather can be unpredictable, the streets department says having these routes would make navigating snowy streets easier for everyone.

"As we've grown and changed and developed and gotten larger it's time that we need to have some kind of avenues to help us get our jobs done,” added Anderson.

The more West Lafayette grows the more cars there will be which is why those who make the roads safer want to be able to their job to the best of their ability.

"If we have to jump up on a curb to get around something we can’t clear the roadway because our plow isn't on the road,” added Anderson. “We are doing damage to our vehicles a lot of the time, and occasionally or potentially we are doing damage somebody else's vehicle."

The City Council is expected to vote on the ordinance at the November 4th meeting. If the ordinance passes and people are parked on emergency snow routes during a snow event, they would find $40 and their car would be towed at their expense.

The streets that would be considered emergency routes are Airport Road, Cherry Lane, Cumberland Avenue, Grant Street, Harrison Street, Lindberg Road, Russell Street, Salisbury Street North of Stadium Avenue, Stadium Avenue West of Grant Street, and State Street. For a link to the full ordinance click here.

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