City of Joliet Winter Snow Event Guidelines

As the winter season approaches and the possibilities of winter snow storms increases, residents are reminded of the City of Joliet snow removal policies and actions for the 2013-2014 winter season. Please take caution during any snow storm if you need to be driving on the roadways. If at all possible, please remain home during the time when it is snowing. The City of Joliet Roadways Division will be plowing to combat any storm, however, there will be hazardous conditions until all the City’s thoroughfares have been treated.
 
It is unavoidable for City of Joliet snow plows to push snow on sidewalks at all intersection corners during cleanup operations. It shall be the responsibility of the adjacent residential/business owner to remove these snow berms from the corners of intersections.
 
Residents can assist the Roadways Division crews in their efforts by doing the following:
  • Residents should not park on the street during a snow event. On-street parking is prohibited by City Ordinance 16900, Section 19-142, for any snowfall accumulations of 2 inches or more. Parked cars are an obstacle to the snow plows. In addition, plowing around parked cars leaves large areas of snow and ice on the roadway.
  • Commercial property owners are responsible for plowing commercial parking lots, driveways, and public sidewalks adjoining their businesses.
  • Residential property owners are responsible for shoveling or plowing public sidewalks adjoining their homes.
  • Shovel snow from driveways into the parkway and not into the street. This will help to avoid creating dangerously slippery conditions for both motorists and pedestrians. Shoveling snow into the street is a city code violation.
  • Shovel out fire hydrants that are in or around your property and around meters to aid utility meter readers.
  • Clear sidewalks of snow for the safety of pedestrians and children walking to school.
  • Uncover your mailbox and create a path for postal vehicles to pull up to mailboxes.
  • Help your neighbors. For many residents, age or medical conditions make it difficult to shovel snow without risking their health.
The Roadways Division of the City of Joliet offers the following guidelines and helpful hints during a winter snow event:
During Snowfall Events: The City of Joliet Street Division will mobilize its crews when there is a measurable accumulation of snowfall or if the winter mix is causing a hazardous driving situation such as freezing rain. The Street Division is responsible for over 500 miles of roadway with a fleet of 34 snow plow trucks and a crew of 32 employees. Joliet has a goal of clearing all streets within twenty-four (24) hours after the snow stops falling. Heavier snows often take longer to clear. The City of Joliet crews plow most streets within the City limits, however there are a number of roads that are the responsibility of other Governmental agencies. For example, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) plows Larkin Avenue, Plainfield Road, Chicago Street south of Fifth Avenue, Jefferson Street west of Larkin, and Theodore Street east of Cedarwood. The County of Will plows Briggs Street.
 
Streets: Street plowing operations are performed in the following order:
  1. Major Arterials, hospital routes, hills, and the bridges.
  2. Subdivision mains and collector streets.
  3. All remaining subdivision streets.
  4. Cul-de-sacs and dead ends.
  5. The City does NOT plow alleys.
Snow removal crews work long hours to keep the streets clear and safe. We ask for everyone’s cooperation to help keep our streets safe as well. Remember, snowplow trucks cannot stop or turn as easily as most vehicles. Due to the cost of de-icing materials, it is Street Division Policy to utilize salt on major arterials and subdivision mains at intersections and mid blocks only and utilize a mixture of salt and sand at the intersections only on the subdivision streets. Therefore, it should not be expected that these streets would immediately be clear to pavement. A mixture of sun and traffic is utilized to help with the de-icing procedures. Some snow is left on the street after plowing because allowances must be made for manhole lids and other above-pavement obstacles to avoid damaging snow plow blades.
 
Chemicals Used In Snow Fighting: The City of Joliet utilizes a mixture of rock salt and organic liquids containing sugar beet juice in the fight against snow accumulation and freezing on the roadways. This combination allows for the material to be effective down to a temperature of minus thirty degrees (-30) Fahrenheit. In addition, this mixture will be less corrosive to the streets, vehicles, and vegetation within the City of Joliet. Residents should expect to see a brownish residue on the streets as opposed to the white residue. As with the salt this material is easily washed off vehicles. In addition, the City of Joliet will be proactive in their snow fighting with the application of an anti-icing program where the streets are treated with a chemical composition to combat the onset of the accumulation of snow and ice and also prohibit the bond between the snow and ice and the pavement. This will allow for a quicker cleanup of the roadways while also slowing down the snow/ice accumulation on the roadway. This chemical composition to be used consists of salt brine, beet juice, and calcium chloride. Residents should expect to see this on the main routes throughout the City. As more equipment becomes available this treatment will be expanded to all the streets in the City of Joliet.
 
