We have been extremely lucky so far from a weather standpoint, more specifically, the lack of any major precipitation in the form of cold, wet, heavy snow.
Given the consistency of mother nature, it's a sure bet that will all change soon, making the timing right for a few simple reminders that will go a long way in making lives easier for both city crews responsible for keeping our streets clean and for vehicle owners as well.
First, everyone needs a wake-up call regarding parking on roadways during heavy snowfalls. City ordinance states that vehicles cannot park in any one place on a street or alley for longer than 72 hours.
That is subject to change when a heavy snowfall occurs with parking prohibition automatically going into effect on all primary snow emergency routes where there has been an accumulation of snow and ice of three inches or more for one hour or more between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m.
This means vehicles need to be kept off of streets during this time, so snow cleanup can proceed unimpeded and as quickly as possible.
With the precipitation also comes ice and snow build-up on sidewalks, with the removal of the snow and ice the responsibility of the occupant of the property.
The ordinance states that no snow or ice may be allowed to stand or remain upon any public sidewalk within the city of West Fargo. If any person or corporation either neglects or refuses to clean the sidewalk abutting their property, the city can take action and have city crews coordinate the effort and assess the property owner for the work.
Another area of concern are sump hoses across sidewalks, which when they drain causes the water to freeze, making for extremely slippery situations.
The city ordinance pertaining to sump pumps clearly states they may not be placed on or over a public sidewalk, as they present a distinct hazard for individuals walking on the sidewalks. Property owners may request permission from the city to bury their sump pump hose under the sidewalk as a way of conforming to the ordinance.
When it comes to the first big snowfall, a little bit of common sense and consideration for others will go a long way.
Take the time to move your vehicle, and don't wait for the snow to become rock hard on your sidewalk before you decide to clean if off.
Being reactive right away will make the job a whole lot easier for everyone.
For additional information, check out the city ordinances pertaining to several of these issues in the adjacent material.