Contact: Columbia Public Works
Across Columbia new signs are being installed on 1st and 2nd priority snow routes that designate significant changes for motorist who usually park on these routes.
Earlier this year, the City Council amended ordinance 14-304 to designate 1st and 2nd priority snow routes as "No Parking" areas when snow depths of greater than two inches acumulate on the roadways. The changes were in response to past winter storms where vehicles parked on snow routes significantly hampered the ability of snow plows to clear the routes in a timely fashion.
"During the first snow storm last February, it took our crews almost 28 hours to clear the 1st and 2nd priority routes due to cars parked on snow routes and cars abandoned in the roadway," said Scott Bitterman, Street Engineering Manager for the City of Columbia.
The revised ordinance allows law enforcement and parking agents to issue a citation and, if needed, tow a vehicle at the owners expense if the vehicle is parked on a 1st or 2nd priority route and the snow has accumulated more than 2 inches on the roadways. First and 2nd priority snow routes are primarily main roads that handle larger volumes of traffic into subdivisions, schools, retail and employment centers, and serve as primary routes for public safety and public transportation vehicles. Vehicles must be removed from the street until the street is cleared. Once the street is cleared, vehicles can then park on the routes again.
"This first year, we'll concentrate on education efforts to help our customers understand these new rules which are designed to help everyone by allowing us to clear roads more efficiently," said John Glascock, Director of Public Works. "Our goal is to educate and gain public support and understanding of the new rules."
To assist people in knowing when to move their vehicles off of 1st and 2nd priority routes, Columbia Public Works will use mainstream media and social media to reach out to our customers. Residents are also encouraged to monitor local forecast and be prepared to move vehicles if the forecast calls for snow accumulations of greater than 2 inches.
A map of the 1st and 2nd priority snow routes is available at ComoSnow.com