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Broomfield Public Works seeks to fine tune neighborhood snow and ice response

Will present options to City Council on Dec. 17
When Loveland gets enough snow, its garbage trucks transform into snow plows
Broomfield Survey
Posted at 7:51 PM, Dec 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-06 21:51:27-05

BROOMFIELD, Colo. -- After the Thanksgiving week snowstorm, people all across metro Denver were furious about icy streets which they felt were being ignored.

The City and County of Broomfield had already reached out to residents seeking feedback after the October storms. They decided to continue the survey to get more feedback after the latest storm.

"Rather than saying, 'We think we know what the community wants,' we actually want to know what they want," said Kimberly Dall, the Deputy Public Works Director.

Dall said they received a mixture of feedback, some positive, some not so positive.

"People appreciate what we do and they like that we're out at night, trying to make the roads safe for everybody," she said.

On the flip side, she said there were a number of complaints about ice the last time around.

"That was the main complaint," she said, "how long it took to clear off the roadways, especially the residential streets."

Jordan Marks told Denver7 he had difficulty getting in and out some neighborhoods.

"It's kind of tough to get out when it gets real slick and it keeps melting and turning back into ice," he said.

Dall said Public Works has come up with a list of alternatives to update the City & County's plowing strategy.

Among the suggestions:

  • Reducing the time to complete the first pass for large storms.
  • Making multiple passes on residential streets mandatory for storms greater than 6- or 12-inches.
  • Widening the travel lanes in residential areas beyond the width of a single plow blade/vehicle.
  • Expanding the application of de-icing material in residential areas from just intersections to entire street segments.
  • Creating a GIS-based snow plow tracking website so residents can track the location of plows and see when their street has been plowed.

Dall said the current practice is to do one pass down neighborhoods streets within 12 hours, if there is less than a foot of snow, and within 18 hours if there is more than a foot of snow.

"We're looking at doing two lanes, instead of just one lane down the street, and applying more material," she said.

That "extra service" would come with a cost.

Dall said Broomfield already spends about $780,000 a year on ice and snow removal.

She said staff is trying to determine how much more it might cost to expand service.

"That's what we're going to talk about on the 17th, (during a City Council study session,)" she said.

Marks said it'll be worth the extra cost.

"Plowing two lanes would definitely help a lot," he said, "and a lot sooner response time."

Broomfield residents who would like to weigh in on the survey can click on this link.