Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Downtown Snow Removal Info for Winter 2010-11

Though the first significant snow of winter 2010 has yet to fall, the DNA is providing you with information to help you be prepared.

In general, the city will follow the same basic snow removal plan as 2009, when service in downtown was reduced from an enhanced level to the same level provided to other commercial districts throughout the city due to budget cuts and a reduced workforce. Property and business owners took back the responsibility of clearing their own sidewalks.

The "new" system worked well last year; there was much collaboration among neighbors in sharing the responsibility and cost of clearing their blocks. It is important that this collaboration continue this year so that we may provide our customers, tenants and employees with a pedestrian-friendly business district and neighborhood during the winter months.

As such, we have put together some information on how this collaborative snow removal process may occur this year:

• During or following a snow event, the city's first priority is to clear roads. Then crews are dispatched to other parts of the city, including downtown.

• The downtown crew's first priority is to clear the sidewalks around public buildings, such as city hall and the police station, as well as public parking lots and decks. The goal is to have these cleared by 8AM.

• Their next priority is to clear the crosswalks of intersections and other public spaces, such as DuPage Court, Festival Park and the sidewalks on the bridges.

• Once all these areas are cleared, the crew will then clear any remaining sidewalk areas until their shift ends at 3PM. The city also utilizes community restitution workers to supplement the workforce when possible. However, as we saw last year, this is often late in the day and the snow has been packed down by pedestrians, making it very difficult to remove with either equipment or material.

• We would like to suggest that downtown business and property owners have your sidewalks cleared from property line to curb line by 9AM following an overnight snow event, as this is the time that the majority of downtown is "open for business." This will help to reduce the areas of packed down snow, lessening the chances of it turning to impassable ice, and increasing our downtown's walkability and safety.

• You may pile your snow on the curb line using the row of brick pavers along the curb line as a guide. Please do not throw the snow into the street.

• The city's goal is to remove the piled snow from the curb line within 72 hours of a major event. This is usually done from 4 to 6AM. However, if we have frequent events within days of each other, the city's response time will be delayed, resulting in large mounds of snow on the curb line. The city will remove it - it will just take longer. The city also clears the mounds of snow that have accumulated in the street parking stalls and other areas throughout downtown between 4 and 6AM, so please be advised that street parking is prohibited during this time.

• We highly encourage you to talk with your neighbors about contracting a private snow removal company for your block or sharing in the responsibility of shoveling your block. This will help to alleviate one of the problems that we saw last year. For example, if 6 of the 8 properties on a block were cleared, the 2 that were not cleared reflected poorly not only on that business but on the whole block. The packed down snow that eventually became ice was not only uninviting but also very dangerous.

• We would like to make special mention to those realtors and brokers who represent downtown properties that are available for sale or lease. Please work with your clients to be sure that the sidewalks outside these properties are taken care of.

We have provided you with a resource list for local snow removal service companies below, should you decide to go that route.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call Tonya Hudson at the DNA at (847) 488-1456 or Jim Bell at the City of Elgin at (847) 931-6124.


We have put together a short list of snow removal service companies in Elgin who have the capabilities and availability to handle downtown sidewalk/ alley snow removal. The DNA is not endorsing any of these companies, nor do we have personal experience working with any of them. This is merely a resource list.

Brickman Group
31W620 Spaulding Rd
Elgin, IL 60120

Monarch Nurseries
600 Spring Hill Ring Rd
West Dundee, IL 60118

Tecza Environmental Group
12N422 Switzer Rd
Elgin, IL 60123

Tovar Snow Professionals
31W377 Spaulding Rd
Elgin, IL 60120

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