Public Works Department
Lowell Street - March 6, 2001
The purpose of this Snow & Ice Policy and Procedure is to establish the process and level of service to ice control and clearing of it’s street system during the snow season. The following policies and procedures serve as a practical guide for the effective snow and ice control procedure for the Town of Lynnfield. Provisions contained in this document may be updated and reviewed as conditions change.
Winter storms can be trying for all of us, motorists, residents and snowplow operators alike. The goal of the Public Works Department is to remove snow and ice from our roadways as rapidly and efficiently as possible while keeping roads open and essential traffic moving. This does not mean bare, dry pavement should be expected after each snowstorm. The aim of snow and ice control operations is to return road surfaces to normal winter conditions as soon as feasible within the limitations of this policy and our limited resources. With proper use of storm forecasts, personnel, equipment, and materials, the desired result can usually be attained. However, flexibility is needed to adapt to the variety of circumstances and conditions during a snow or ice storm.
These following policies and procedures outlined herein will be in effect when weather conditions could cause accumulations of frost, sleet, ice or snow on our roadways, school properties or municipal lots and will be in effect during the normal winter season.
MONITORING & NOTIFICATION of SNOW/ICE EVENTS
During normal working hours, (7:00am- 3:30pm., Monday- Friday) the observations of Public Works employees, and/or police, may alert the first response for snow and ice removal.
During after work hours, police officers may direct the police dispatcher to contact the General Working Foreman regarding street conditions. The General Working Foreman then make the necessary calls to begin the snow/ice operation.
Public Works personnel will monitor weather conditions when inclement weather is approaching. The use of weather reports from Precision Weather Forecasting, live on screen satellite tracking system, radios, TV, the internet and National Weather Service broadcasts will be used concurrently with existing street condition reports to determine notification timing.
Snow emergencies will be posted on the main web page of the Town of Lynnfield (town.lynnfield.ma.us)
In addition, media notification to the local Boston TV stations of the enactment of any emergency, parking ban and/or snow emergency declaration will be made by agreement between any two of the following three Town Officials: Director of Public Works, Chief of Police, or Town Administrator. Such SNOW EMERGENCY shall remain in force until such time as two of the three above officials declare it shall end.
WINTER PARKING BANS
A Permanent Ban will remain in effect on all Town roads beginning on November 1st and remain in effect until April 1st The permanent ban means that there is no parking on both sides of any street between the hours of 1am and 7am and also when a snow emergency is declared, anytime day or night.
A Declared Snow Emergency Parking Ban will be in effect on all Town roads until the snow emergency has been lifted. During a snow emergency parking ban there shall be NO PARKING at any time on any Town roads except by public safety vehicles and Department of Public Works vehicles. Also, NO motor vehicles shall park or positioned in a manner so as to interfere with snow removal by the Department of Public Works. Any vehicle parked in violation of this section shall be ticketed and may be towed at the expense of the owner, if need be.
If you are unsure about whether there is a declared snow emergency parking ban in effect you can tune to the major local Boston TV stations, call the DPW snow hot line at (781)-334-9506, or refer to the Town of Lynnfield's main web page.
ILLEGALLY PLOWED SNOW
In accordance with Lynnfield By-Law, Chapter 4, Sections G & H, no person shall move or remove snow or ice from private lands upon any public street, sidewalk or common land of the Town. Every day that such snow or ice is allowed to remain in such a manner as to so obstruct or impeded the free passage of vehicular or pedestrian traffic shall be considered a separate offense and each offense shall be punished by a fine of not less than twenty dollars ($20.00) nor more than fifty dollars ($50.00).
No owner or occupant of land or other person shall move or place, or cause to be moved or placed, snow and/or ice to any place, in such a manner as to result in such snow or ice blocking or impeding access to or use of public fire hydrants. The fines are the same as stated above and each day is considered a separate offense.
