News Flash

City News

Posted on: January 10, 2019

Winter Weather Tips

Winter officially started on December 21; and although we have had fairly mild weather thus far, eventually, we expect “Old Man Winter” will be upon us. So before the inclement weather arrives, below are some of our best City tips to help you get prepared, stay safe, and help your community with snow removal.

  • Use caution during every snow storm this season. If possible, stay home when it is snowing or when we are experiencing a winter weather watch or warning.
  • Know when we are expecting severe weather. The City sends weather alerts through Nixle, delivered directly via text and email to your phone. To sign up, visit: http://local.nixle.com/zipcode/60441.

Parking 

  • Residents should not park on the street during a winter snow event. Parked cars are an obstacle to snow plows, and plowing around parked cars leaves large areas of snow and ice on the roadway.
  • Park vehicles in your driveway to help facilitate safe removal of snow on your street. Due to the number of streets to be cleared across the City, crews will not return to streets where cars were previously parked. 
  • Once there is 2 inches of accumulation, the Snow Parking Ban goes into effect. Ordinance 70.27 states: “No person shall park any vehicle upon the public streets at any time after snow begins to fall and for a period of eight hours after snow stops falling on the streets and public parking lots. If the snow on the street exceeds two inches in depth, the parking prohibition shall continue until snow removal operations are complete.”

Sidewalks 

  • Property owners are responsible for snow removal on public sidewalks adjacent to their homes. Sidewalks should be cleared at least one shovel’s width within 24 hours after snow fall. This allows easier access for pedestrians, particularly for children to walk to school or the bus stop.
  • When possible, consider lending a hand to the elderly or disabled neighbors who cannot clear their own sidewalks, porches, and steps. For many residents, medical conditions make it difficult to shovel snow without posing significant health risks.

Driveways

  • Shovel snow from driveways into the parkway and not into the street. This will help to avoid creating dangerously slippery conditions for motorists and allow for more effective snow removal by City plows. Shoveling snow into the street is in violation of City Ordinance 70.56.
  • When plowing is required, snow “berms” are often created across driveways by plows. City plow operators have limited control over the windrow of snow coming off the edge of the blade, and crews try to keep this problem to a minimum.
  • One way you can help minimize plow trucks pushing snow back onto your driveway where you previously shoveled is to face the street when removing snow and shovel snow into the parkway instead of toward or near the street.

Fire Hydrants, Water Meters, & Mailboxes 

  • Shovel around fire hydrants for fire department personnel to access in case of emergency, and around meters to aid utility meter readers.
  • Uncover your mailbox and clear a path for letter carriers in vehicles.
  • Ensure that your mailbox is properly placed out of the way of plows’ snow removal efforts. Mailboxes should be placed 42 inches from the ground surface to the bottom of the mailbox and no closer than six inches from the back of the curb. If you have any questions regarding the placement of your mailbox, please contact the Lockport Post Office at (815) 838-9104.

City Snow Removal

The City follows a priority plowing system to help traffic move as efficiently and safely as possible. Snow removal is prioritized according to the following order:

Priority 1: Main streets linking arterials, with schools, and within subdivisions.
Priority 2: Minor residential and side streets, cul-de-sacs with steep inclines or sharp curves.
Priority 3: Dead end streets, and all other cul-de-sacs and alleys.

Please keep in mind that the Streets Division is responsible for miles of roadway. The City’s policy is to make our best effort to clear all streets within 24 hours after the snow stops falling. Heavier snows will often take longer to clear.

City crews are responsible for most streets within City limits; however, there are a number of roads that are the responsibility of other agencies. For example, the Illinois Department of Transportation plows State Street and IL Route 7. Will County plows Division Street and Briggs Street.

If you have further questions regarding snow removal, please contact the Public Works Department at (815) 838-0549, option 8, Monday through Friday from 7 AM to 3:30 PM. To report an after-hours emergency, please contact WESCOM at (815) 838-2131.

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