Earlier this month the city of Hannibal was taken to task by a downtown businesswoman for having pushed snow toward the curbs on Broadway, rather than to the center of the thoroughfare, during February’s storms. Following this past weekend’s 8.5-inch snow, piles of the white stuff could be found extending down the center of Main Street and Broadway.
While City Manager Jeff LaGarce indicated during the March 5 City Council meeting that a new snow-moving plan is being developed, the moving of snow to the center of Main Street and Broadway is not new policy.
“We’ve been plowing to the center of Main and Broadway for the past three years. It may not be very memorable for people, as we’ve had minimal snow in recent years. The very large snows we’ve experienced could not be plowed to the center. A snowdrift in the center of a road can only be piled so high, and the base of the pile, necessary to support a tall drift, would have been so wide as to render driving lanes impassible,” said LaGarce, in an e-mail to the Courier-Post. “We will however, try to plow every snow to the center of Main and Broadway henceforth, using other city departments to remove access snow to prevent piles from becoming to high. This actually occurred over the weekend.”
Having a different snow plan for downtown, compared to residential areas, makes sense, according to LaGarce.
“Main and Broadway are unique; both areas are characterized as zero setback, no front yards; really no place to put the snow. Unlike a residential neighborhood, if you don’t plow Main and Broadway to the center of the road, you’re consuming usable space with snow piles along the business frontages. This isn’t the case in residential neighborhoods, where snow can be piled alongside street curbs and yard frontages without significant impact to pedestrians,” wrote the city manager. “There will always be some inconvenience during/after a snow – in any city. We appreciate people’s patience as the plowtrucks make their routes and get public streets open for everyone.”
As of noon Monday, LaGarce reported no public feedback regarding where the snow was pushed in the downtown area this past weekend.
According to LaGarce, the latest storm did not present the time-consuming chores that February’s snows did.
“The Street Department removed this snow easier than many others. While it was a wet snow, temperatures did remain high, so while the snow continued all Sunday afternoon, much of it melted, rather than accumulated, as it hit the streets. This made their job much easier,” he wrote.