Residents, who have their driveways plowed by private contractors, are reminded that they are responsible for their contractor’s actions if they should violate the Town’s By-Law.
Illegally parked vehicles are the biggest obstacles to effect snow removal efforts. When a snow emergency has been declared and illegally parked vehicles interfere with snow plowing operations, it may become necessary to order the towing of a private vehicle at the owner’s expense as specified by Town By-Laws.
The Lynnfield Police Department is to be contacted in all cases and authorization to tow will be made only by the Police Department.
SNOW CONTROL PROCEDURES
All storm conditions are dictated by temperature, the amount of moisture present in the storm, wind speed and duration. The combination of these factors is directly related to the conditions that dictate how a storm will be dealt with. Freezing rain, sleet, wet snow, dry snow, amount of snow, wind conditions, and the time of day all contribute to storm conditions.
The following is a general description of how and when the Department of Public Works performs its' plowing and sanding operations of town roads:
During snow/ice conditions, calls from the Police and Fire Departments regarding accidents, medical or other emergency situations are given top priority. Upon request of the appropriate agency, the Public Works Department will provide assistance as necessary. Because of the high priority assigned to snow and ice control, almost all other Public Works operations become secondary to snow fighting operations.
Streets will be plowed and sanded according to established priorities. Priories are set based upon traffic volume, public safety, and access to emergency facilities and schools. During major storms, crews will plow and sand continuously prior to high volume traffic hours. Depending upon the type and intensity of the storm, plowing operations may be suspended during peak traffic hours to devote maximum effort to sanding operations to provide better traction. Plowing operations will resume after peak traffic hours.
“Priority one” roads, which are the main arteries of the Town, are given first priority to maintain since they provide the interconnecting link from all corners of the Town. Priority may be extended to school bus routes in cases of early dismissal. Once completed, those bus routes will fall back to their designated priority list.
“Priority two” roads, which are the secondary roadways that connect to main roads and major residential areas and hilled roadways, are given second priority so as to move traffic from the main streets to small residential sections.
“Priority three” roads are all local roads within residential areas. The Town will plow local roads when contract snowplows are called, in the case of a snowstorm or after mains and secondary roads are plowed in the case when snowplow contractors are not needed.
The goal of the DPW is to open all streets as quickly as possible and keep them open throughout the storm. After heavy storms all roads will be pushed back to as close to the curb as possible and corners widened. Since the Town uses many classes of snow plow vehicles it is sometimes necessary to have larger equipment go back after each heavy storm to push these roads back. Residents need to be aware that snow will be pushed into driveways in these cases and the DPW will not be responsible for nor will the Department clear driveways.
SIDEWALKS- (as ammended by the Board of Selectmen 11-18-13)
Property owners are responsible for keeping the sidewalk in front of their property clear of snow and ice. The Public Works Department is responsble for clearing 19.27 miles of sidewaks
The Town Sidewalk Plow Routes are classified into (3) categories which determines the order in which they are plowed.
The following list of sidewalks that are maintained by the Public Works Department:
For a map of the town showing the sidewalk plow routes please click Sidewalk Plow Routes
MUNICIPAL and SCHOOL PARKING LOTS
The Public Works Department, in addition to town roads, is responsible to maintain the 10+ municipal and school parking lots. These lots, except for public safety buildings, will receive a priority lower than the streets and will be plowed and salt/sanded as equipment becomes available and the storm conditions allow. Depending on the time of the storm and the normal operating hours of each municipal building will dictate the priority sequence of plowing each lot.
In general, public safety buildings receive the highest priority followed by the school lots.
The following list of municipal/school parking lots are maintained by the Public Works Department:
The two active cemeteries will only be plowed after all streets, sidewalks and parking lots have been cleared from snow unless a burial is scheduled in which case only those avenues needed to adequately serve the funeral service and grave site area will be cleaned and sanded. In most cases, other than after large snow events, all avenues in both cemeteries will be cleared within (2) days.
