We've been told to expect a warmer than usual winter season, but that doesn't mean we won't experience snow and ice. You may want to print and save for future reference the Snow and Ice Control Program (complete program with exhibits linked in pdf format).
As it relates to snow and ice control, the overall goal of the Maintenance and Operations Division is to provide safe street access to necessary, life-sustaining, essential services (such as Pullman Regional Hospital) during ice and/or snow events, focusing efforts in the most efficient way to assist the most drivers. City crews concentrate initial efforts on primary streets—streets that lead to those life-sustaining services. (See Exhibit 1, Snow and Ice Control Primary Streets in linked pdf). It is of little benefit for primary streets to be passable if other streets leading to the primary streets are impassable.
Whenever possible, efforts are extended to transit routes and other non-arterial streets with high-volume traffic, (See Exhibit 2, Snow and Ice Control Secondary Streets in linked pdf), many of which are residential streets which is where the majority of the population can be found.
Finally, as time and conditions allow, all other paved streets, cul-de-sacs, un-paved streets, paved alleys and unpaved alleys that are not designated as primary or secondary streets are plowed. Motorists are strongly urged to use the primary and secondary streets whenever possible to reach their destinations and are also encouraged to drive slowly, with caution and allow for plenty of stopping distance.
There are many variables that fit into the complex equation that is snow and ice control. Often, unpredictable weather determines where efforts must be focused. It is possible that if a storm event does not let up, then the appropriate city staff will determine that additional help may need to be secured and a private contractor might be hired to assist.
Because the central business area has no place to store plowed snow without plugging sidewalks or eliminating parking, the first line of attack for this area is to apply liquid deicer to inhibit snow buildup and then solid calcium chloride to facilitate snow melt. Complete snow removal takes place in the central business district area typically in conjunction with other non-primary or secondary street plowing, and only after all of the primary streets are passable. Central business district snow removal of snow is a delicate operation, taking into account residents, businesses and pedestrians and is usually scheduled for times when the impact would be minimized, such as the early morning hours between midnight and 6 a.m. when traffic flow and pedestrians are minimal.
SIDEWALKS AND PARKING- As it relates to ice and snow control, the overall goal of the Parks Department is to remove snow on city-maintained sidewalks, the city-owned trail system and city-owned parking lots. This process starts as soon as the snow begins to accumulate in these areas. Recognizing that on-street parking may be reduced during snow events, the objective is to provide and maintain off-street parking.