Be prepared for the snow season

Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2012, 8:11 am
Updated: Thursday, December 13, 2012, 12:12 pm

Don’t get left out in the cold! Read through these top tips for snow removal in Minnetonka. Also, be sure to follow the city on Twitter (@MinnetonkaMN) to receive the latest updates on snow removal during winter storms.

  • In most snowfalls, plowing operations begin between midnight and 4 a.m., but the exact time depends on the predicted start and end of the snowfall, and its intensity. Because it is environmentally critical to limit salt use (see article: Reducing salt use while keeping streets safe), plowing will occur for even modest amounts of snow, prior to salt applications.
  • Heavy or above average snowfalls may require a multi-day operation to clear (in this order) streets, parking lots, sidewalks, trails and ice rinks. In an average snowfall, the goal is to clear streets within 10 hours.
  • The city doesn’t have snow emergencies, but year-round, parked vehicles are required to be off city streets between 2 and 6 a.m. Illegally parked vehicles may prevent snowplows from fully clearing streets. Call the Minnetonka Police Department at 952.939.8500 if you are concerned about a vehicle parked on your street.
  • Place curb markers to show the edge of your lawn or driveway. The city provides free markers to residents—stop by Minnetonka City Hall, 14600 Minnetonka Blvd., or Minnetonka Public Works, 11522 Minnetonka Blvd., to pick up your markers. Installation is easier when the ground isn’t frozen!
  • Avoid mailbox damage by inspecting and, if necessary, refurbishing your mailbox post and structure prior to the snow season to ensure it can withstand rugged winter conditions. Mailboxes physically hit and damaged by city snowplows will be repaired, but mailboxes that break from the force of the snow coming off the snowplow will not be repaired.
  • Boulevard damage caused by snowplows will be repaired by the city. However, the city does not repair or replace sprinklers, fences or rock gardens that are placed in the city right-of-way (generally extending several feet behind the edge of the roadway). Report snowplow damage to Minnetonka Public Works at (952) 988-8400. Repairs usually are made in May and June.
  • Snowplowing takes place in three steps. Understanding this process may help you plan your driveway shoveling/blowing accordingly. The first pass provides an initial access path down the streets. After all streets have received a first pass, full-width plowing takes place, often within a few hours of the first pass. Final cleanup typically occurs the following day and includes intersection cleanup, salting, and plowing where vehicles had been parked.
  • Garbage cans and recycling carts should be set out behind the curb line so they won’t be knocked over by snowplows. Remember to take in your garbage/recycling carts after collection occurs, and put them out of sight in your garage or behind a screened enclosure.
  • Clear snow from your driveway, but don’t push it into or across the street. City ordinances require snow to be placed on the right-of-way adjacent to your property. Please make contractors aware of city snow removal ordinances.
  • The city has dramatically reduced its use of chemicals in snow and ice removal, due to concerns about the negative effects of salt on lakes and creeks as well as on roads and bridges (see article on page 6). The public works department has implemented a number of very progressive initiatives designed to reduce chemical use and save money while continuing to provide high levels of winter maintenance service. Please use caution in the winter, however—driving conditions in January are bound to be more challenging than in July.

For those of you who love winter activities, we are keeping our fingers crossed for a snowier winter than last year!