Mailboxes installed in the Town right of way are placed at the owner’s risk. Each mailbox installation should be sufficiently solid to withstand snow-clearing efforts by the Town. A large highway plow moves many tons of snow widening roadways. The rolling action of the snow will destroy or damage all but the strongest of mailboxes and posts.
Residents may want to place a second post in front of the box or a brace behind the box to break the force of the snow coming toward it.
Place reflectors so the box and post can be seen under poor visibility conditions.
It will be the responsibility of the adjacent property owner to clear snow around mailboxes to assure mail delivery by the U.S. Postal Department.
In the rare event that a Town vehicle damages a properly installed mailbox, the Town will install a new pressure treated post and/or standard black mailbox. It must be evident that the damage was caused by the plow blade (yellow paint mark etc.) and not the force of the snow that damaged the mailbox. The DPW Highway foreman will be responsible to make that determination.
If the property owner desires a different mailbox, the Town will reimburse the property owner up to $50 towards a replacement.
Town vehicles and contracted snowplows will not clear private driveways or other private property. Snow placed in a driveway or on sidewalks where the driveway or sidewalk meets the Town right of way is the responsibility of the property owner to remove. Residents or private contractors are prohibited from blowing or pushing snow into or across the roadway or leaving windrows of snow in the road as a result of cleaning their sidewalk or driveway. This also includes clearing off vehicles of snow in the roadway.
Residents must be made aware that until all roads are pushed back to the curb after a storm driveways will experience several windrows across their driveways. In areas where the town plows sidewalks there will be windrws left as well. The removal of these windrows are the responsibility of the resident. Placing vehicles or other obstacles across the front of ones driveway preventing the town from accomplishing our road widening is illegal and subject to police action.
Every time the town is forced to come back to a street to push back illegally dumped snow it cost the town money. Over the course of a year this can become very costly.
Winter salt/sand mix is available to residents at the lower Town Hall parking lot. Sand barrels are also placed on all steep hilled streets. Please do not enter the DPW yard to pick up sand due to the heavy equipment in use during snow emergencies. If you need straight sand or salt you can call the DPW office for assistance.
Plowing snow from Lynnfield’s 70 miles (approximately 250 lane miles) of public roads, (4) school lots, (2) active cemeteries, (15) municipal building lots and 15+ miles of sidewalks is a formidable task. It involves coordinating nearly 60 pieces of privately and publicly owned plows, route supervisors, plow operators and other support personnel. The hours can be extremely long, with operations conducted during the most severe weather and driving conditions. We realize that in an operation of such size and complexity there are bound to be complaints or requests for additional service.
Public Works has established a dedicated phone line to respond to complaints. Calls for service should be avoided early in a storm since it may take several hours for plows to make their way to your street. If there is an immediate emergency or you feel that we may have missed your street, please call our snow complaint telephone number at (781)-334-9506.
A DPW person will staff this number during snow emergencies and will log your complaint and relay this information to the General Working foreman for a quick resolution.
Remember, driving in winter snowstorms should be avoided whenever possible. In every winter storm, there are times when road conditions are hazardous despite everyone’s best effort. Our work to restore safe road conditions is completed quicker and more efficiently when roads are free of traffic and illegally parked vehicles.
Emergency Telephone Numbers:
This policy is intended to be a guide as to how the Public Works will fight snow and ice storms.
At least one or more of the following, which may delay all or some of the services provided, may affect all or parts of this policy:
Equipment breakdown or manpower shortage
Vehicles disabled in deep snow
Weather so severe as to cause crews to be called in from the streets
Equipment rendered inadequate by the depth of the snow or snow drifts
Crew breaks, and breaks required for refueling, refilling of material spreaders and installing chains and/or new cutting edges on snow plow blades
Unforeseen conditions and emergencies.
Town of Lynnfield, 55 Summer St., Lynnfield, MA 01940