Snow Plowing 101

Why can't you plow my street now?

We wish we had enough snowplows and drivers to take care of every street right away, but our resources are limited and so we must adhere to a carefully laid out system for clearing the streets. If we allowed our plows to be diverted each time a special request was made, our system would be destroyed and it would take far longer to get all the streets in the city cleared. To keep our snow removal operations as effective and efficient as possible, plows are not permitted to deviate from their assigned routes. Bus routes and arterial streets have first priority for snow plowing. Residential streets with hills of two percent or more grade are second priority. The remainders of the streets are then plowed.

The plow left some snow at the end of my driveway. Can you send someone to come and plow it out?

There are approximately 2,000+ driveways in the City of Bondurant. If we used all of our plows and spent just 60 seconds per driveway, it would take several days to clean driveways alone. One thing you can do to minimize the problem is to pile snow that has been shoveled from the driveway to the right-of-way. Snow should never be shoveled or snow blown into the streets. The Streets Division crews do not come back and plow out any driveways.

Can you tell me exactly when my street will be plowed?

Under ideal circumstances, we would be able to predict fairly accurately when we will have streets in various sections of the City plowed. As weather conditions change we often must alter our snow-fighting strategy in the midst of the snow removal operations in order to control drifting snow, ice or other special problems. We cannot give you an estimate of when your street will be cleared due to ever-changing weather conditions.

Why don't you use the big trucks to plow out cul-de-sacs?

The varying sizes of cul-de-sacs present plowing problems ranging from difficult to impossible. A plow can easily cut an 11-foot path through the snow on a straight road surface, but trying to plow and turn the blade in a small circle in a cul-de-sac is very difficult. Therefore, end loaders with blades and buckets are used to plow most cul-de-sacs more efficiently than the large trucks. However, there are not enough end loader units for each route. The units are shared by adjoining routes as necessary. This will result in longer response times on cul-de-sacs.

I once saw a snowplow parked during a bad snowstorm. Why was it there instead of on the streets working?

Snowplow operators take pride in clearing the streets on their routes as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Driving a snowplow is demanding, tiring work. Common sense and good safety practices dictate that each driver should take a 30-minute break every six hours. It is dangerous, both for the snowplow driver and the public, if a fatigued driver is behind the wheel of a snowplow. It is in the best interest of the all concerned for the drivers to take occasional breaks.

I have a heart condition. Can you plow my street in case there is an emergency and an ambulance needs to get through?

The potential for a medical emergency does not warrant priority treatment. Anyone needing an ambulance in a medical emergency should contact the Polk County Sheriff’s Department where all necessary steps will be coordinated.

When is parking prohibited on city streets?

During a Snow Ordinance, published on the City of Bondurant’s Facebook, website, and telephone voice messaging system, along with local news providers, will require all cars to be removed from the streets anytime there are more than two inches of snowfall, the snow ordinance will automatically go into effect. Vehicles must be removed from any City street within one hour of the declaration and remain off the streets for the following twenty-four (24) hours after the snowfall ends. Vehicles not removed within an hour of the declaration will be ticketed for violating the City’s Snow Ordinance. After being ticketed, vehicles not removed from the City Street within twelve hours after the declaration may be towed, with expenses for towing payable by the vehicle owner.

What should I do if my vehicle was ticketed and towed for being illegally parked on the street during snow removal operations?

The Polk County Sheriff’s Department coordinates all towing operations. If you find that your vehicle has been towed, contact the Polk County Sheriff’s Department at 515-286-3333.