Mayor Walsh teams with Common Council, DPW, Police, Fire, and Parks to address snow safety challenges
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – With a winter storm approaching overnight, Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh and the leaders of the Police, Fire, Department of Public Works and Parks and Recreation departments, as well as members of the Syracuse Common Council today announced a Snow Safety Plan for the city of Syracuse. The plan takes immediate steps to address concerns about snow clearance from sidewalks, streets and around fire hydrants.
The Mayor and leaders of the city are committed to:
- Ensuring timely snow removal from sidewalks on all city-owned properties
- Increasing awareness of existing ordinances and responsibilities for city residents
- Using city data to step up enforcement of parking regulations in priority spots and throughout the city, as well as violations by private plow operators
- Engaging city residents in reporting problem sidewalks and in developing solutions to the sidewalk snow removal issues
“Snow covered sidewalks are a serious hazard to pedestrians, and illegally parked cars during snow events create safety problems for residents and the DPW,” said Mayor Walsh. “With the city leading the way, it’s time for all of us to pull together and improve our response to dangerous snow conditions. That begins today and will continue from this day forward.”
“People should not need to walk in our streets during and after snow storms, and everyone should be able to get off their streets when they need to, except in the very worst of conditions,” said Common Council President Helen Hudson. “We’re hearing the concerns of our neighbors and taking action.”
Sidewalk Clearance on City-owned Properties
Mayor Walsh committed that snow would be removed from the sidewalks and rights of way around city properties in keeping with city ordinances. He said all department heads and facility managers have committed to ensure snow is removed as quickly as possible during snow storms. “It starts with us,” Mayor Walsh said.
Awareness of Existing Ordinances
Hudson, Chad Ryan, chairman of the Council’s Public Works Committee and Mayor Walsh reminded all city residents of the existing ordinances regarding sidewalk snow removal, parking and private plow operators:
Sidewalks: All city property owners are required to remove snow from sidewalks on their properties within 24 hours depending on weather conditions. The Mayor called on all property owners to complete their civic responsibility and ensure the safety of fellow residents.
The Mayor announced that residents can now report un-shoveled sidewalks online at a new “Snow Issue Tracker” reachable at cityline.syrgov.net. Data collected on Cityline will help the city develop long-term solutions.
Parking: Vehicles parked on the wrong side of the street or failing to comply with snow emergency parking guidelines will be ticketed and towed.
Private Plow Operators: Private plow operators are subject to a $150 fine for plowing snow into the public rights of way or for blocking sidewalks. Property owners are subject to $100 fines for this violation.
Increased Enforcement of Parking and Private Plow Operator Violations
Using information compiled by the Department of Innovation and in consultation with the Department of Public Works, the city has identified priority parking enforcement streets by quadrants of the city. The streets (see p. 3), posted in News section on the Home page of syrgov.net, represent the most narrow city streets with more than 35 properties on a block and 25% or more two and three unit properties, as well as additional streets identified as problem points for DPW access in the past.
“Using historic data and other information about city streets, we can predict where snow plows will face challenges and prevent dangerous situations for the public and for our plow operators,” said Sam Edelstein, chief data officer.
The Syracuse Police Department, in coordination with DPW, will increase enforcement first around critical infrastructure, such as hospitals and public safety facilities, and on steep hills in the city. Additional enforcement will progress to the priority streets and then to other parts of the city. Enforcement will occur throughout the city. Vehicles violating alternate side of the street parking regulations will be ticketed and towed.
In the priority areas and other parts of the city, DPW supervisors and Syracuse Police will also be issuing tickets to property owners and private plow operators who illegally push snow in rights of way and who block sidewalk access.
“Snow Safety Summit”
Mayor Walsh confirmed his commitment to work with the Common Council to implement an effective long-term solution to the sidewalk clearance problem. The Mayor said his Administration will consider:
- reinstituting fines for failure to comply with existing ordinances,
- applying a special assessment or fee on property owners to fund sidewalk snow removal,
- conducting pilot projects as soon as possible to test effective solutions.
The Mayor, President Hudson and Councilor Ryan also announced the city’s Innovation Team will host a “Snow Safety Summit” on Thursday, Feb. 15 to gain additional input and ideas from city residents. The event, to be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Dr. Weeks Elementary School, 710 Hawley Ave., Syracuse, will help the city identify the best and most effective approaches to clearing sidewalks.
Fire Hydrant Access
The Syracuse Fire Department is asking residents to help clear snow from around the more than 5,000 fire hydrants across the city. Instead of blowing or pushing snow near hydrants, Chief Michael Monds asks residents to take the extra time to clear a three foot space around all sides of hydrants and to make a path from the road to the hydrant. According to Chief Monds, “In an emergency, every second counts. Clearing a hydrant can save a life.”
Snow Priority Parking Enforcement Areas – January 2018
100 COLLINGWOOD AVE
300 COLLINGWOOD AVE
100 DURSTON AVE
100 JASPER ST
100 MILDRED AVE
200 NICHOLS AVE
100 PAUL AVE
100 PECK AVE
500 CLARENDON ST
100 REDFIELD PL
200 ROBERT DR
200 ROOSEVELT AVE
300 ROOSEVELT AVE
800 SUMNER AVE
300 APPLE ST
200 BRYANT AVE
100 STEUBEN ST
200 TENNYSON AVE
100 BELLE AVE
100 CALTHROP AVE
200 CALTHROP AVE
100 FERNWOOD AVE
100 MATSON AVE
300 NEWELL ST
100 OSTRANDER AVE
100 PARKSIDE AVE
100 PARKWAY DR
200 REED AVE
100 REED AVE