Snow Parking Ban: Beginning November 1, 2013, through April 1, 2014, the City of Joliet Snow Parking Ban will be in effect. Whenever possible, please park all vehicles in your driveways during a snow event to help facilitate the safe removal of snow on your street. When a measurable snow event meets 2 inches in accumulation, the Snow Parking Ban is put into effect. All vehicles must be moved off of public streets until the City of Joliet’s snow plow trucks have had a chance to plow the snow on the street. Once the snow plow trucks have cleared the street by your house or business, you may move your vehicle back to the street.
 
Some older neighborhoods in Joliet do not have adequate off-street parking options. In those areas, residents are encouraged to seek permission from neighbors who have off-street parking spaces and other parking options such as commercial or church parking lots that will allow streets to be clear of vehicles to allow snow clearing efforts to be effective.
 
During this winter of 2013/2014, the City of Joliet intends to fully enforce the Snow Parking Ban. The Joliet Police Department will have the option of issuing a parking ticket to the owner of a vehicle left on a City Street during a snow event or the Police Department has the option of having the vehicle towed, or both. All towing and storage costs will be the responsibility of the vehicle owner.
 
Please adhere to the parking regulations, as this will enhance the City of Joliet’s ability to clear streets of snow. Due to the volume of streets to be cleared of snow and the staffing and equipment available, Roadways crews will not return to streets where parked vehicles have been moved during snow removal operations. Crews will return during normal working hours after all streets have been cleared.
 
Driveways: When plowing is required, snow “berms” are created across driveways. The plow operators do not have control over the wind-row of snow coming off the edge of the blade. The Street Division tries to keep this problem to a minimum. The residents of Joliet need to be patient and recognize that during the winter months there will be some inconvenience. Snow operations are labor intensive and equipment does break down on occasion. To minimize the frustrating problem of the snowplow covering your driveway with snow after you’ve just shoveled it, stand facing the street and shovel snow into the yard instead of the street. Residents are reminded that shoveling or plowing snow into the street is strictly prohibited by local ordinance.
Private Snow Plowing: Property owners should be aware that placing, dumping, or pushing of snow onto City streets or right-of-ways from adjacent properties is prohibited as per City of Joliet Ordinance 26-209.
 
Sidewalks: The City of Joliet provides some sidewalk clearing in the downtown only. The City does not clear sidewalks in residential or business neighborhoods and applauds citizens and proprietors for clearing sidewalks to help their neighbors and customers weather the storm. Sidewalks should be cleared to the pavement at least one shovel’s width within 24 hours after a
snowfall event. This makes it easier for children to walk to school or the bus stop. Please lend a hand to elderly or disabled neighbors who cannot clear their own sidewalks, porches and steps.
 
Mailboxes: The City of Joliet snow fighters make every effort to clear the roads from curb to curb where cars are not parked on the street. In many cases of wet snow, the snow or plow blade may damage/remove mailboxes that are set close to the street. This is unavoidable. Mailbox damage complaints will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. The City of Joliet will not reimburse for any mailbox damage on improperly located mailboxes. The standard and accepted mailbox placement should be 42 inches measured from the ground surface to the bottom of the mailbox. The mailbox should be located so the front of the box is no closer than 6 inches from the back of curb. Any questions regarding the placement of mailboxes should be directed
to the Joliet Post Office at 815-773-1089.
 
James D. Hock
City Manager
 
The City of Joliet is the fourth largest city in the state of Illinois, located just 45 miles southwest of Chicago’s Loop. Home to over 147,000 residents, in addition to thriving businesses and attractions, the City of Joliet is easily accessible by rail, auto and bus transit. A perfect place to live, work and play, Joliet is constantly striving to promote growth and diversity. For more information on Joliet visit www.cityofjoliet.info or call 815-724-4000.